Differences Between Book and Movie. Spoilers Ahoy!

I just finished reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I’ve loved the Hitchcock movie for years. I already knew that in the book, Maxim murdered Rebecca, instead of Rebecca tripping and bashing her head in like in the movie. (Yeah, really believeable. Thanks Hay Code.) What I did not know was that in the book Mrs. Danvers survives the fire at Manderley. And it’s not at all clear whether she set the house on fire or not, although she suspiciously clears out all her own things before the fire. Probably all of Rebecca’s things too, the looney old dyke.

I’ve also recently read True Grit. Not only does LaBeouf survive in the book, (Glen Campbell’s Texas Ranger character who dies in the movie) but Mattie Ross winds up losing her arm from the rattlesnake bite.

Of course, in Gone with the Wind, Scarlett has three children, not just Bonnie. And there is no movie Will Benteen, a pretty major book character, although he did show up in the TV movie version of the abominable sequel.
Also the book’s Ashley Wilkes has a mustache. That’s the hardest thing for me to visualize while reading the novel yet again.

What differences would you like to point out between book and movie?

In the Harry Potter movie Order of the Phoenix I never understood why they swapped the character who discovers the room-of-requirement. It seems like there were a number of small changes like that with the series but I can’t think of them at the moment.

One of my favourite books “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” was completely destroyed by the movie.

If you ever read “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn,” it’s clear to see it would be very difficult to make a good movie out of it. A TV miniseries yes, but the book covers so much ground over so long a time, with so many characters you can’t reduce it to 90 minutes or two hours.

So they took only a portion of the timeline, and combined the characters the result was a total mess.

I agree that while Rebecca was a decent movie, the book was so much better. Back then you couldn’t have a villian not go unpunished so both Mrs Danvers (one of the best literary villains of all time) had be punished. Also Rebecca’s husband couldn’t have killed her deliberately or he’d have to be punished too.

A lot of times movies have to combine characters for the sake of time. Like in the Wizard of Oz movie the good witches of the North and South are combined into one

Yeah, this happens in Gone with the Wind too. In the book, Ashley has two sisters, Honey and India. It’s actually better in the movie that he only has India, because Scarlett marries Charles Hamilton, who in the book was Honey’s beau, but in the movie, he was India’s. Later on, in the movie, it makes more of a reason for India to hate Scarlett the way she does.

A Clockwork Orange makes sense in the book.
The title Trainspotting makes sense and is referenced in the book.

The POV of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (the book) was The Chief, who is a “mute” Native American fella. In the movie, it was Jack Nicholson’s character who is an outspoken and crazy guy, on transfer from a prison.

I hear the end is better also, I really will read it someday.

I’ve not read the book. But in the movie when Renton goes cold turkey in his old childhood bedroom the wallpaper is of trains. Is this the same as the book?

Good Lord, there are tons of these. I’m not even going to approach the hot-button SF ones.

I love the nautical (and non-nautical) fiction of C.S. Forester, but the guy definitely had a pessimistic or possibly realistic streak. Things rarely went well for his heroes. I think it’s notable that most of his heroes die or come to bad ends. A notable exceptioin is his series on Horatio Hornblower (and I note that the Hornblower series is his biggest selling and most popular series. There’s a lesson there). So when they turn his novels into movies they generally change the ending. In the African Queen, for instance, the Queen doesn’t take down the Louisa, even in death. (And Charlie Allnut is a Cockney, not a Canadian).

Forester’s book The Gun is an episodic novel with most of the haracters getting severely injured or killed lugging the titular piece of ordnance all over Spain. They filmed it as a non-episodic movie under the title The Pride and the Passion, and they also reduced the body count.

Another film that changed an episodic book into a non-episodic film is Frederick Forsyth’s The Fourth Protocol, which merged several characters into one, played by Michael Caine.

Ronald Colman turned down the role of Maxim because he didn’t want the audience thinking he was a murderer, even though the script would exonerate him. (Just a few years later, he would win his only Oscar for playing a crazed killer in A Double Life.)

In Where the Heart Is (book), Lexie is an obese black woman. In the movie, she’s Ashley Judd. This has pissed me off for a long time. The audience must not be allowed to see an obese black woman!

Movies are not books, and books are not movies. They are different art forms, and shouldn’t be expected to be identical.

Yeah, but look at, say, Peter Jackson’s take on The Lord of the Rings. The absolute worst parts of those movies were the parts that weren’t in the books, and I’m hardly a LOTR purist. That whole bit in the middle of the second one where they misplaced Aragorn for a while, good lord I wish somebody had told me in advance so I could go to the bathroom then.

Well, I think making an obese black woman into Ashley Judd is one of those changes where it’s clear that the filmmakers have an agenda–that is, no one could possibly identify with a non conventionally attractive character. That’s fairly common–you know, Hollywood ugly. But annoying all the same at times.

The big “reveal” in LA Confidential the movie is established very near the beginning in the book. Thankfully I saw the movie first! :slight_smile:

The movie plot of Goldfinger actually improved somewhat on the book, in that it changed something utterly impractical to something somewhat plausible.

I have a similar problem with the movie Possession, in which British graduate student studying Victorian poetry named ROLAND is turned into Aaron Eckhart - who plays it as an American (I doubt he is a good enough actor to pull off British) just isn’t believable as a guy who has been deconstructing Tennyson in the basement of a library.

(Not helped in that it makes my top five books and I think anyone who casts Aaron Eckhart is automatically subject to a five yard penalty).

In the book The War of the Worlds, the Martians land in England.

In the radio play, they land in New Jersey.

In the movie, they land in Los Angeles.

The the remake, they’re back in New Jersey (I would have liked to see them continue their westward migration and attack Japan).

In the original comic books, Superman’s parents were Jonathan and Martha Kent. However, in the first movie with Kirk Allyn, they were Eban and Martha Kent. And in the first episode of The Adventures of Superman, they were Eban and Sarah Kent.

Ok, but is it too much to ask for an explanation of the title in the movie?

Oh, how about happy endings because apparently film audiences can’t take anything that’s not all smiles?

Like, the ending to the Witches based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name.

It’s a sort of bittersweet ending in the book. The main character is turned into a mouse and he stays that way. He and his grandmother figure a normal mouse lives about three years and that since he’s a magical mouse he’ll live maybe nine years, and that’s probably how long his cigar smoking grandma has left. So they’ll die roughly around the same time.

In the movie, the grand high witch’s long suffering secretary (also a witch) quits the lifestyle, goes good, and turns the boy back into a child. Who will now be orphaned a second time when his grandmother does kick the bucket.

It never bothered me as a child. Well, the ending didn’t. Several parts of the beginning and middle STILL haunt my dreams and make me freak out when I see a gloved woman.

Actually, the histories of the character names is not that clear-cut. They weren’t named at all in the first comic. Mary, not Martha, was mentioned in 1939. “Sarah and Eben” come from a 1942 Superman novel, “John and Mary” from a 1948 comic (the same year as Alyn’s serial), “Jonathan” in a 1949 comic, “Marthe/Martha” starting in 1950.