The Godfather IV thread got me thinking about this.
Usually, it seems like a film – even a good film – based on a preexisting work of fiction is inferior to the work upon which it is based. For example, the Harry Potter films – I liked the second film quite a bit, but it nonetheless doesn’t have the same spark as the book.
The big exception to this, at least for me, is The Godfather: Puzo’s novel is quintessential beach-reading crap. But the films (I and II) are arguably among the best ever made.
What other films fit into this category? Obviously, post-release novelizations don’t count – the film must be based on a preexisting literary work. That’s the only rule. What do you think, Dopers?