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  • The Film is better than the book thread

    It is almost axiomatic of films that are made from books that the books are better than the film version. However, every now and then a film version is made that is better than the book which originated it.

    I am interested in the films our members think are better than their corresponding books. Of course you will have to have read the book and seen the film to offer meaningful contribution. I will begin with two.



    Doctor Zhivago is an all time classic film. I truly enjoy watching it again and again. However, I found the book to be quite boring. No question in my mind that the film is better than the book.



    I am a big fan of Joseph Conrad. His tales of the sea are magnificent. "Heart of Darkness", the inspiration for Apocalypse now is a critique on colonialism and somewhat surreal. Apocalypse now is even more surreal. Regardless of any of the messages in the film which I may take issue with, I still regard the film as being better than the book by Conrad.


  • #2
    Jaws. The book has too many chapters that have absolutely nothing to do with the shark.
    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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    • #3
      The Thin Red Line comes to mind. Not that the book was bad, but the filmaker took what he needed from the book and made it something of his own, generally a good sign of a successful adaptation.


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      • #4
        I found the film of "The hunt for Red October" entertaining, I really enjoyed the book and then went to see the film, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

        "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
        Ernest Hemingway.

        Sapere aude.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Miss Saigon View Post


          I am a big fan of Joseph Conrad. His tales of the sea are magnificent. "Heart of Darkness", the inspiration for Apocalypse now is a critique on colonialism and somewhat surreal. Apocalypse now is even more surreal. Regardless of any of the messages in the film which I may take issue with, I still regard the film as being better than the book by Conrad.
          Great thread! I'd have to disagree about this one though...I'm a huge fan of Conrad's as well, and "Heart of Darkness" is my all-time favorite of his. I have to say that "Apocalypse Now" really didn't resonate with me at all. I might be in the minority here, but I really don't think it is a very good movie. Brando is excellent of course, but other than that...maybe I just couldn't get past how much I hated the portrayal of the war and missed most of its connections with the book. I'll have to re-watch it with a more open mind this time.

          Thanks Miss Saigon! You've inspired me to re-read "Heart of Darkness" and re-watch the movie.
          Satis elouquentiae sapientiae parum

          Diadochi Wars GAME:http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=140484

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          • #6
            A lot of people laugh at a lot of disaster films, and often it is well earned derision too.

            The Day After Tomorrow was dumb even if entertaining. The book it was based on called the Coming Global Superstorm, regardless of what you might think of the science in it, would have been so much better in film if they had made the movie EXACTLY as it happened in the book.

            Then again, in the book, there simply is no provision for heroic rescue and I guess they didn't like that. And things went to hell without the need for the nasty cold air effect to assist.
            Life is change. Built models for decades.
            Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
            I didn't for a long time either.

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            • #7
              Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale" and the movie(s) of the same name. (Really have nothing to do with each other) Liked the flics better than the (short) book.
              ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
              IN MARE IN COELO

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              • #8
                I've been told Flemming wrote James Bond as a cold blooded ruthless assassin and that he really wasn't meant to be the suave lady killer he's portrayed as in the films.

                That the personality in the current films is closer to the original idea.
                Life is change. Built models for decades.
                Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                I didn't for a long time either.

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                • #9
                  I have a first edition copy of Casino Royale (1954?) and Bond is....well, Bond.
                  ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
                  IN MARE IN COELO

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                  • #10
                    I have yet to see one. When I do I'll let you know
                    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                    • #11
                      The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

                      I have tried, several times, to read the books. The fact that the farthest I've gotten is about 1/2 way into the first book says how much I enjoyed it.

                      However, the movies were pretty entertaining.
                      Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Roadkiller View Post
                        The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

                        I have tried, several times, to read the books. The fact that the farthest I've gotten is about 1/2 way into the first book says how much I enjoyed it.

                        However, the movies were pretty entertaining.
                        Again, I'm going to have to disagree here too! Don't get me wrong...the movies were truly excellent, but the books are without question (IMO) simply masterworks. Tolkein was a genius. Of course, that doesn't mean everyone has to like it though. There are plenty of books regarded by others as masterpieces that I didn't like, so to each his own I guess!
                        Satis elouquentiae sapientiae parum

                        Diadochi Wars GAME:http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=140484

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                        • #13
                          In the case of the LotR, I loved the films for the visual aspects but the books are such that they are incomparable all the same. Guess it depends on the person though. After all, I consider the Silmarillion light reading
                          Life is change. Built models for decades.
                          Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                          I didn't for a long time either.

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                          • #14
                            Film adaptations of Shakespeare's works, since reading Shakespeare in Olde English is a bit trying.

                            War and Peace - again a huge book that is hard to wade through.

                            Epics of any kind come across better visually than they do in print, but a lot of essential character development and background are sacrificed along the way.

                            The Ian Fleming discussion is interesting. In fact, the original Fleming Bond was a cruel and sociopathic individual, a government assassin who lived only for the day was addicted to violence, gambling and women.

                            Daniel Craig's portrayal comes the closest to the Fleming character.
                            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                            • #15
                              Have to disagree on War and Peace . It is simply, still, the greatest novel ever written that I've read. Of the various versions of War and Peace. The Russian War and Peace folows the book very closely as does the BBC TV series. The Hollywood version with Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer, compared to these is a pale imitation.

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