South of Normal (andthenbuyfood) wrote in bookstomovies,
South of Normal

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Films over books?

jenny_rambles brought up a good point: Can anyone think of a movie that's better than the book it was based on? The answer I've heard most (and a topic I can't speak to, not having read the book) is that "Fight Club" the movie was more engrossing than the book by Chuck Palahniuk. I can't seem to think of any other examples off the top of my head, while I can think of tons of books that were better than their movie counterparts.
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Ooooo! I know one! Mrs. Doubtfire. Although I read the book a loooong time ago, I remember how much it sucked! I don't know how they got such a great movie out of such a bad book. Must have been Robin Williams. ^_^
Oh, it's gotta be Robin Williams. He can do ANYTHING with a movie and it can be good, with the exception of "Death to Smoochy".
See, I kind of liked "Death to Smoochy." I t was so bad it was good, perhaps.
I will have to agree with you. I have read most of Paluchuks (sp?) writing and while the book was good, the movie playing in my mind helped a lot. Though I like the ending in the book better.
Ok, you're all going to think this is sacrilege, but I love the LOTR movies, but I absolutely HATE the book. Wading through Tolkien gives me a headache - his writing style leaves a lot to be desired. Also it is easier to remember all the characters when you're watching the movie.
Hee! Well, while I wouldn't say the movies were *better* than the books, I will say this about them: I thought the movies were better edited than the books. I found Fellowship of the Ring nearly impossible to read through until after I'd seen the movie. I think that in later years, even Tolkein admitted that it did get a bit wordy in parts. That's been sort of the beauty of the films, I think: the story has been pared down to most of the essential parts from the books.

Conversely, my complaint is that the movies do lose a little of the mystical feel that the books had because they can't tell the stories as well (such as the story behind the shattered sword).
A bit wordy doesn't even begin to describe Tolkien. I swear to God, he must have been on some happy-colored pills whilst writing the whole Tom Bombadil thing. Though my brothers enjoyed that part of the book, I thought it was a huge plot-filler.

As for the background, I like how they worked the Arwen/Aragorn story in, because in the books it's just an endnote kinda thing.
I agree, Tom Bombadil seemed out of left field in the first book, and I did enjoy the emphasis on the Aragorn/Arwen romance.

Man, I sort of feel like re-reading these again now, because they are fun -- if a little wordy. Tolkien does an amazing job creating a world out of nothing.
I would nominate "A River Runs Through It". It's based on a novella that I think was not as good as the movie. In general, my experience is that shorter books, short stories or novellas turn into movies that are often as good or better than the written form. But I find that full length novels are almost always better than the movie version. I think this is just due to the amount that must be trimmed from a novel to make it into a movie.
Oh, I love A River Runs Through It on film but haven't ever read the novella.

I think this is just due to the amount that must be trimmed from a novel to make it into a movie.

I would wholly agree that this is true for almost every adaptation out there, though it does make for very interesting movies, sometimes. I'm always particularly curious when the novel's author becomes involved in writing the screenplay for the film, as the cuts they choose to make in their own work are often very telling about what they considered the strongest/most necessary points of the story.
Forrest Gump. I didn't read the book until after, but I always liked the film adaptation better.
fight club is the one movie where the movie comes close to the book in wonderfulness, but the book is still so much better! What about the whole means Tyler/Jack get the fat to make their soap? in the movie, the scene was somewhat funny, but in the book, the scene was incredibly funny! however, dont get me wrong, the movie is one of my top two favorite movies. :-D
The Shawshank Redemption was better in movie form than the original novella because we got so much more in the form of subplots and stuff, although I'm the first to admit that any adaptation of a Stephen King work suffers greatly when characterization gets lost in translation.
I might say 'Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas'. might.
Um..."Lord of the Flies" and "All Quiet on the Western Front".I hated both movies because the acting was horrible and the picture quality was sub-par. But then again, the books weren't a picnic either.

Other than that, "Pride and Prejudice". I had a terrible headache after reading it, and the movie made it better.
Legends of the Fall
The Wizard of Oz
Someone was just talking to me about the story Legends of the Fall was based on -- do you happen to remember the author?
jim harrison