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Movies made from Books?

Read any good books lately?

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RedRiver
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Re: Movies made from Books?

Postby RedRiver » November 27th, 2012, 5:04 pm

We're beating poor James Bond to death lately, but the films featuring Connery are nice adaptations. (I actually haven't read "From Russia," but I can comment on the others.) Lighter in tone, not
100 % faithful to story, but they capture the spirit and stick to the plot. Stories such as these are ripe for translation.

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Re: Movies made from Books?

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » November 30th, 2012, 9:25 am

hbenthow, I was mainly a revised Nancy Drew girl, but had an original of either the "Old Locket" or "Secret of the Old Clock," and that started it all. I also had a Judy Bolton mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I also am happy you know what a wonderful adaptation Night of the Hunter is. Great pains were taken by Laughton and his cohorts to ensure that the book was faithful to the original. It is a wonderful script, and one of my favorite films.
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Lucky Vassall
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Re: Movies made from Books?

Postby Lucky Vassall » February 1st, 2014, 9:33 pm

I'm a triple-threat man: I like to read the book; then read the screenplay (if available); and finally view the film. They call it total immersion. That is, when they don't call it obsessive-compulsive!

Sometimes, when the material was turned into a play first, it's fun to compare the versions. You can have a lot of fun reading the novel and play and then watching the movie of "P.S. Your Cat Is Dead." I think the book cover blurb is in a class by itself:

"It's New Year's Eve. Your best friend died in September, you've been robbed twice, your girl friend is leaving you, you've just lost your job...and the only one left to talk to
is a gay burglar you've got tied up in the kitchen."

It's rare, of course, for a film to be as fulfilling as the book, but a real delight when it happens. "Cider House Rules" did a good job by condensing the time-frame, but that's what you'd expect when John Irving did his own screenplay.

I did run into one case where a really terrible book was turned into a fine film. It's "The Prestige," and they completely changed the "method" of doing the trick, which solved lots of problems with the original story (more a ghost story than a magic-show mystery).

Sometimes a "Making of" book can provide a lot of enjoyment. I recently read the book on Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," and learned a lot about just how he went about recreating the period and Melies film factory.

Hope others will suggest Book-to-Film successes - and failures - for us to look for.
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Re: Movies made from Books?

Postby kingrat » February 3rd, 2014, 3:58 pm

Lucky, I also thought that Christopher Nolan did a great job turning The Prestige into a movie much better than its source novel, and I'm not a fan of Nolan's Batman. The Prestige is one of those gems which future generations will discover and wonder why it wasn't a hit.

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Re: Movies made from Books?

Postby knitwit45 » February 3rd, 2014, 7:34 pm

Just finished reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The book was so much richer, but the movie stands as a classic on its own. Seeing the movie first made the book so much more, as I could see all the characters, even though most of the descriptions were different.. Love them both.
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Re: Movies made from Books?

Postby moira finnie » February 4th, 2014, 9:36 am

knitwit45 wrote:Just finished reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The book was so much richer, but the movie stands as a classic on its own. Seeing the movie first made the book so much more, as I could see all the characters, even though most of the descriptions were different.. Love them both.

Funny, I read the book again a few years ago and got so much more out of it than I ever did when I was a kid. I also liked Joy in the Morning when reading it again. If you are interested in the author, Betty Smith, there's a great story of a brave person with a difficult but interesting life. A good bio of Betty Smith by Valerie Raleigh Yow is in print and there's a good outline of Smith's life here: http://web.njit.edu/~cjohnson/tree/bio/bio.htm
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