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  #1  
Old 01-12-2018, 11:36 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Movies that were BETTER than the book they were based on

The best example of this, IMHO, was "Julie and Julia". I thought the book was meh, and I really enjoyed the movie, mainly because Julie's personality in the movie was NOTHING like the way Julie portrayed herself in the book.

Another one that comes to mind is "Watership Down". I gave up on the book a few dozen pages in because it was gibberish to me, but I liked the movie even though it was obviously an allegory of the Soviet takeover of East Germany.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 01-12-2018 at 11:36 PM.
  #2  
Old 01-12-2018, 11:50 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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...even though it was obviously an allegory of the Soviet takeover of East Germany.
Are we thinking of the same story? Rabbits looking for a new home?
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:54 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is offline
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The Godfather. The book is a potboiler. The movie is a masterpiece.
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  #4  
Old 01-13-2018, 01:05 AM
Lamoral Lamoral is offline
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American Psycho, the novel, is interesting and employs a number of clever narrative devices, but it's exceptionally repetitive, and the stream-of-consciousness homicidal rants and endless recitation of every single item of clothing and furniture can get in the way of the plot sometimes. It's still a unique book and worth reading, but it's not as good of a book as the movie is as a movie. The movie is a brilliantly directed and acted piece of filmmaking, an extremely dark comedy of manners.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:03 AM
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Airport (1970) and Hotel (1967), both based on books by Arthur Hailey.

Hailey could tell a gripping story, but gosh, it took him a long while to get there. I particularly recall three pages of backstory about the airport insurance salesperson in the book Airport, which added little to the story. In the movie, it was taken care of quickly and easily (there was a company sales incentive happening, which resulted in Guerrero buying a more expensive insurance policy with pocket change), but in the book, we follow the salesperson's life, from childhood to her job selling flight insurance. Totally unnecessary backstory, IMHO.

Same thing in Hotel, the book. Three pages on the backstory of the guy who sifts through the hotel's trash, looking for silverware. All we need to know is that he finds the note from the Duke of Croyden, and we get that in the movie.

Hailey was incredibly detailed in his books, but the producers, directors, and screenwriters of the films wisely decided to get rid of Hailey's details, and instead, put out entertaining films that moved along at a pace that audiences could follow without falling asleep.
  #6  
Old 01-13-2018, 02:25 AM
simple homer simple homer is online now
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Forrest Gump.
  #7  
Old 01-13-2018, 02:35 AM
nelliebly nelliebly is offline
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M*A*S*H
  #8  
Old 01-13-2018, 02:43 AM
GreenWyvern GreenWyvern is offline
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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World - better than Patrick O'Brian's novels.
  #9  
Old 01-13-2018, 03:41 AM
erysichthon erysichthon is offline
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Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho is better than Robert Bloch's novel.

The novel isn't bad. It's fairly short and contains pages and pages of Norman's interior monologue, starting from the very first paragraph. In the film, Norman doesn't appear until Marion meets him, which fools the audience into thinking that the movie is Marion's story.

The film also includes some nice touches that aren't in the novel, such as the tense scene at the used car lot. Bloch simply mentions in passing that she stopped and traded her car for another one.
  #10  
Old 01-13-2018, 03:46 AM
Biffster Biffster is offline
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was a good novel but a great movie. The movie handled the narrator problem expertly.


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  #11  
Old 01-13-2018, 05:13 AM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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Spoilers, right?

Goldfinger, as a book, famously has a flaw in the planned heist ó a flaw which, in the film, is pointed out by a gloating James Bond. Who is then counter-gloated at by a guy who understands why you think that, but, ah, this isnít actually a heist.

But leaving that aside, itís a Bond movie: we wanna see a gunmetal-grey Aston Martin firing off its ejector seat; we wanna hear Shirley Bassey really belt out the lyrics; we want Sean Conneryís reactions to stuff in general, and to a self-assured woman who brassily informs him that sheís Pussy Galore in particular ó and, at that, we want a succession of blondes in swimsuits, just like we want memorable fight scenes built around the soon-to-be-improvised weapons clearly visible in the background.

And, what: you want a saw coming at Bondís groin instead of a frickiní laser beam? Címon, thatís just crazy talk.
  #12  
Old 01-13-2018, 06:37 AM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
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I agree with The Godfather suggested above. The book isn't bad, but the first two movies are better.

I found the Hunger Games books hard to read despite the interesting story. The writing style is atrocious and the plot holes more obvious. The movies aren't masterpieces, but they're at least a lot of fun to watch.
  #13  
Old 01-13-2018, 06:55 AM
Grumbacher Red Grumbacher Red is offline
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Originally Posted by simple homer View Post
Forrest Gump.
Came in here to say this one. I saw the movie first, so thought the book would be at least equally as charming.

Not even close. Forrest is just some big dumb lummox with none of the pop culture references who gets himself involved in "rasslin'" as The Watermelon or something like that, whose opponent is a guy called The Turd. He gets somehow involved in the space program and after getting shot up into the stratosphere with a monkey and some chick they all crash land in Africa and wander around there for awhile...

And you don't even like Jenny because all of her backstory is missing, so she is just some mean careless slut who uses Forrest every now and then and disappears, but you don't even care.

What a terrible collection of words that "book" was. I threw it in the trash.
  #14  
Old 01-13-2018, 08:57 AM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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American Psycho, the novel, is interesting and employs a number of clever narrative devices, but it's exceptionally repetitive, and the stream-of-consciousness homicidal rants and endless recitation of every single item of clothing and furniture can get in the way of the plot sometimes. It's still a unique book and worth reading, but it's not as good of a book as the movie is as a movie. The movie is a brilliantly directed and acted piece of filmmaking, an extremely dark comedy of manners.
I agree, Ellis goes overboard with the descriptions sometimes.

I tend to think the movie for 1408 is vastly superior to the book. In the book the character barely sets foot in the hotel room, in the movie he has a wide range of things happen to him in the room.
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  #15  
Old 01-13-2018, 09:05 AM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
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The book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Phillip K. Dick, is excellent. I started reading it at the kitchen table during lunch and didn't budge for hours because I was that engrossed. It was bizarre, thought-provoking, and kinda emotional.

The movie based loosely on that book, Bladerunner, is a masterpiece.

It's one thing for a film to surpass a shitty book, but when the film surpasses an excellent book, that's really something.
  #16  
Old 01-13-2018, 09:15 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Both The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me were much better than the Stephen King novella's they were based on. The stories are both in the book Different Seasons and are both good, but the movies are excellent.
  #17  
Old 01-13-2018, 09:22 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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The movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is a lot better than the book Who Censored Roger Rabbit?. So much so that Wolf wrote a sequel, Who P-P-P-Plugged Roger Rabbit? which was more like the movie and which dismissed the first book as a dream.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 01-13-2018 at 09:23 AM.
  #18  
Old 01-13-2018, 09:31 AM
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I thought the BBC miniseries of "Doctor Thorne" was an improvement on the book by Trollope. They hit all of the highlights of the story without dragging it out without several hundred pages of "will they, won't they" pseudo-suspense.
  #19  
Old 01-13-2018, 09:33 AM
jaycat jaycat is offline
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I think the film versions of both Treasure of the Sierra Madre and To Have And Have Not outdid the novels.
  #20  
Old 01-13-2018, 10:09 AM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is online now
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Starship Troopers.
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  #21  
Old 01-13-2018, 10:16 AM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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Fried Green Tomatoes. The book was quite good, don't get me wrong, but the movie preserves everything good about it and lets me watch Mary-Louise Parker at her prime.
  #22  
Old 01-13-2018, 10:20 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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I haven't decided for sure, but I think I like the movie better than the book John Dies at the End. The movie is tighter and more coherent, while keeping plenty of the weirdness and sense of menace.
  #23  
Old 01-13-2018, 10:24 AM
DigitalC DigitalC is offline
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Lord of the rings. Come at me.
  #24  
Old 01-13-2018, 11:02 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Lord of the rings. Come at me.
Torture this guy in the Pits of Mordor for an eternity!
  #25  
Old 01-13-2018, 11:08 AM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Does 2001: A Space Odyssey count? It was from a short story.
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  #26  
Old 01-13-2018, 11:12 AM
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Bullitt was far better than Mute Witness.
  #27  
Old 01-13-2018, 11:58 AM
Grumbacher Red Grumbacher Red is offline
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Fried Green Tomatoes. The book was quite good, don't get me wrong, but the movie preserves everything good about it and lets me watch Mary-Louise Parker at her prime.
Yeah, but they totally puss-ed out on the lesbian angle!

In the book it is clear that Ruth and Idgie are lovers. In the movie it is hinted at with the lightest of touches.

I didn't think at that in 1991 homosexual angles in written works still needed the Tennessee Williams treatment when translated to film.
  #28  
Old 01-13-2018, 12:00 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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M*A*S*H
Definitely. Hooker benefited from Robert Altman ditching much of the books style and making his own movie. Hooker was able to make a bunch of sequels later.
  #29  
Old 01-13-2018, 12:20 PM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is online now
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The Poseidon Adventure.
  #30  
Old 01-13-2018, 12:31 PM
robardin robardin is offline
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Lord of the rings. Come at me.
You do not deserve a frontal rush. You may not even be killed. You will simply be disappeared in your sleep!
  #31  
Old 01-13-2018, 12:33 PM
CelticKnot CelticKnot is offline
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Moby-Dick. I can't even name one particular version, but the movies weed out the large chunk of the novel that is really a treatise on whaling. I'm a very high-level reader, but I have little patience for classics that use many pages not moving the plot forward.

I don't think I can say the Harry Potter movies were better than the books, but once I saw the first movie, it was much easier for me to visualize the settings in the books.
  #32  
Old 01-13-2018, 01:11 PM
j666 j666 is offline
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Yeah, but they totally puss-ed out on the lesbian angle!

In the book it is clear that Ruth and Idgie are lovers. In the movie it is hinted at with the lightest of touches.

I didn't think at that in 1991 homosexual angles in written works still needed the Tennessee Williams treatment when translated to film.
I think it's perfectly clear in the film. What other possible interpretation of the bee scene is there? I think the film captures the manners of the time - why would one ever discuss, or even speculate on, the sex life of others?


Oh, and Horatio Hornblower series with Ioan Gruffudd was much better than the books.

Last edited by j666; 01-13-2018 at 01:13 PM.
  #33  
Old 01-13-2018, 01:14 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

Runs like a Swiss watch. On crack.

Last edited by burpo the wonder mutt; 01-13-2018 at 01:15 PM.
  #34  
Old 01-13-2018, 02:17 PM
mbh mbh is offline
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Jaws. The movie dropped the stupid sub-plot about Hooper having an affair with Brody's wife.
  #35  
Old 01-13-2018, 02:18 PM
ivylass ivylass is offline
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I tried reading The Princess Bride. I couldn't even get through the first chapter.
  #36  
Old 01-13-2018, 02:19 PM
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I totally agree about Jaws and add The Devil Wears Prada.
  #37  
Old 01-13-2018, 02:19 PM
mbh mbh is offline
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The Spy Who Loved Me. Ian Fleming himself described the book as "a failed experiment", and when he sold the movie rights, he told them to just use the title and ditch everything else.
  #38  
Old 01-13-2018, 03:02 PM
Penfeather Penfeather is offline
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Ted Hughes' The Iron Man is a galumphingly clumsy and dull piece of hamfisted 60s whimsy and bong-addled parable about - something. The Iron Giant, on the other hand, is a wonderfully adept and touching movie.
  #39  
Old 01-13-2018, 03:05 PM
Biffster Biffster is offline
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Lord of the rings. Come at me.


Man, the movies were overly long and self-indulgent, but at least there was action. I can't imagine how tedious the books must have been.
  #40  
Old 01-13-2018, 03:08 PM
TreacherousCretin TreacherousCretin is offline
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The Godfather. The book is a potboiler. The movie is a masterpiece.
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Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
M*A*S*H
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spice Weasel View Post
The book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Phillip K. Dick, is excellent. I started reading it at the kitchen table during lunch and didn't budge for hours because I was that engrossed. It was bizarre, thought-provoking, and kinda emotional. The movie based loosely on that book, Bladerunner, is a masterpiece. It's one thing for a film to surpass a shitty book, but when the film surpasses an excellent book, that's really something.
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Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
Bullitt was far better than Mute Witness.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was a good novel but a great movie.
I humbly nitpick this one. I think the novel is a masterpiece, one of my two or three favorite books. I've read it many times. The movie is no less a masterpiece, and I can't imagine a better adaptation of the book to screen. I think it's a rare case of the original novel and the film adaptation being equally great, for their similarities as well as their differences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
The movie handled the narrator problem expertly.
Yes! Bromden as psychotic narrator, one of the novel's strongest aspects, couldn't possibly have made the transition to film.

Last edited by TreacherousCretin; 01-13-2018 at 03:08 PM.
  #41  
Old 01-13-2018, 03:11 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Most of the Harry Potter movies. I saw the first two or three before reading the books and was very disappointed with the books when I got around to reading them. I might not have been the target audience for the books, but I was definitely in the audience for the movies. I read the next book or two before seeing the movies and they fell pretty flat for me, and spoiled several important moments in the movies, so I stopped reading the books and just watched the last few movies.
  #42  
Old 01-13-2018, 03:51 PM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is offline
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The World According to Garp.

The movie only hints at the novels Garp writes. You see the 1 minute visualization of Magic Gloves and you fill in your own book. You get the point, the sadness, the beauty of it without having to read it. (If that's what it was about, I like it. -Jenny) In the novel, not only do you get (have?) to read The Pension Griillparzer, which not only not as good as Magic Gloves could be, it sucked. It was boring and tiresome.

After Garp dies, the novel tells the fates of all the main and secondary players. While somewhat interesting, it makes the novel not end. It just sort of trails off. The movie rightly ends as Garp dies.

One thing I really liked that was added to the movie was the echos of minor points throughout the movie. I could see some arguing it's trite (probably Irving )I liked it. It unified the movie, made it more than the collection of vignettes the novel is.

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 01-13-2018 at 03:52 PM.
  #43  
Old 01-13-2018, 04:25 PM
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Dan Brown can't write. Fortunately for Dan, Tom Hanks can act.
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  #44  
Old 01-13-2018, 04:42 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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The ending of the movie The African Queen was better and more satisfying that the book.

I liked the book Presumed Innocent, but I found the movie riveting.

And I echo what was said about The Godfather movie, which was great, while the book was good.

Regards,
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  #45  
Old 01-13-2018, 04:43 PM
NDP NDP is offline
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Jaws. The movie dropped the stupid sub-plot about Hooper having an affair with Brody's wife.
I have not read the book but
SPOILER:
doesn't it end with the shark just swimming away out to sea rather than getting blown up by Brody? I can see why ending the book with a massive anti-climax might work on a literary level but
if the movie had ended like that, the audience would've burned down the theater.
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  #46  
Old 01-13-2018, 06:10 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is offline
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I have not read the book but
SPOILER:
doesn't it end with the shark just swimming away out to sea rather than getting blown up by Brody? I can see why ending the book with a massive anti-climax might work on a literary level but
if the movie had ended like that, the audience would've burned down the theater.
As I remember,
SPOILER:
the shark just died at the end, without Brody doing anything. I think it was supposed to have died from an accumulation of injuries. Also, Hooper (the oceanographer) didn't survive in the book.
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  #47  
Old 01-13-2018, 06:22 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Does 2001: A Space Odyssey count? It was from a short story.
"Babette's Feast" (late 1980s Foreign Language Oscar winner) was too.
  #48  
Old 01-13-2018, 08:02 PM
Defensive Indifference Defensive Indifference is offline
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Lord of the rings. Come at me.
I stand shoulder to shoulder with you, DigitalC!

As a teen, I was a role-playing, fantasy-reading, socially-outcast dork. And I couldn't get through a single Tolkein novel. I tried again when I was older, and I still couldn't. And this was a time when I read Faulkner for fun! I'm sorry. I know Tolkein is held in high regard here, and lots of people love his work, and that's wonderful. I just couldn't get into the books at all.

I found the movies to be very compelling and moving.
  #49  
Old 01-13-2018, 08:41 PM
Jane Elliot Jane Elliot is offline
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The Scarlet Pimpernel. The book was terrible and I couldn't finish it. So much of the action takes place off the page that I just gave up on it.
  #50  
Old 01-13-2018, 09:11 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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By all accounts Tristram Shandy, but I've not read the book.
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