Books better than films.

Looking at all these 'whats your favourite xxxx type movie got me to thinking how I’ve been to the cinema having read the book and been less than enamoured with the result.

Joseph Hellers - Catch 22 I think the directors took on way too much. They never got to grips with the way the books convoluted timescale kept repeating the story from differant perspectives.

First Blood (Rambo) I don’t remember the author but the film was so differant to the book as to be seriously compromised, it all looked like Stallones ‘I’m not gonna get killed’ star arrogance to me.

Peter Pan .The Disney cartoon is ok for kids
but the book is made of far more substantial stuff.

Dune words cannot begin to describe this load of old pony poo compared to the books.

I find as a general rule the books are better than the movies. Its just because with the books you can get into a characters head more so then the movies could ever convey.

Except for those cheesy monologue type things of their thoughts but I’ve never seen that in a movie… just in the spoofs of detective shows…

Even the books based on the movies (not the movies based on the books) I find are better. But then if the movie is the total pits then the book isn’t really goona be better either. (For the books based on the movies)

The Stand
Midnight Clear (they came close)
Kiss the Girls

Oh who am I kidding?

I’m a bibliophile and the book is ALWAYS better.

I guess I’m just more visual in my mind than what the screen can show. Frankly, give me a book any day!

Ditto here. Except I can think of one notable exception.

Forrest Gump. Wonderful movie. Book was execrable.

divemaster: Did you read the book before or after you saw the movie?

Having read the book first, I went into the movie with completely different expectations. The book was raucous and raw, the movie was feel-good treacle. And killing off Jenny and Forrest’s mother was unforgiveable.

Me, too.
The book is definately ALWAYS better.

Byzantine, were you saying “The Stand” movie was as good as or better than the book? I wasn’t clear on that.
I thought the movie was excellent, compared to the movie versions of some of SK’s books. “The Stand” is one of my favorite books, and I was more than happy with the movie, but of course, it wasn’t compressed into 90 minutes, like most movies.

I think most books-into-movies would be better as mini-series, since you really can’t tell the story in an hour and a half or two hours.

One example where I thought the movie was better than the book, “Jaws.” The book included all kinds of soap opera stuff that wasn’t necessary. The movie focused on the drama between the people and the monster.

Cujo The book was much better. King went inside the dog’s head and explored Cujo’s POV. Especially his relationship with the boy.
Jaws I agree, the movie is a classic. I loved the “Beer can crushing” scene.
Misery Both the book and the movie were good. The movie was, in fact, excellent. Thanks in large part to Kathy Bates.
Up in Smoke What can I say? Was there a book? :slight_smile:
The Godfather Even the sequels were ok. All based on one book.

I’d say it’s a toss-up. With a movie, it all depends on the director and the producers. A book depends on the author and, to a lesser extent, on the editors.

books are better than the movies because my imagination is not as limited by budget, physics and directors’ ability to tell a story within 120 minutes. Then, again, there are computer graphics…

There are exceptions to that rule. I submit:

Zorba the Greek and Last Temptation of Christ: both books and movies were fantastic… interesting that both were authored by Kazanzakis, hhhuummmm.

Better movie than a book: Clockers by Spike Lee with that wonderful, makes-one-go-mmmmm man Delroy Lindo.

Gr8Kat asks:

I saw the movie first. While I admit this could influence expectations, I thought the book stank in and of itself, not just in comparison to the movie.

I’ve read lots of books after having seen the movie, and I can’t think offhand of another case where I didn’t appreciate the book more.

But I admit, I enjoyed the movie so much, it might have been harder than usual for me to disassociate the two.

I have never seen a movie that’s better than the book, except maybe Jaws. And that’s a close one.
There are some movies that are AS good. I think Gone With the Wind and The Stand and Shawshank Redeption falls under those categories

“Hollywood Confidential”…while the film was fine on its’ own merits, it didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the complexity of James Ellroy’s novel. I counted at least a couple of sub-plots that weren’t even broached in the movie.

EEERGHHH!!!..I meant “L.A. Confidential” of course…

Lost World. The movie strayed from the story too much. I really wanted to see that chameleonistic ability that, IIRC, a stegosaurus had.

Movies that I liked better than the books:

Anatomy of a Murder with Jimmy Stewart/George C Scott
Andromeda Strain with Arthur Hill

World According to Garp (movie) was decent, better than I thought it would be, but the book was a lot better.

Part of the reason that the book is usually better is that a movie doesn’t really correspond to a book in length. Usually it’s closer to a short story.

Another problem is that the most downbeat parts of the book are often left out. That was the problem with L.A. Confidential, for instance. It’s also the problem, I think, with Shaft. I think the book is better than the 1971 movie which is in turn better than the new movie.

I always thought that sphere was much better as a book. As was A Clockwork Orange ~ a wonderful book.

Well, just to throw in a little bit here, there is one book I read that I thought turned out into a pretty good movie. The book was Cabal by Clive Barker and the movie was Nightbreed, which had David Cronenberg in it. They were both quite good, and what one didn’t quite have, the other made up for it. BTW, I’d be very surprised if anyone has even ever heard of this movie, because it was mainly a Canadian film. Anyway, bye for now!


While books are always better than the films that they spawn, two efforts spring to mind that came damn close to proving themselves equal: The film adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird and recently, Fight Club. Both stayed true to the source material and benefitted from an excellent adapted screenplay, as well as superb acting and directing. 2001: A Space Odessey could kinda be included on the list, except the book and movie were produced simultaneously so it really doesn’t count.