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View Full Version : When a Book Becomes a MOVIE



kittyCAT
09-07-2010, 01:49 AM
Hey, just wondering if there are some books out there that never should have been made into movies, or movies that work better as books?
- Or better yet, know a popular movie that was original a written work, but it's not widely known?

This thread has probably been done before, it's a popular topic to talk about, but I thought - whatever, I'm too lazy to search for it and I'm new on this website (maybe I will be forgiven :P).

Anyway, in my opinion Stephen King's stories (i.e. The Mist, Room 1408 etc) work better as books. In movie form they just seem stretched out and it kind of ruins the suspense.
On the other hand, I'm not a fan of the Harry Potter books. The writing style just isn't my thing, and it works better as a movie - with the visual effects and everything. ---> plus I have a crush on Draco. :P

So, what do you guys think? :)

COchick
09-07-2010, 02:07 AM
The first thing that popped in to my head was The Notebook. Fantastic movie, but I didn't think so much of the book.

defyalllogic
09-07-2010, 02:56 AM
i hate true blood the show compared to the sookie stackhouse books.

childeroland
09-07-2010, 03:09 AM
Yeah, almost every Stephen King film made. His books just don't translate well, with some exceptions, or they attract second-rate filmmakers.

Lord of Illusions, from Clive Barker's Cabal, doesn't work for me, and I doubt most of his books could ever translate.

If Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and Evangelion ever get made into live action films, they will be trainwrecks.

I have a feeling Warren Ellis's Authority is going to lose a lot on the big screen, if it ever makes it there. I'd think the same of the NeverEnding Story if Wolfgang Peterson hadn't already made a great film of it.

defyalllogic
09-07-2010, 03:22 AM
i loved Intensity (Dean Koontz) even though it was a made for TV movie (i think)

fredXgeorge
09-07-2010, 03:29 AM
I tried reading The Vampire Diaries but they did nothing for me. However, the tv show is my favourite show of all time. I also love the Lord of the Rings movies way more than the books. I do love the Harry Potter films but nowhere near as much as the books.

childeroland
09-07-2010, 03:51 AM
Vampire Diaries is a prime example where every change they made from the books to the (small) screen improved the story immensely, IMO.

darkprincealain
09-08-2010, 09:31 PM
Dean Koontz, except for Intensity, is where filmmakers go to really frak it up. I mean, done well, Phantoms and Sole Survivor could have really been great entertainment. They were two of his better books. But as films, they are a fairly huge disappointment.

CheyElizabeth
09-08-2010, 09:38 PM
I liked Percy Jackson.

It's not officially a movie yet, but The Hunger Games should never be on film.

defcon6000
09-09-2010, 04:25 AM
If Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and Evangelion ever get made into live action films, they will be trainwrecks.
I shudder at this thought.

Dune should never have been made into a movie - twice!

I thought the 5th HP movie was better than the book, only because they cut out Harry being a emo prat at the end.

katiemac
09-09-2010, 06:28 AM
It's not officially a movie yet, but The Hunger Games should never be on film.

2011 release date.

Grrarrgh
09-10-2010, 04:18 PM
I think that Stephen King's monster movies are always really bad. It, Maximum Overdrive, Sometimes They Come Back, However, his other stuff is generally great, even on film. Carrie, Children of the Corn, Stand By Me, Shawshank Redemption, Misery, The Shining - those are all fantastic films. Even Secret Window wasn't horrible.
Most people challenge me when I mention that Shawshank was actually based on a Stephen King novella - that's one that's definitely not known by your average person. And Stand By Me. I think that's more widely known to be a SK novella than Shawshank, but not by much.

mirandashell
09-10-2010, 10:50 PM
If I really like a book, I don't watch the movie. Ever.

The characters are in my head. I know what they look like and who they are, so I don't want some cack-handed film maker messing that up.

Satori1977
09-11-2010, 01:19 AM
Dean Koontz, except for Intensity, is where filmmakers go to really frak it up. I mean, done well, Phantoms and Sole Survivor could have really been great entertainment. They were two of his better books. But as films, they are a fairly huge disappointment.

I agree. I love his early books, but they really have messed up the movies. Watchers is my all-time favorite Koontz novel, and the movie is so off the mark it isn't funny.


I think that Stephen King's monster movies are always really bad. It, Maximum Overdrive, Sometimes They Come Back, However, his other stuff is generally great, even on film. Carrie, Children of the Corn, Stand By Me, Shawshank Redemption, Misery, The Shining - those are all fantastic films. Even Secret Window wasn't horrible.
Most people challenge me when I mention that Shawshank was actually based on a Stephen King novella - that's one that's definitely not known by your average person. And Stand By Me. I think that's more widely known to be a SK novella than Shawshank, but not by much.


I agree with Shawshank, Stand By Me, and The Shining being excellent movies. (I knew the first two were SK before the movies came out). I also really enjoyed the Green Mile. Some of his other books turned movies didn't work as well.

Grrarrgh
09-11-2010, 02:22 AM
I agree with Shawshank, Stand By Me, and The Shining being excellent movies. (I knew the first two were SK before the movies came out). I also really enjoyed the Green Mile. Some of his other books turned movies didn't work as well.

Green Mile!!! I knew I was missing a big one in there, I was just completely drawing a blank. :)

hammers
09-13-2010, 01:59 PM
The first thing that popped in to my head was The Notebook. Fantastic movie, but I didn't think so much of the book.

I agree with this, I am a big fan of Nicholas Sparks, but the Notebook and A walk to remember were better as films. Dear John though I thought was better as a book.

Citizen Cobalt
10-09-2010, 10:32 PM
I loved Maximum Overdrive simply because it was so bad. I find that I generally prefer the book to the movie.

The one that pops into my head is 'Blood and Chocolate'. A werewolf book that was made into a movie in the last few years. The only thing it had in common with the book was the names of the characters. Other than that, everything was wrong. And they have the gall to say it's based off the book.
The one irritation I really had was when the werewolves all showed up in the forest to change. They show up all dressed up with fancy cars. Must that always happen? Whatever happened to cheap T-shirts?

entropic island
10-09-2010, 10:50 PM
I liked Percy Jackson.



for me, the books were okay, the movie was garbage. IMO

Schu
10-09-2010, 10:57 PM
I don't think Micheal Crichton's books translate well to film, with the exception of Jurassic Park, and even then it cut out the best bits.

Sphere was just...no. Now that was bad. Not as bad as The Lost World, but just bad.

Citizen Cobalt
10-09-2010, 11:39 PM
I don't think Micheal Crichton's books translate well to film, with the exception of Jurassic Park, and even then it cut out the best bits.
.

You got that right. I like Jurassic Park, but after reading the book, it seemed so empty.

ceramiccoconut
10-10-2010, 12:57 AM
I agree with who said Order of the Phoenix played better as a movie than a book. There were a couple things I missed in the movie that were in the book, but overall... it translated very well.

The book Battle Royale is an amazing psychological action/thriller. The Japanese adaptation took out all the character development and psychology and turned it into a shoot-em-up. And strangely, the movie is praised as one of Japan's best. However, those who say that have, as you can guess, never read the book. It's the equivalent of turning Silence of the Lambs into Friday the 13th.

xitomatl
10-10-2010, 08:36 PM
Yeah, almost every Stephen King film made. His books just don't translate well, with some exceptions, or they attract second-rate filmmakers.

I think the latter is probably the case, because when they attract good people (ie. Frank Darabont) they make damn bang-up movies.

One movie that they're making from a book, that I will go to my grave never seeing: On The Road.

What. The. Hell.

You can't take that book out of Kerouac's head and put it on screen.

And I'm not even anti-books-into-movies. But that is one that should be untouched by cinema.

Same with Catcher In The Rye, which I'm sure now that Salinger is dead, somebody is already trying to get made.

BeatrixKiddo
10-16-2010, 08:27 AM
They are going to try and tackle King's Dark Tower series with a possible TV adaptation and then a movie to finish off the series. (I'm excited because I love the book)

However, I tend to get lazy if a book has been made into a movie and I haven't read the book yet. I'll watch the movie, and promise myself I'll read the book if I liked the movie, but rarely follow up. (bad reader I is, bad!)

If I did read the book first, and then see the movie, I don't have too many expectations since they usually have to rewrite the script a gazillion times and change certain things to fit a novel into a 90 minute movie. I'd rather the book be better then the movie anyway, even if the movie is enjoyable.

I was so happy when they decided to start making movies from the Narnia books. I was sad to see they didn't take off like the Harry Potter movies, but at least they're still attempting to keep the movies going. Voyage Of The Dawn Treader opens seen. (sweet) I loved, loved, loved those books growing up.

childoflight
10-16-2010, 08:49 AM
Okay. So a few years back, I LOVED Eragon. The movie was terrible and I was irritated and disappointed. Seriously, like one of the worst. movies. ever. Ehh, but I don't really care as I don't like the Inheritance Cycle anymore. :/


Lord of The Rings was brilliant. Mind blowing. Beautiful. Period.
(Although do note that a few things were changed ever so slightly, which was annoying.
And they cut out Tom!! *sigh* I love that part..)

Chronicals of Narnia was pretty awesome. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe was really really good and stuck to the book which I liked- but Prince Caspian was not like the book.. annoying! I hope the Voyage of The Dawn Treader is better.. :)

Pride & Prejudice- both versions (the old one and the new one..like with keira knightly) are amazing. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Emma- I haven't seen the old one, but BBC released a newer version last year and it was adorable. four hours of pure bliss. jane austen= amazing.

Aimless Lady
10-21-2010, 01:09 AM
I can recall being very excited when hearing the Outsiders was being made into a movie. Although everyone I knew loved the movie, I wasn't a fan of it--even though my tween heart told me to enjoy all the new hunky and upcoming actors starring in the movie. Even that didn't help LOL. I never watched the movie again.

Mind you I'm in the minority because everyone else I knew loved it.

whacko
10-21-2010, 01:24 AM
Two rollicking adventure stories, Ice Station Zebra and Raise The Titanic, were made into rather tedious movies. The producers changed the original storylines for some reason.

Lew Grade, who financed Raise The Titanic and lost a fortune on it, said it would have been cheaper lowering the Atlantic. Serve him right says I.

ETA - Has a movie been made of Prince Ombra? That could be good.

euphoria
10-21-2010, 09:46 PM
I know that the book will always be better than the movie. Always. That is why I always try not to treat them as one and the same. I watch a movie for what it is, and try to separate the book from it. And if I can, I try to watch the movie first when I hear of it, before I read the book. That way I have no expectations whatsoever.

ceramiccoconut
10-22-2010, 07:22 AM
I know that the book will always be better than the movie. Always.

I disagree with this. It's true 99% of the time, but I have seen the rare movies that are actually better than the book.

Mr Flibble
10-22-2010, 11:58 AM
Most people challenge me when I mention that Shawshank was actually based on a Stephen King novella - that's one that's definitely not known by your average person. And Stand By Me. I think that's more widely known to be a SK novella than Shawshank, but not by much.

Which is weird because they are in the same book, Four Seasons (? I think. CBA to go find it!) Poor Rita Hayworth got dumped in the movie :D

Some books just don't translate well - and some they change beyond recognition, but work as films (if you forget you read the book) Not worse just...different

dclary
10-22-2010, 07:06 PM
Agree. For instance: the Bourne novels and the Bourne movies are both very good, very successful books/films -- and have nothing to do with each other at all except for the name and the original conceit of "assassin with amnesia struggles to rediscover his missing past and stay one step ahead of his former enemies and employers." -- If you just think of the two as separate entities with coincidental names/situations, it'll work for you.

Maika
10-22-2010, 07:19 PM
The Stieg Larsson- books are really great movies. You guys have to see the swedish versions before you see the american ones. "The girl with the dragon tattoo" starring Daniel Craig is relased next year, but Noomi Rapace and Micheal Nyquist are Lisbeth and Mikael.

Kyra Wright
10-22-2010, 07:34 PM
The book Battle Royale is an amazing psychological action/thriller. The Japanese adaptation took out all the character development and psychology and turned it into a shoot-em-up. And strangely, the movie is praised as one of Japan's best. However, those who say that have, as you can guess, never read the book. It's the equivalent of turning Silence of the Lambs into Friday the 13th.
Agreed. Battle Royale is one of my favorite novels, but the movie is one of my least favorite movies. Definitely an example of a director completely missing the point.

monkey see monkey do
10-23-2010, 12:42 AM
Agreed. Battle Royale is one of my favorite novels, but the movie is one of my least favorite movies. Definitely an example of a director completely missing the point.

I agree that the movie wasn't a good representation of the novel. But I still enjoyed the movie.

Bmwhtly
10-23-2010, 01:27 AM
I disagree with this. It's true 99% of the time, but I have seen the rare movies that are actually better than the book.I have a theory!

Actually, I did have a theory that the film is never as good as the book.
But it turns ou that it depends which you... urm... experience first.
If you've read the book and then see the film, the film will never live up to the book.
However, if you see the film first, the book won't measure up. As examples, I offer the following: 'Jaws' and 'Watchmen'

ceramiccoconut
10-23-2010, 06:12 AM
Well, yeah... most people have the theory that you'll always enjoy more whichever you experience first. But I still don't think that's 100% accurate.

For instance, I read all the Twilight books first, but I feel all the movies are vastly superior (mostly because they add in what was missing from the books, not to mention you don't typically have to deal with SMeyer's horribly poor writing in the films :P ).

Satori1977
10-23-2010, 06:08 PM
Well, yeah... most people have the theory that you'll always enjoy more whichever you experience first. But I still don't think that's 100% accurate.

For instance, I read all the Twilight books first, but I feel all the movies are vastly superior (mostly because they add in what was missing from the books, not to mention you don't typically have to deal with SMeyer's horribly poor writing in the films :P ).

I think one of the main problems with books becoming movies is that in a decent sized novel, you have to cut a good chunk of story out. Think Harry Potter. Some of those novels are huge, and if the movie is only 2 hours...well you lose a lot of interesting moments.

In the case of the Twilight books, ceramiccoconut if right. Her writing was terrible, but (parts of) her ideas were good. They work better in movie format. Plus, cutting out parts (like the 1/3 of Bella's whinging in New Moon), is a good thing.

chatsworth
10-23-2010, 06:17 PM
I have yet to see a book-made-movie, that I actually like. There is something that happens in the translation.

ceramiccoconut
10-23-2010, 09:18 PM
chatsworth: You've not seen The Princess Bride, then, I take it?

DavidZahir
10-23-2010, 09:25 PM
The Hunt For Red October is a better movie than book. Of course that is because the book is so god-awful.

Blade Runner has very little to do with the novel, at least in terms of plot. Yet it is IMHO a more successful exploration of the book's theme.

Having read Ringu as well as seen both Japanese and American film versions, I must say both are worthy adaptations, altered for media and culture. Ditto Let The Right One In.

The Russian version of Ten Little Indians is actually better than the book upon which it is based. I would say the same of several other Agatha Christie novels--Five Little Pigs and Peril At End House especially, but also the David Suchet versions of Death On The Nile as well as Murder On The Orient Express.

Must say I enjoyed the miniseries of The Stand more than the book (not my favorite King work).

On the other hand, I just don't see a way to adapt either Hart's Hope or The Planet Called Treason (both by Orson Scott Card) into film.