Which movies got it wrong the most

In your opinion which movies pissed on their source material the most? Not necessarily diverged in plot but screwed up the theme or just missed the entire point.

My two off the top of my head. I Am Legend (Will Smith version). It’s right there in the title. They just tossed it away but for some reason kept the title. Next Starship Troopers I won’t get into the usual Doper debate about this movie. I will admit that I am prejudiced against the movie because it is 180 degrees off from the point of the book.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex*
*But Were Afraid to Ask

Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask). Not a single piece of accurate data (not that the book had any accurate data in it, either).

I, Robot – tacked the title onto a screenplay that had nothing to do with the book.

The Lawnmower Man got it so bad that writer Stephen King insisted his name be taken off of it.

Mempors of an Invisible Man. Oh to film the book that H P Saint actually wrote.

I, Robot and The Lawnmower Man +1

The Mists of Avalon made for TV piece of shite. I couldn’t even finish it, they were butchering it (plot, themes, characters, all of it!) so badly.

I’m not sure “missed the point” applies to either of these movies.

Paul Verhoven wanted to make Starship Troopers a satire of old WWII movies and Nazi propaganda films with a sci-fi bent. Starship Troopers provided a good backdrop. Yes, it pissed off people who enjoyed the book (I never read the book). But Starship Troopers released under any other title would probably be heralded as some cult masterpiece today. Because it is truly awesome.

I Am Legend on the other hand, takes a different tack. It’s just as much a remake of all of the previous film versions as it is an adaptation of the book. And on that level, it works, because it’s a great movie. While it might fail as an adaptation of the book, I wouldn’t call that a failing of the movie as the book, in my opinion, seems rather unfilmable as a faithful adaptation.

The TV movie Scarlett managed to be worse than the book, a feat that put me in awe. I didn’t think that could be humanly possible.

Sorry, I’m convinced Verhoven missed the point of the book. Or never read it.

The Vincent Price version of *I Am Legend *is a very faithful adaptation. Of course it suffered from a very small budget. But it proved that the book as written is not unfilmable. I enjoyed the Will Smith movie up to the end. But I wouldn’t call it a great movie.

But this isn’t about if a movie was great or not but if it pissed on the source material. For the purposes of this thread the movie may even be better than the book or other source material. I’m looking for what you think is the biggest gap between source and movie. But I’m not going to be a thread Nazi, if this thread diverges from its source material so be it.

Starship Troopers is far and away my least favorite Heinlein book. I wish people would just accept the movie for the fun ride it is. Maybe he should’ve called it Boobsaliensmachineguns. It would probably still be in theatres.

Make that +2. The Lawnmower Man had no connection with the story but the title, and I, Robot inverted a major theme of his robot stories, the inviolability of the Three Laws. Rather like writing a biography of George Washington that focuses on his suppression of rebellion against the Crown.

I disagree. I think he read it. I think he got the point. And I think he deliberately decided to piss on it.

I wish people who like the movie despite its flaws would realise that some people don’t think it was a “fun ride”. Giving the Earth military some semblance of competence would have made it more fun, not less. It’s a sci-fi movie, is it really too much to ask for something cooler than guys in flak armour with assault rifles?

Just to avoid having this discussion go over predictable and oft-trod ground, how about we stick to divergence between film and book… and ignore the question of the quality of either?

I thus submit an oldie: TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT - the movie with Bogart and Bacall has nothing, but nothing, to do with the Hemingway story.

No, you’re wrong. There’s never been an adaptation. Certainly not one that my SILs and I made two nights over, sipping wine and nibbling caviar on crackers, while I taped it. Then, when it ended, I said, “Well shit” and rewound the tape.

There are rumors, but I categorically deny it ever existed. And you will never prove it to me otherwise, no matter what imdb may claim.

You officially may not complain the next time I write this about that imaginary Peter Jackson trilogy from the beginning of the decade.

The Lords of Discipline and Bonfire of the Vanities

For me, A Beautiful Mind. The whole spy subtext was bogus, but the critical emotional thing they left out was that Alicia divorced him, but then let Nash live with her in Princeton Junction for years, supporting him before he recovered. Though she was having an affair with John Moore at the time, I think her commitment to Nash was greater than just still being married. I think they simplified the story so much as to miss the true emotional meaning.

So I take it you don’t like Star Wars, either?

Edit: To relate this to the topic: If someone doesn’t like it because they don’t like that kind of movie, fine. If someone doesn’t like it because they don’t think it fits the book well enough, I think they should get over it.

Count of Monte Cristo got a lot of stuff right, but just couldn’t resist a Hollywood happy ending there at the last moment.

Add one for I Am Legend as they not only destroy the interesting part of the story and the reason for the title, the revision doesn’t even work. He’s a legend for… what? Finding a cure for a disease to which the survivors are immune?

Well, I think Starship Troopers has got eberything else beat, in that it not only ignores alnost completely the plot of the book, but it gets the tone completely wrong, turns hard-science SF (with some necessary imaginary science) into scientific illiteracy, and completely inverts the book’s philosophy, It’s rare that you find everything so completely turned on its head. Good effects, though.

Besides those already mentioned, let me mention that, besides science fiction, spy films are the least like their nominal source material. For some reason, they figure they can scrwe with those as much as sf/fantasy with wild abandom. Examples:
The Spy Who Loved Me – most James Bond movies by this point had little or nothing to do with the books, but in this case they had an excuse – F;leming expressly forbid them using the orignal story. About the only things in common are that there was a character named James Bond, there was a woman who was intimate with him, and a villain had steel teeth (low-cost Eastern Bloc dental work, though, not the stylized lethal choppers that Jaws ported.) Moonraker, which followed this, had precious little to do with the book, either, but that wasn’t Fleming’s doing. They just wanted to cash in on the success of “Star Wars”.

The Osterman Weekend – Robert Ludlum gets the same treatment. It was the warmup for all the Bourne movies, in that regard.

Ice Station Zebra – well, it’s got a submarine, and the North Pole, but Alister MacLean got screwed out of his story in this example. They can’t all be “The Guns of Navarone”