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Old 30-08-2003, 20:42   #1
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What movies are BETTER than their Books?

GREETINGS PROGRAMS!

On another forum I just stated;

Spielberg is the BEST Director EVER.

Proof = Two of his Films are BETTER than The BOOK!

JAWS and JURASSIC PARK!

I also think Bear Island is better than the book, though only as the book is a bit dated.

I don't claim these are the only films better than their books but these are the only ones that I have seen the Film AND read the book.

I want to learn what other movies are better, Tell me and I may read them in future!

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Old 30-08-2003, 21:04   #2
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not read Jaws but i absolutely don't think that Jurassic Park is better than the book it just has pretty pictures. Precious few if any films are; LOTR, despite being a very good effort, falls short of the book imo.
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Old 30-08-2003, 21:04   #3
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interview with the vampire.. i tried the book three times and just couldn't get into it.. but the film was actually pretty good!
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Old 30-08-2003, 21:05   #4
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William Styron is a major post-war American novelist, so I may be pilloried for suggesting that the film of Sophie's Choice is in some ways an improvement on the novel. At the very least it rectifies some of its flaws, which concern the character of Stingo. In the novel, he's very obviously an autobiographical figure (the novel he's writing is identifiable as Lie Down in Darkness, which Styron began writing in the late 40s and published in 1953). Unfortunately Styron lacks distance from the character and he's far less interesting than Nathan and Sophie. Unfortunately Styron sees fit to give us long episodes where Stingo tries and fails to get laid, which become very tedious. When Styron tells Sophie's story, the novel is very powerful.

Fortunately, the film cuts most of these episodes out (leaving just one in. You can see why this is there -
but it's over-indulged. In the film, you get a clearer sense that Stingo never really understood Sophie, which leads to the film's conclusion. I'd also suggest that Meryl Streep's performance and Nestor Almendros's camerawork add elements that aren't in the novel.

A more recent novel that I think was improved when filmed is Esther Freud's Hideous Kinky - Gillies McKinnon's film strengthens the structure amongst other things. Freud's novel falls into the trap that much autobiographically-derived work falls into - just because something happened in real life doesn't mean it has a place in a work of fiction. I should point out that Freud is to my mind a very overrated novelist - the only one of hers I liked was her second, Peerless Flats.
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Old 30-08-2003, 21:25   #5
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Brian De Palma's film of "Carrie" is better than the book and I'd suggest that David Cronenberg's "The Dead Zone" is as well, although the latter is probably Stephen King's best book.

"Marathon Man" improves on the book as do "The Godfather", "The Bridges Of Madison County", "Dead Ringers" and, heretical though it may sound, "The Butcher Boy".
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Old 30-08-2003, 22:03   #6
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Bladerunner is superior to the source novel 'Do Androids dream of electric sheep'.

I haven't read 'We can remember it for you wholesale' also by Philip Dick - this became Total Recall. Suspect the film may again be better.

Angel heart I think is superior to 'Fallen Angel' the source novel.

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Old 30-08-2003, 23:05   #7
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Godfather
Cutter and Bone
The Shining
Greatest Story Ever Told
John Grisham's Rainmaker
Bonfire of the Vanities
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Old 30-08-2003, 23:25   #8
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'Out Of Sight' is better than the book, particularly the ending.
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Old 30-08-2003, 23:34   #9
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the shining is better than the book???
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Old 30-08-2003, 23:39   #10
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I like the film of Lotr better than the books, as far as I remember in the books they always just talk about things...and they left out the silly bits...i think Tom Bombadil would have looked just embarrassingly stupid.

As for any Philip K.Dick film better than the book...PKD is a GOD and no film can ever improve on his brilliant novels
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Old 30-08-2003, 23:42   #11
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The Firm - Grisham is a good writer who's written some worthwhile novels (The Runaway Jury, The Client, A Time To Kill) but The Firm hs a good beginning, a good middle and then just runs out of steam. Sydney Pollack's film is overlong, sure, but it does wrap things up a million times more satisfyingly.

Patriot Games - Not one of Tom Clancy's best in my opinion. It's too long to support the simple revenge plot, the passages with Jack Ryan meeting and befriending Prince Charles (replaced by the fictional Lord Holmes in the film) and the Queen are laugh-out-loud funny and the ending is just lame. The film told the same story much more economically and the ending, though not its strongest point, was better.

Hannibal - A decent read, as Thomas Harris is a great pulp writer, but such an over-the-top grand guignol black comedy that I'm convinced he wrote it to **** off the people who'd been on his back to follow up Silence Of The Lambs for over a decade. Ridley Scott's film, while the weakest Lecter movie, is more faithful than I'd have expected to the story but wisely gets rid of the sillier stuff, like Verger's bodybuilding lesbian sister, the death by electric eel (!) and THAT ending.
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Old 31-08-2003, 08:49   #12
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I prefered the film of Jurrasic Park to the book.

For a start most if not all of the characters in the book are fairly unpleasant (or at the least very stroppy most of the time) which created a total lack of empathy from me either way. In contrast the film characters at least made me care a bit if they got munched or not.

Also the book is full of psuedo science that goes into great detail to try and justify what they are doing at a technical level. This a) takes away a lot of the pacing and isn't really needed and b) makes me laugh because it's mostly rubbish. The film doesn't explain it past what is needed to establish the plot devices and therefore gets away with it on a 'fuzzy sci-fi' level.
I'm all for dodgy science in books/films but when they try to justify it as 'truth' it annoys me.

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Old 31-08-2003, 09:13   #13
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As someone who only gets the chance to do some reading whilst on holiday, I think that all films are better than their respective novels.

I can totally immerse myself in the sound and visuals of film for a couple of hours or so, but I find reading a book is a staggered, drawn-out and, overall, less satisfying experience.

I realise that all you book lovers out there will find such comments sacrilege, but I'm not speaking as some illiterate product of the MTV generation. I'm only a couple of years short of forty and I read and write reports/policy documents at work.

Come to think of it, maybe that's why I refuse to spend my valuable spare time reading? :confused:
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Old 31-08-2003, 09:16   #14
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Dracula. Even the bad ones have to be better than the book.
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Old 31-08-2003, 09:17   #15
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One of the few books that is surpassed by the film is Fight Club.
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Old 31-08-2003, 09:24   #16
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Quote:
I'm only a couple of years short of forty and I read and write reports/policy documents at work.
Speaking as a teacher of English - the skills required to read and assimilate information are different to those required to appreciate the subtleties of literature. I am afraid you are very much a product of your generation - it sounds as though your reading skills have been developed and directed towards economic and vocational ends. The ability to read and enjoy 'entertainment' novels is rare enough these days never mind trying to find individuals who can enjoy the richness of a literary text.

I blame MTV, computers, mobile phones, rock music - oh and maybe even some teachers.
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Old 31-08-2003, 09:44   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by stefmcd
I blame ... some teachers.
Yes, I blame the teachers, too ...

... and I work in an office that's full of them! :rolleyes:

BTW, shouldn't you be marking essays on a Sunday morning instead of browsing the forums?
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Old 31-08-2003, 09:53   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by stefmcd


I blame MTV, computers, mobile phones, rock music - oh and maybe even some teachers.



90% of books are betterer that the film...Most directors cannot put all of the story/ characters in because of time constraints (ie Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter)
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Old 31-08-2003, 09:55   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by abarthman


BTW, shouldn't you be marking essays on a Sunday morning instead of browsing the forums?

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Old 31-08-2003, 10:38   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by ashtray_head



90% of books are betterer that the film...Most directors cannot put all of the story/ characters in because of time constraints (ie Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter)
Thats a good thing, especially in the two examples you posted. Tolkien and Rowling both have good imaginations, but have absolutely no sense of daramatic timing. Look at Fellowship fo the Ring. In the book its half a century before Frodo begins his quest to destroy the ring. Obviously a very urgent quest. Tolkien also seems to find it necessary to describe every tree, every patch of grass, every mountain in great detail. Its one thing letting the reader understand the surroundings, but we do have an imagination of our own and can think up different shapes of mountains for ourselves, thank you very much.

In each Harry Potter book bugger all happens. Who actually sat back after reading the last one and thought it was worth the wait and the plot had advanced greatly? Its over halfway through the story now and I can't see anything big actually happening before the end.

Atleast in a three hour movie the plot moves along at a steady pace instead of a thousand page tome which is just blah blah :blah: lovely trees blah blah :blah: slow uninteresting battle blah blah :blah:
blah blah :blah: the end blah blah :blah: loadsa unnecessary historical junk about the world and maps.


Anyone want a soapbox? I've only used it once.
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