Totally Different Character In Book Versus Movie/TV

OK, I just finished reading the book Belvedere. As a young adult I loved the TV show.

I have to say the character Mr Belvedere in the book is a TOTAL JERK. And that is being WAY nice. Of course on the TV show his is nice and kind and wise.

I understand they have made Mr Belvedere movies where he’s nicer too.

After reading the book, I was like, “They changed the character nearly 180º from the original.”

So my question to you all, what other movies or TV shows, did they change the character substantially.

I don’t mean minor changes, I understand when they have to do that to for practical reasons. Like maybe the actor they want is English so they have to change the background a bit to explain the accent, or something like that.

In other words changing a Mr Nice to Mr Mean or vice versa

In Stephen King’s book “The Stand” Harold is a fat, pimply kid. In the movie he’s a skinny, babyfaced Corin Nemic.

I haven’t read the book, but I’m told that Mary Poppins was not nearly so goody-goody in it as she was in the movie.

Whole threads have been devoted to the differences between the books and movies in the characters of The Lord of the Rings.

I used to love the Alistair MacLean thrillers. In the books, his sidekick characters were usually flippant and lovable, but turned into grim, humorless, steely-eyed killers in the movies. I’m thinking primarily of Schaffer in “Where Eagles Dare”. In the book, a source of much needed comic relief. In the movie, nope, not so much.

The same was true for Ice Station Zebra – the book had some funny lines (including a somewhat amusing twist at the end), while the movie was utterly, completely humorless.

I came in to mention Mary Poppins (although I haven’t read the books, myself).

I agree with the Alistair MacLean characters – although they changed the plots so much (especially Ice Station Zebra, which is totally different from the book) that it isn’t right to single out the haracters.

Icould say the same about the perennially mentioned bad SF adaptations Starship Troopers and I, Robot. The characters are completely different (most notably white-bread anglo Johnny Rico subbing for the Filipino character – who didn’t live in Buenos Aires, by the way. But since everything else is changed out of recognition, why bring that up?

Wizard of Oz.
In the book(s), Dorothy is pretty dang stupid, and the Wizard is pretty evil.
In the movie, Dorothy is relatively intelligent and the Wizard is ‘just a humbug’.

Frankenstein’s creature is intelligent and somewhat cultivated and well spoken in Mary Shelley’s novel.

This is the first thing I thought of. I haven’t read the P. L. Travers books since childhood, but I remember Mary having a lot more of an edge in them as compared to the movie.

You could say Nigel Bruce’s Dr Watson in the Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes movies was different than what Doyle portrayed him. Although most movie adaptions are more faithful to a a reasonably competent Watson as Doyle described him.

Chevy Chase as Fletch. The books have a hard-boiled sardonic newspaper reporter; the movies have Fletch as a clown.

Joe Leland in Nothing Lasts Forever bears very little resemblance to John McClane in Die Hard.

Perfect example - I don’t know why they even bothered to call it Fletch. The sad part is, had they been true to the books, they would have had *much *better movies.

Pretty much every character in MASH* got transformed during the TV show. The movie played it closer to the novel. Radar was much more adult and savvy in the book. Hawkeye and Trapper were cut-ups, but hardly liberals, and Duke was done away with completely.

Faramir of Peter Jackson’s Two Towers is very different from Tolkien’s original. Oddly, the Faramir of PJ’s Return of the King is pretty much the same as Tolkien envisioned.

Um…which movie are you talking about? Judy Garland’s Dorothy is a flipping idiot. The first time my favorite niece watched the movie (at least with me), she mocked her resoundly for the whole pigsty scene, and she (my niece) couldn’t have been more than 6.

Constantine, clever and witty blonde wizard of sorts deeply entrenched in the UK.

Retooled as an American played by Keanu Reeves.

Simon Templar, The Saint. In the original books he’s a criminal who uses highly illegal methods against the bad guys. He is quite likely to murder them, but only after he has stolen their ill-gotten gains and added it to his own bank balance. That Roger Moore tv show totally missed the whole point of the character, making him a wishy-washy detective. Even the awful Val Kilmer movie was closer, and that’s saying something.

“Lovejoy” (no first name given) the antiques dealer. I enjoyed the BBC TV version, then read the books. Yikes! Wotta a roight b@sturd! “The lechery and violence in the novels was toned down for television, and a great deal of antique lore, but not all, also reduced.” Excerpted from: Lovejoy - Wikipedia

“Charlie Chan”. In the books, he was more respected and spoke English well. Was made a bit buffoonish at times in the movies starring Peter Lorre.


Peter Lorre did not play Charlie Chan. The very first Chan movies, silent I think, had Asian actors. Then Western actors played him, first Warner Oland, then Sidney Toler, then Roland Winters.

I think Lorre played Mr. Moto.

Lorre also played Mr. Moto as a serious detective.

:smack:D’oh! I meant Warner Oland et al. Not sure why I was thinking of Lorre…:confused: