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best book to movie adaptation

KristoCat said:
Stephen King's short story "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" got turned into an amazing movie.

It was an outstanding film, a few deviations, but excellent for the most part.
Killer: A Journal of Murder
Like Water For Chocolate
Gone With the Wind
Lord of the Rings (even though ROTK was a little disappointing...)

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.
I thought that Peter Jackson's adaptation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was awful. It has extremely literal interpretations of what's most likely metaphors. But perhaps Jackson just wanted more eye candy.

A few extreme examples.

  • Bilbo turning into a monster when trying to grab the ring
  • King something goes through extreme changes in appearance and there's also a light show
  • Sauron being a smegging eyeball

blueboatdriver said:
Midnight Express by William Hayes was turned into an excellent film which nobody I know seems to remember. Does anyone on here remember this film
It's a classic.

I've heard a great track by Vangelis from the soundtrack that doesn't seem to have been in the movie by the way. I think it may be a remix from the tracks that are used. It's very italo disco like.

I wouldn't say that the adaptation of 'Interview With the Vampire' is better than the book but it's a very decent adaptation.

One of my favourite adaptations is 'Fight Club' that has several changes (for the better in my opinion) but remains close to the style of the book. 'A Clockwork Orange' works well for the same reason.

Other adaptations that I appreciate for different reasons are:

  • Blade Runner
  • The Hunger
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula
  • Naked Lunch (Cronenberg gave it a plotline)
  • Soylent Green
  • The Ninth Gate
  • The Talented Mr Ripley
hey thermal I agree with you about Lord of the Rings:)

Both the film and the book bored me rigid.:( :(

I agree with nearly all of the above. A couple more...

The Green Mile I liked better than the book.

Midnight Cowboy was different to the book, both were brilliant though.
heh heh. i can give you a list of the worst. but the best:

princess bride
fellowship of the ring(the only one i watched)charlie and the chocolate factory

the worst
count of monte cristo(2002)
harry potter movies(i love HP, but seriously)
Troy(the illiad)
The 1984 that actually came out in 1984 was incredible. John Hurt as Winston and Richard Burton in one of his last roles. Very faithful to Orwell and subsequently miserably depressing. But a good good cinema book melding.

I would not vote for Lord of the Rings. Though both the movies and the book are great, the filmakers took huge liberties with the story (as they probably had to). But I still like both.

I would also not vote for The Sheltering Sky. Bertolucci wanted to make the movie about Paul Bowles rather than about the book. Though it had its good moments, overall it sort of drags.
The Princess Bride and Bladerunner are probably my favorites. aside from the LOTR trilogy of course.
Here are a few movies which i can remember:

The silence of the lambs, Red Dragon, The Green Mile & The bone collector
Do miniseries count? If so, my favorite book > movie would be Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. Oh, and recently, Brokeback Mountain, from the short story by Annie Proulx.
Anamnesis recomended Drawing Blood by Poppy Z. Brite to me awhile back. Thankyou Ana! I like this author alot. So much so that I think we may be kindred sprits. Is she still around? Still writing?
Hey reading! I sent you a PM about Brite, although she was also discussed in the Bentley Little thread in the Authors forum.

On topic, I enjoyed Kubrick's The Shining. I thought it was very well-directed and spooky; think I preferred it over King's novel actually. About A Boy is another great book-to-film translation (though the end is kind of weak).
i totally agree. they did a terrific job of getting rid of parts i didn't like and really making it flow well. i could see and understand why they rearranged things or omitted things for theatrical purposes. some things just would never translate well into a film and still be as captivating as the books. the filmmakers collaborated with

also, to kill a mockingbird, harry potter movies for the most part (there are many things i still think could have been left, but oh well, only so much time - my favorite so far being #3, same as with the book, though), and shawshank.
Breakfast On Pluto was so much better than the book. It's something of a surprise. I forget through most of the movie that Cillian Murphy is not a woman. I'd love to have the soundtrack to that film.
I think the LOTR films were brilliantly adapted (you try representing Sauron on film and see how well you do). My favourite is prob TTT, I loved the way Helm's Deep was shot, very moving.

I can't think of anymore right now, will post more later.

Do comics count?...if so...none :)
If miniseries do count, I really enjoyed the adaptation of The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. I even got my hubby to watch it with me and he liked it too, although that was probably because the beautiful Rachel Ward was in it! I was amazed to find out that she (who played Meggie) married the guy that played Luke in the film, in real life! I love it when things like that happen (especially when it lasts, as theirs has).

Anyway, the miniseries was really great. Takes a few nights to watch, but I think it's worth it. It seems a little cheesy now, since it was filmed in 1983, but the acting was actually pretty good.