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.

Are we thinking of the same story? Rabbits looking for a new home?

The Godfather. The book is a potboiler. The movie is a masterpiece.

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.

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.

Forrest Gump.


Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World - better than Patrick O’Brian’s novels.

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.

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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Spoilers, right?

Goldfinger, as a book, famously has a flaw in the planned heist — 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 isn’t actually a heist.

But leaving that aside, it’s 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 Connery’s reactions to stuff in general, and to a self-assured woman who brassily informs him that she’s Pussy Galore in particular — 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 Bond’s groin instead of a frickin’ laser beam? C’mon, that’s just crazy talk.

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.

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…:confused::confused:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I think the film versions of both Treasure of the Sierra Madre and To Have And Have Not outdid the novels.

Starship Troopers.