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Best/Favorite Film Adaptations of Novels

True Grit (2010)

by Anonymousreply 10310/06/2020

Silence of the Lambs

Jaws

The Godfather

by Anonymousreply 105/03/2020

Misery

by Anonymousreply 205/03/2020

A semi-controversial one:

Joe Wright's adaptation of ANNA KARENINA.

AK is my all-time favorite novel. I genuinely don't think it's adaptable. But Wright did something truly ballsy with it, and while it wasn't the same experience as reading the book, the net effect conjured a similar emotional effect (or at least it did for me) even as it sacrificed breadth and nuance. I admired the ambition and the gut punch of it all.

by Anonymousreply 305/03/2020

I agree with you R3

I thought No Country for Old Men was a pretty good adaptation

by Anonymousreply 405/03/2020

I think both the 1945 "Mildred Pierce" and Truffaut's "Shoot the Piano Player" are great adaptations that I liked more than the novels.

by Anonymousreply 505/03/2020

OP I thought the original John Wayne adaption of True Grit was excellent. If only Glen Campbell hadn't been cast as the Ranger...

by Anonymousreply 605/03/2020

The Godfather

by Anonymousreply 705/03/2020

Midnight Cowboy

by Anonymousreply 805/03/2020

I thought Jaws was good although it ignored the ending and the affair between the Brody's wife and the shark expert.

Midnight Cowboy captured the second half of the book but didn't really cover the first part.

I understand that a film can't contain everything that's in a book, but the 2010 True Grit and No Country for Old Men came as close as possible, even using dialogue straight from the book.

by Anonymousreply 905/03/2020

In addition to R1 choices I would add "In Cold Blood" .

by Anonymousreply 1005/03/2020

[quote] I thought Jaws was good although it ignored the ending and the affair between the Brody's wife and the shark expert.

I was denied my moment in the spotlight!

by Anonymousreply 1105/03/2020

Turtle Diary (1985) was quite different in tone from the Russell Hoban novel, but I loved them both.

by Anonymousreply 1205/03/2020

Michael Mann's adaptation of The Last of the Mohicans in 1992. He turned a boring novel into an exciting adventure and romance. He changed around character relationships and plots and added his own twist on the story. It was fantastic. Anyone who has ever read the novel will tell you this is a case of the movie being FAR better than the book.

by Anonymousreply 1305/03/2020

R9 As I recall, in the novel, Brody's wife and Hooper didn't actually have an affair; she just fantasized about sleeping with him.

by Anonymousreply 1405/03/2020

James Ivory made some wonderful adaptations, including A Room with a View, Maurice, Howards End, and The Remains of the Day.

by Anonymousreply 1505/03/2020

Double Indemnity

The Age of Innocence

Oliver Twist and Great Expectations (the David Lean versions)

Howards End (the Merchant/Ivory version)

The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks version)

by Anonymousreply 1605/03/2020

The House of Mirth

by Anonymousreply 1705/03/2020

Persuasion (with Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root)

The End of the Affair (Neil Jordan version)

The Hours

by Anonymousreply 1805/03/2020

They had a one night stand R14, which Hooper tried to cover up by saying he was with an island girl. Quint thought it was hysterical and gave him shit for it because everyone on the island knew the girl was a lesbian.

by Anonymousreply 1905/03/2020

Misery

Daisy Miller

by Anonymousreply 2005/03/2020

The Last Picture Show

by Anonymousreply 2105/03/2020

Rebecca

by Anonymousreply 2205/03/2020

Brideshead Revisited. Both versions were great.

by Anonymousreply 2305/03/2020

The Manchurian Candidate

by Anonymousreply 2405/03/2020

[quote]OP I thought the original John Wayne adaption of True Grit was excellent. If only Glen Campbell hadn't been cast as the Ranger...

I agree with you on the Glen Campbell casting. He was the weak link.

by Anonymousreply 2505/03/2020

Hated the novel, loved the movie:

The Bridges Of Madison County

by Anonymousreply 2605/03/2020

R16 Double Indemnity -- Wasn't the ending changed for the movie?

by Anonymousreply 2705/03/2020

Lonesome Dove -- the miniseries was faithful to McMurtry's novel and the casting was spot-on.

by Anonymousreply 2805/03/2020

The Innocents (1961) an adaptation of novella The Turn of the Screw

by Anonymousreply 2905/03/2020

R28 I watched that miniseries as a kid with my parents a bunch of times. I read the book about ten years ago and then watched the miniseries and saw how great the adaptation was.

by Anonymousreply 3005/06/2020

Little Women (2019)

by Anonymousreply 3105/06/2020

Rosemary's Baby - 1968

by Anonymousreply 3205/06/2020

[R27] Hollywood changed the endings of two James M. Cain novels, Double Indemnity and Mildred Pierce, for the better.

by Anonymousreply 3305/22/2020

Maurice

by Anonymousreply 3405/22/2020

The Grifters

by Anonymousreply 3505/22/2020

To Kill a Mockingbird. Casting was perfect.

In Cold Blood. Again, great casting.

by Anonymousreply 3605/22/2020

R27 I'm a big fan of James M. Cain. The endings of his novels would never translate to movies at the time...too depressing. I was just glad to see his stories translated to film regardless of the changes. He and Raymond Chandler wrote great characters.

by Anonymousreply 3705/22/2020

Some books need to be adapted as mini-series, not movies. Lonesome Dove, Roots. The Color Purple would have been better as a 4 or 5 episode mini rather than a movie.

by Anonymousreply 3805/22/2020

The Age of Innocence at least once a year. I think people decades from now will still be moved by it.

by Anonymousreply 3905/22/2020

The Grass Harp

by Anonymousreply 4005/22/2020

The two latest versions of Pride and Prejudice

Vanity Fair

Alice in Wonderland from the 90s not the Tim Burton one

Mrs Dalloway

by Anonymousreply 4105/22/2020

R38 "The Color Purple would have been better as a 4 or 5 episode mini rather than a movie."

I've mentioned this on these threads before. I think Oprah should reboot and produce the miniseries, and hire a female black director, (hopefully someone other than Ava duVarnay). I bet Spielberg would give her his blessing, even agree to executive produce.

by Anonymousreply 4205/22/2020

R42 Anybody than Ava duVarnay or Michael Bay thanks.

by Anonymousreply 4305/22/2020

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Haunting with Julie Harris (based on Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House)

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

by Anonymousreply 4405/23/2020

Deliverance

by Anonymousreply 4505/23/2020

The Hunt For Red October. The book was okay, but like all of Clancy’s stuff it veered into tedium, wallowing in descriptions of ships, planes, and equipment.

John McTiernan’s film, on the other hand, is well cast, tightly paced, perfectly edited, and just endlessly rewatchable.

by Anonymousreply 4605/23/2020

The Shining

by Anonymousreply 4705/23/2020

Mysterious Skin. An amazing book but I couldn't see how a decent film adaptation could be made. Greg Araki pulled it off. The book was very faithful and it was an amazing movie.

by Anonymousreply 4805/23/2020

Bump

by Anonymousreply 4905/24/2020

The Andromeda Strain

The Princess Bride

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Rainbird Pattern (Hitchcock changed the title to Family Plot)

The Abbess of Crewe (filmed as Nasty Habits)

Auntie Mame

Father's Arcane Daughter (filmed as Caroline?)

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

The Trouble With Angels

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Gene Wilder version)

by Anonymousreply 5005/24/2020

'The Last Picture Show,' an almost scene-for-scene adaptation.

by Anonymousreply 5105/24/2020

Carrie (1976)

by Anonymousreply 5205/24/2020

R52 Although the whole prom massacre and aftermath were very different in the book.

by Anonymousreply 5305/24/2020

American Psycho. They brought out the humor.

by Anonymousreply 5405/24/2020

Brokeback Mountain - read the book after movie and preferred the latter and what Lee did with what was essentially a short story

by Anonymousreply 5505/24/2020

The Moon and Sixpence

Ben-Hur (1959) - smart to eliminate the vamp

Lost Horizon (1937) - better than the book

Portrait of Jennie - atmospheric cinematography overcomes sappy book

The Time Machine (1960)

by Anonymousreply 5605/24/2020

Housekeeping. Actually, I loved the movie and attempted the novel but couldn’t get through it.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 5705/24/2020

Wow R57 Great choice!

by Anonymousreply 5805/24/2020

The Dead is the best print-to-film adaptation IMO.

The first Brideshead was right up there too.

by Anonymousreply 5905/26/2020

A River Runs Through It

Legends of the Fall

Death on the Nile

Quo Vadis (mainly because of Peter Ustinov)

Rebecca

by Anonymousreply 6005/26/2020

Crash (1996) & Frisk (1995)

It's funny both of them are unfilmable novels really. You simply could NOT make a faithful adaptation of Frisk in particular however the films did capture the essence of the books and that was the key to the success of the adaptations.

by Anonymousreply 6105/26/2020

Call me By Your Name Beautiful Boy Little Women

by Anonymousreply 6205/26/2020

I really liked Memoirs of a Geisha and The Girl with a Pearl Earring.

by Anonymousreply 6305/26/2020

"The Firm" was a much better movie than the book.

by Anonymousreply 6405/26/2020

The Long Goodbye with Elliot Gould.

By totally violating Chandler's novel, it actually caught Chandler's tone exactly.

by Anonymousreply 6510/04/2020

Oops--now I'm going to be called a Bump Bitch. I couldn't resist.

by Anonymousreply 6610/04/2020

I know it was trashed by the critics but I really love The Great Gatsby with Redford/Farrow/Dern/Waterson.

Another unpopular favorite is The Golden Compass. The movie isn’t perfect but Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig are fabulous and the girl who played Lyra is great,especially compared to the one currently playing her in the HBO series.

by Anonymousreply 6710/04/2020

The Uninvited with Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey.

by Anonymousreply 6810/04/2020

Wuthering Heights with Laurence Olivier & Merle Oberon

I might be in the minority on this one, but I liked the version of "Pride & Prejudice" with Kiera Knightly

by Anonymousreply 6910/04/2020

Psycho

by Anonymousreply 7010/04/2020

Diabolique 1955

Bleak House 2005 with Gillian Anderson

Life of Pi

by Anonymousreply 7110/04/2020

The Francis Ford Coppola version of Bram Stoker's Dracula is the most faithful adaptation of the book, and the most entertaining in my opinion ... in spite of the romantic element and time traveling backstory he added. (In the book Dracula is a fiend, not a lover.)

If you started a thread about worst adaptations, at the top of my list would be Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Kevin Spacey and John Cusack. They spent all that money to film on location in the actual Mercer-Williams house in Savannah ... but they spent not enough money on a decent script ... and the movie turned out to be a pile of shit. As I was reading the book, I kept thinking, "This would be a great miniseries on television."

by Anonymousreply 7210/04/2020

I would also like to add that I have never understood why people say that The Great Gatsby by FSF is "the great American novel," and why people try to make it into a movie. As a novel it's important literature, but not particularly entertaining. As a movie it hardly works, since there are no likeable or relatable characters.

by Anonymousreply 7310/04/2020

Fried Green Tomatoes.

by Anonymousreply 7410/04/2020

The Francis Ford Coppola version of Bram Stoker's Dracula is the most faithful adaptation of the book

Totally agreed, though the movie was ruined by the horrible acting of Winona & Keanu; Anthony Hopkins is brilliantly campy as Van Helsing

by Anonymousreply 7510/04/2020

Another vote for Brideshead Revisted , the 1981 tv series. Very faithful to the novel with the dialogue direct from the text. While reading the book I channel the voices of Nicholas Grace as Anthony Blanche and Sir John Gielgud as Edward Ryder. Gielgud is superb while Olivier as Lord Marchmain is "meh".

by Anonymousreply 7610/04/2020

[quote]If you started a thread about worst adaptations, at the top of my list would be Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Kevin Spacey and John Cusack. They spent all that money to film on location in the actual Mercer-Williams house in Savannah ... but they spent not enough money on a decent script ... and the movie turned out to be a pile of shit. As I was reading the book, I kept thinking, "This would be a great miniseries on television."

I agree with this. The book is one of my favorite non-fiction books. It could have worked better as a miniseries back then like on HBO.

by Anonymousreply 7710/04/2020

The Great Gatsby is hard because you can easily get into the minds of unlikable people in novel form, but that nuance and physiological insight is impossible to get in movie form without adding annoying voice overs to just about every scene explaining how they're really feeling.

Carrie is a great adaptation. It omits a lot of elements from the novel, changes a few things, and the ending is totally different, but it works incredibly well for what it is and does give you the same feeling the novel did. That, to me, is what's most important when translating a novel to the screen. As long as it makes you feel the same way the book did, it's done its job.

Ira Levin got lucky with the film adaptations of Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives as well. They made me just as on edge and paranoid as the novels did.

by Anonymousreply 7810/04/2020

Who'll Stop the Rain is much better than the novel, Dog Soldiers, from which it was adapted. I love Nick Nolte as the Vietnam vet.

by Anonymousreply 7910/04/2020

The Haunting, for The Haunting of Hill House

by Anonymousreply 8010/04/2020

The 2002 tv movie version of Carrie was closer to the novel compared to the 1976 version. But, it wasn't great due to the bad special effects and the acting.

The 2002 tv movie showed how Carrie went around destroying the town which was described in the book and how she caused the mom's heart attack. In the novel, it was revealed that the cops found discarded ballots in a dumpster and realized that Carrie and Tommy weren't the real winners. The TV movie referenced that.

by Anonymousreply 8110/04/2020

[quote] Who'll Stop the Rain is much better than the novel, Dog Soldiers, from which it was adapted.

King Kong will stop the rain.

*kisses doll*

by Anonymousreply 8210/04/2020

Yet another vote for Brideshead Revisited (1981 version). The series was so faithful to Waugh's book because Mortimer simply took the book verbatim added a few minor bits and turned it into the screenplay. That's why Waugh got a writing credit, even though he was long dead.

Also: To Kill a Mockingbird, A Room with a View

And: La ragazza nella nebbia (The Girl in the Fog). Both Carrisi's book and the film were outstanding.

by Anonymousreply 8310/04/2020

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

IMO, the novels have aged horribly and most of the films were never good in the first place, but this third entry of the series is perhaps the best of the novels and is by far the best of the films. The sole entry of the series to be directed by Alfonso Cuaron is a good movie with compelling storytelling whether you’re a Potter fan or not.

by Anonymousreply 8410/04/2020

Favorites:

"Witness For the Prosecution," starring Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, and Charles Laughton (Agatha Christie, long Short Story).

"The Day of the Jackal," starring Edward Fox ( Frederick Forsyth).

"Jaws," with Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfus, and Robert Shaw (Peter Benchley).

by Anonymousreply 8510/04/2020

And DUH! How could I forget "The Godfather"?!

Also:

"Lord of the Flies," 1963 (William Golding).

"Saturday Night and Sunday Morning," starring Albert Finney (Alan Sillitoe).

"Goldfinger," of course Sean Connery (Ian Fleming).

"From Here to Eternity," with the stellar cast of Cliff, Lancaster, Kerr, Sinatra, and Reed (James Jones).

by Anonymousreply 8610/04/2020

Unbearable Lightness of Being, the cast was perfect!

by Anonymousreply 8710/04/2020

he 2002 tv movie showed how Carrie went around destroying the town which was described in the book and how she caused the mom's heart attack. In the novel, it was revealed that the cops found discarded ballots in a dumpster and realized that Carrie and Tommy weren't the real winners.

One thing missing from the 1976 version is that Sue Snell is telling the story of what happened because everyone wants to blame her & she's trying to clear her name.

Another good adaptation is "The Little Stranger"; the movie is good on it's own, though I think it's better if you've read the book & understand the whole story.

by Anonymousreply 8810/05/2020

One thing missing from the 1976 version is that Sue Snell is telling the story of what happened because everyone wants to blame her & she's trying to clear her name.

By that I meant to say, Sue's reasons for getting Tommy to take Carrie to the prom are more about trying to assuage her own guilt about how she behaved rather than "helping" Carrie, who she genuinely thinks is a gross mess. For a dude, Stephen King had surprising insight into the mind of a teenage girl.

by Anonymousreply 8910/05/2020

The Great Santini. Duvall and Blythe Danner were very good in it.

by Anonymousreply 9010/05/2020

[quote] In the novel, it was revealed that the cops found discarded ballots in a dumpster

Voter fraud! Fake Election! Cough, cough!

by Anonymousreply 9110/05/2020

Can this include Made for Television films?

If so - the amazing condensation into 12 episodes of Paul Scott's "Raj Quartet"

Another vote for "The Godfather", whose author's very crude writing translated into a much less corny script onscreen.

And, the obvious: "Gone With the Wind" - despite omitting two of Scarlett's three children.

by Anonymousreply 9210/05/2020

R86 - Another vote for "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning"

A vote for Nevil Shute's "On the Beach", despite Shute's fury at a slight shift in the American naval Captain's awareness (really, the lack thereof) of his wife's death and, therefore, the matter of this very moral character's adultery with Ava Gardner.

And a vote for George Steven's compelling adaptation of Theodore Dreiser's "A Place in the Sun" with those groundbreaking closeups of Taylor and Clift dancing together, and Shelley Winter's performances of the Plain Jane Clift seduces and abandons for the, well . . . Taylor's stunning young heiress.

by Anonymousreply 9310/05/2020

R73 I still love the Gatsby character...

by Anonymousreply 9410/05/2020

I always find it odd than an adaptation can be closer to the novel like those TV remakes of Carrie and Flowers in the Attic and yet are nowhere near as interesting as the films that came before them. It really proves that slavish faithfulness to the source material isn't always that important. I see the same thing with film versions of plays that refuse to adapt them to film in a smart way. They might as well have just filmed the live stage show for PBS instead.

by Anonymousreply 9510/05/2020

I love "A Place in the Sun," but it leaves out the entire first third of Dreiser's book.

by Anonymousreply 9610/05/2020

r6, I am not the OP but I find the 2010 version a better adaption. John Wayne is totally miscast.

The Godfather is a great example, one of my favorite books and movie

LA Confidential is an excellent adaptation. The book is so dense, it's really amazing what that screenwriter was able to do.

by Anonymousreply 9710/05/2020

As much as I don’t want to admit it, Mean Girls was a fascinating interpretation of a NonFiction text.

by Anonymousreply 9810/05/2020

Clueless

Barry Lyndon

by Anonymousreply 9910/05/2020

LA Confidential, I agree. Brian Helgeland wrote it with Curtis Hanson and with Ellroy's approval. Beautiful arc and many twists I didn't see coming on first view.

by Anonymousreply 10010/05/2020

Anatomy of a Murder - I enjoyed the movie so much, I dug up the book. It was a pretty good courtroom drama about a small town former D.A., now defense lawyer. The movie's cast is pretty much perfect. I can't think of an actor I'd change. Well directed.

by Anonymousreply 10110/05/2020

R97 The book is dense and the ending is ridiculous. The movie is way better

by Anonymousreply 10210/06/2020

"Smilla's Sense of Snow" was a fine film - if you hadn't read Peter Høeg's incredibly multi-layered novel first; once you've read the book, you realise the film was a very classy outline of the book, with great scenery, production values, a lovely score, and a game cast, especially Julia Ormond.

It remains one of my favourite "novel to screen films" - I just have to forget having read the book to enjoy it.

by Anonymousreply 10310/06/2020
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