Great Books made into Great Movies

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Roger Kint, Dec 6, 2002.

  1. Roger Kint

    Roger Kint Stunt Coordinator

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    Does anybody know any great books made into great movies? One that comes to mine is 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. Wondering if there are any others...
     
  2. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    I agree with you about To Kill A Mockingbird. I love the book and the movie equally.
    Might I suggest:
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    There are a bunch, but of course it all depends on the definition of great:

    Great Expectations—Dickens/Lean
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest—Kesey/Forman
    Henry V—Shakespeare/Olivier—OK, it’s a play not a book
    Woman of the Dunes/Suna no onna—Abe/Teshigahara
    The Last Temptation of Christ—Kazantzakis/Scorsese
    War and PeaceTolstoy/Bondarchuk—this last is the 6+ hour, Russian film, which might not really be a great movie.

    This is just for starters.

    And there will be a lot of controversy on anyone’s selections. For example, although I was blown away with ‘Mockingbird’ when it was released, I no longer think the movie ‘Great’.
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  5. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Though certainly altered in the translation, I think "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" fits the bill. The same goes for "The English Patient" (even more greatly altered). And I'd also include "Lolita" in this category (the Nabokov version, naturally).
     
  6. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Aw hell... I'll say it. Though by no means anything approaching a comparable experience, and probably of little to no value for anyone who hasn't read it first, Raul Ruiz's "Time Regained" is nonetheless a helluva great effort at bringing Proust to the screen.

    If you haven't read it (and I mean the entirety of "In Search of Lost Time", not merely "Time Regained"), then I doubt much of what occurs will resonate very deeply, and you may not even be able to keep the characters straight, much less understand their relation to one another. Still, I've seen it three times now, and each time it's an even greater joy. Is it a great film, like others mentioned here? Perhaps not. But, as an adaptation of what appears to be a completely unadaptable book, it works in novel and heretofore unknown ways. I think Ruiz simply decided that there was no way to create a self-contained film out of this work, and thus made a work that could only appeal to those fully-versed in the original work.
     
  7. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer

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    Schindler's List for one
    Fight Club
    Lord of the Flies (original) though the 1990 version isnt bad
     
  8. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Charly - based on the book - Flowers for Algernon
    Stars Cliff Robertson

    Shawshank Redemption - based on the Stephen King novella - Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.
     
  9. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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  10. Brent Bridgeman

    Brent Bridgeman Second Unit

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    "Lonesome Dove"
    Great book, wonderfully acted miniseries. I have a hard time thinking of Robert Duvall as anyone but Augustus McRae anymore.
     
  11. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    A discussion point, not an argument, Rich: even though the acting is uniformly great, as is the direction, I’ve never been convinced that Lolita is a great movie. Mostly because Sue Lyon is just way too sexy for me to not understand why both Humbert Humbert and Quilty were attracted to her.. Nabrokov makes the point that she is a nymphet (almost pre-pubescent) and not physically developed.

    He makes lusting after Lolita aberrant—and, at least for me, I had no problem at the time understanding why one would lust after Lyon, and I still don’t today.

    So, for me, this has always kept me from putting the movie into the ‘great’ category. But as to a debate on the technical merits of the movie: acting, cinematography, directing, and so on, I would come down on the side of superb. I have not seen Lyne’s version, so I can’t comment.

    I agree with your assessment of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, although I am sure that many would feel that the novel was not satisfactorily represented in the film. On this one, I come down on the side of two different media doing things differently. And both doing it well.
     
  12. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    The Sweet Hereafter Russell Banks/Atom Egoyan
    Trainspotting Irvine Welsh/Danny Boyle
     
  13. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    I'll agree with Marc. Egoyan did a great job of evoking what happens in the novel while still making one substantial change plot-wise. Wonder Boys is a terrific book made into a terrific film. The middle of the book is essentially missing from the film, but it works just fine. Really curious what Chabon can do adapting his own The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.
     
  14. Blaine Skerry

    Blaine Skerry Second Unit

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    DAVID COPPERFIELD-Charles Dickens/George Cukor
    One of Dickens' best novels and a film with a superlative cast. God, I hope this is released on DVD soon.
     
  15. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Gone with the Wind

    The Wizard of Oz

    Jaws
     
  16. James T

    James T Screenwriter

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    No one mentioned Jurassic Park yet? I'm surprised, considering it's a top grossing movie with a well known writer.

    On a similar note, what are great books that have bad movies (I assume many, so pick your least fav).

    My great book, bad movies are:
    The Shining: I didn't like Kubrick's version or the tv
    version.
    Prince of Tides: Tried to turn a book that had the relationship as a second story (and really only started towards the last few chapters) into the main plot of the movie.
     
  17. Roger Kint

    Roger Kint Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Rob T

    Rob T Screenwriter

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    Misery
     
  19. Stacie

    Stacie Stunt Coordinator

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    Your tastes may not run this direction, but here are a couple of my favorites:
    Howards End (E.M. Forster / Merchant and Ivory)
    Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen / Ang Lee (adaptation by Emma Thompson))
    Both are great novels, extremely well-adapted for the screen.
     
  20. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    Are you kidding?
    Dances With Wolves
    Vertigo
    Psycho
    A Clockwork Orange
    The Haunting
    The Bridge On The River Kwai
    Secret of Nimh
    The War of The Worlds
    Dracula
    Frankenstein
    American Psycho
    The Exorcist
    Silence of The Lambs
    The Shining
    Forrest Gump
    Interview With The Vampire
    Last of The Mohicans
    Planet of The Apes
    just off the top of my head[​IMG]
     

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