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duaneiac

Movies as good as the book

63 posts in this topic

The oft heard complaint about some movies is "It was okay, but the book was better". But there have been many movies made that are just as good as the book upon which they were based. Not necessarily the same as the book -- there may have been some plot or character changes made to make the property more suitable as a film, but the overall storytelling effect should be just as powerful in the film and book versions.

First up, I would suggest The Maltese Falcon. It's a great book, a gripping read, and John Huston made a great movie that pretty well captures the flavor of the book.

What other movies/books would you include in this list?

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May be some controversial ones here but here goes:

I remember thinking at the time that Fight Club was a fairly spot on adaptation of the book, to the point where i used to use it as an example of a good adaptation when the topic came up.

The Shining... read it for the first time recently after becoming obsessed with the movie... there were some aspects of the book that i preferred but overall i think the movie is better.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Midnight Cowboy.

Bladerunner / Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Stand By Me / The Body.

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The 39 Steps

LA Confidential.

The Godfather

Edited by medjuck

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Belle de jour (Kessel/Buñuel)

Really liked the book and its adaptation by Buñuel is terrific. The dream sequeces were a great addition to the original. There is an interview from Jean-Claude Carrière who made parts of the dialog/adaptation of the movie where he disregards the book. In short: we made a masterpiece out of a cheap airport novel, the notion of sadomasochism is not present in the book, Deneuve was acting great because she had no clue what she was doing. I think he is wrong on absolutely all accounts.

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(going from memory - I may change my mind after I see these again:)

Greed (Stroheim)

perhaps The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Huston)

La Nuit du carrefour (1932 Renoir) - saw this without English subtitles, but Renoir followed the Maigret novel so closely that it was perfectly clear to me.

LA Confidential - better than the Ellroy novel

The Makioka Sisters (Ichikawa) - a breathtaking experience

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No Country for Old Men

The Great Santini

High and Low (Kurosawa's adaptation of Ed McBain's King's Ransom)

Goodfellas

Edited by T.D.

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Great Expectations (Dickens/Lean)

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Kubrick's Lolita too!

Edited by aparxa

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Shawshank Redemption comes to mind.

Blade Runner was incredible, one of the best sci-fi flicks of all time, but it was such a tiny piece of the book that I can't say it qualifies.

The Shining was better than the book, IMO. Very, very different, but better.

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The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

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"The Third Man"

Couldn't disagree more, though, about "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" and Kubrick's "Lolita" being as good as the books.

OTOH, there's "The Russia House."

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Robert Benton's Nobody's Fool was true to Richard Russo's novel, even if some details had to be omitted for cinematic and time reasons.

Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451 is supposedly different from Bradbury's novel. I like the film very much, but haven't read the novel. A couple of friends have told me that they like the film more than the novel.

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Well, not to be argumentative, but...

The oft heard complaint about some movies is "It was okay, but the book was better". But there have been many movies made that are just as good as the book upon which they were based. Not necessarily the same as the book -- there may have been some plot or character changes made to make the property more suitable as a film, but the overall storytelling effect should be just as powerful in the film and book versions.

First up, I would suggest The Maltese Falcon. It's a great book, a gripping read, and John Huston made a great movie that pretty well captures the flavor of the book.

What other movies/books would you include in this list?

Duane, I felt that the book was much better because I didn't think that Bogart and Mary Astor had any chemistry. At the end they were professing their love for one another, and I was thinking, Where did that come from?

"The Third Man"

Well, of course it was a great movie (one of my very favorites), but I think that we should remember that Greene based the novella on his screenplay. It was not a case of a movie based upon a respected book. I very much enjoyed the book in its own right.

By the way, I read many years ago that Welles was on screen for only ten minutes of the movie.

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The Exorcist.

Amen. The Exorcist blew the book away.

I agree with Bladerunner being at least as good as Do Androids Dream..., but I don't see the movie as being an adaptation of the book. More of a "inspired by" thing.

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The Exorcist.

Amen. The Exorcist blew the book away.

I agree with Bladerunner being at least as good as Do Androids Dream..., but I don't see the movie as being an adaptation of the book. More of a "inspired by" thing.

Exactly.

It was more like a Cliff's Notes version of the book. If even that, really.

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Robert Benton's Nobody's Fool was true to Richard Russo's novel, even if some details had to be omitted for cinematic and time reasons.

Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451 is supposedly different from Bradbury's novel. I like the film very much, but haven't read the novel. A couple of friends have told me that they like the film more than the novel.

I think I'm with your friends on that.

Never_Let_Me_Go.jpg

Neverletmegoposterquad.jpg

Both very good.

Edited by BillF

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Visconti's movie of Lampedusa's "The Leopard"

John Huston's of Malcolm Lowry's "Under the Volcano"

The Polish film after The Saragossa Manuscript by Potocki

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Duane, I felt that the book was much better because I didn't think that Bogart and Mary Astor had any chemistry. At the end they were professing their love for one another, and I was thinking, Where did that come from?

I agree with this. I think casting Mary Astor in the part was a mistake.

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Visconti's movie of Lampedusa's "The Leopard"

I want to second that one! Really a great achievement IMO, as the book itself is a masterpiece already but Visconti really managed to create a movie that's definitely on the same level as the novel.

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The Exorcist.

Amen. The Exorcist blew the book away.

I agree with Bladerunner being at least as good as Do Androids Dream..., but I don't see the movie as being an adaptation of the book. More of a "inspired by" thing.

Exactly.

It was more like a Cliff's Notes version of the book. If even that, really.

Yeah, i remembered that the film was different enough from the book for it to be a controversial inclusion but it's starting to come back to me just how different it was now.

I did leave out Naked Lunch though. :)

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