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Books Turned Into Movies: The Good and The Bad

David Lynch's Dune was probably the worst. He could've adapted the text to a more exciting fare (why voice out the character's thoughts when actions and visuals can explain it much better?) instead we treated to a mind-numbing bore. A great novel wasted.

The best? I'll go for Trainspotting. Welsh's prose takes getting used to kaya I was surprised by the watchability and entertainment value of Danny Boyle's screen version.


  • Oh yeah "Silence Of The Lambs" was a great book to movie conversion... They followed the spirit of the book to the letter and Hopkins was one mean Lecter... Trivia: Did you know that in the book version Lecter had 11 fingers ???
  • AdaAda Administrator PEx Moderator

    Bridges of Madison County
    To Kill A Mockingbird
    A Time To Kill
    Joy Luck Club
    Interview With A Vampire
    The Stand


    Pet Sematary
    The Chamber (the book was pretty awful too)

  • Jurassic Park was quite good... But in almost all cases, the book was better than the movie version... Especially when you read the book first...
  • Almost all books that I've read that were turned into movies were baaaaaad!! Somehow film never captures the moment the way the mind can paint it.

    But there are a few :

    Silence of the Lambs, Like Water for Chocolate and Postcards from the Edge.

    The authors and directors, not to mention the great actors involved, somehow hit the nail right on the head!
  • Gawd, most of Stephen King's works which turned into movies were really bad. Of course there are exceptions like The Stand, The Shining, Misery, Shawshank Redemption. Others became B-movies. :( I agree with Kamats, the book is always better than the movie. (Anyone dare to contend? ;))

  • da gud:
    Fight Club
    Interview With a Vampire

    da bad:
    Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil
  • AdaAda Administrator PEx Moderator
    MsEerie: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was such a lousy movie that I never even bothered giving the book a chance.

    How about House of the Spirits ? How does the book compare to the movie 'cause I thought the movie was quite good.

    And yes, most of the time movies never do justice to their book counterparts. We're so much better directing the movies in our minds.
  • Ms.Eerie, I have to agree, I am a major fan of John Cusack.. but Midnight in the Garden was absolutely the pits!!

    Peps, sorry, don't know where -- but will ask around and will get back to you!!!
  • Midnight....and Evil book was superb. Kaya na-engganyo ako panoorin yung movie when it was shown at the UP Film Center. Pero na-dismaya ako while watching the film and walked out. Sayang. Ako na lang kaya mag-direct nun.
  • good : trainspotting, the outsiders, godfather.

    you guys like joy luck club? such a boring movie.
  • GREENEAGLE : I beg to disagree...JOY LUCK CLUB was beautiful!!!!! I've seen it four times and i cried each time. probably cause i can relate to it so much cause i'm chinese too.

    But the book still was SO much better.

    ZEN and KAMATS: I agree...most books are better than the movie adaptations. JURASSIC PARK pa lang was so much better to read thn to watch eh.

    PEPS: sorry...i'm very particular with names, but Jodie Foster is spelled that way, not with a Y. sorry, ha....kasi pati ako when my name is misspelled, i get really annoyed. hehe...pasensiya ka na. OC-OC ako eh.
  • The Princess Bride - the book is much better than the movie, but I rather enjoyed the movie and think they're both great. It's a pity they couldn't include a lot of the nuances in the book -- but isn't it always like that?

    The Body, a short story by Stephen King, became Stand By Me, the movie. The book was much darker, but I loved the movie!

    The Last Unicorn is an animated film adapted from a fantasy novel. Watch it! Read it! Galing pareho! Sobra! (Biased ako kasi favorite ko to eh...)

    Lord of the Flies was pretty bad. Not only did they change a lot of things, the interpretation didn't do the book any justice at all. Just read the book - you can make a better movie in your head! (Balthazar Getty was cute in the movie, though...)

    Ada: I'd highly recommend the book!
  • IraIra PEx Rookie ⭐
    Adashki: I have a copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil...while it's much better than the movie, I didn't like it too much.

    I agree with Kamatayan. I read Jurrasic Park 2 years before the movie came out, so with all the hype and hooplah I was expecting it to be a great movie...kaka-disappoint!

    I hated the book Bridges in Madison County. I shudder to think how the movie came out. (Sorry, I am not a romantic, so please, no flames. You won't change my mind).

    They're going to make Angela's Ashes and Tuesdays with Morrie into movies. I hope they don't suck.

    The one movie I liked based on a novel would be King's Misery. Of course, the book's better...but the movie was really good, surprisingly.
  • Award-winning pa! :D
  • onegee, all my female friends like joy luck club too. i really havent completed that movie though it has been shown several times in hbo already. is it because im not chinese, or because im not a she?

    [This message has been edited by greeneagle (edited 11-30-1999).]
  • One exception that I can think of to the rule of movie version not living up to novel is PRESUMED INNOCENT. I actually enjoyed the movie and appreciated the "twists" and "turns" in plot and story. Then I read the book. The "praise for the book" of course called it "a real page-turner!!!" that you "couldn't put down!!!". It supposedly had "a surprise on every page!!!". It was basically a boring, dragging novel that had one surprise, at the end. And since I'd seen the movie, the surprise was anything but. I'm afraid it's a made-for-movie story. I've a feeling Scott Turrow woke up one day with a great idea for a surprise ending. Then he wrote a whole book to set it up. Two hours (even less) is enough to set up the ending, and more effectively and entertainingly besides, in a movie.

    TRAINSPOTTING fans, you may want to check out (if you haven't, yet) another Ewan McGregor starrer, A LIFE LESS ORDINARY. As I understand it, the movie came before the book. John Hodge (who also wrote the screenplay for TRAINSPOTTING) wrote the novel based on his own screenplay for the film. Movie and book are (as such?) amazingly similar.
  • Irvine Welsh novels are available in Powerbooks. One is The Acid House. It's already a movie starring Spud himself - Ewen Bremner.
  • AdaAda Administrator PEx Moderator
    Greeneagle: Don't worry, you're normal. Most guys don't like Joy Luck Club. I think you have to be female to appreciate it.

    Lush: Which book? House of the Spirits or Midnight?

    Ira: May I borrow the book fleez?
  • I tried to read my brother's copy of Trainspotting but it was too hard for me to understand. :( It's written down in slang - how it's supposed to be pronounced. So I opted to watch the movie. :P
  • The Lost World. Walang kwenta talaga.
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