View Full Version : Great book, great movie

11-22-2004, 12:32 AM
We all know how rare it is for a great book to become a great movie. But it sometimes happens, even if the story line is altered somewhat.

What are your favorite great books that ended up as equally great movies? For me...

The Godfather
Silence of the Lambs
All Quiet on the Western Front (the 1929 movie)

11-22-2004, 01:07 AM
The Maltese Falcon (the Houston version)

11-22-2004, 01:11 AM
The Green Mile. I'll still take the book over the film, but undoubtedly it was a wonderful movie just the same.

11-22-2004, 01:29 AM
Forrest Gump

The World According to Garp

11-22-2004, 03:10 AM
Paths of Glory. I didn't know a screen could capture that.

aka eraser
11-22-2004, 05:39 AM
I'm gonna have to mull this one though The Godfather leaps immediately to mind.

I remember feeling like a total dummy for a while because everybody praised Catch 22 (the book) and panned the movie. I thought the book was dull as dirt (couldn't finish it) and the movie absolutely brilliant.

Different strokes....

11-22-2004, 08:29 AM
'The Shawshank Redemption' - okay it was just a novella, but it worked for me.

Kempo Kid
11-22-2004, 12:17 PM
Lord of the Rings

11-22-2004, 01:03 PM
The Amityville Horror, The Exorcist, ET, Seabiscuit, A Perfect Storm.

Those are just some I can think of right now. I know that the first is pretty much nonfiction, as well as the last two. (Hey! They were still great books!!)

aka eraser
11-23-2004, 12:45 AM
Doh! How could I forget TLOR? Ruth is gonna kill me.

11-23-2004, 02:40 AM
We don't call her Frankenruth for nothing!!


11-23-2004, 03:22 AM
Doh! How could I forget TLOR? Ruth is gonna kill me.

Didn't the fried walleye almost do my job for me this past week or so, Frank?

I mean, really. Is there actually another book-based movie out there?

(Actually, second favourite on my list would be the Harry Potter series. So you see, I do watch other movies and read other books.)

11-23-2004, 11:28 AM
The Horse Whisperer had to be the best... in the beginning, the accident scene was so realistic in the book that I had to put it down for a moment. When the movie came out, it was exceptionally well done.

Second choice: What Dreams May Come. I watched the movie first, with Robin Williams, and was blown away. I had no idea what it was about. Then I read the book. Then I watched the movie again. Then I read the book again. The movie demonstrated the book telling about the man walking in a sea of faces. The movie was a true tear-jerker, but I didn't find that in the book.

11-23-2004, 12:11 PM
Stand By Me
Dr. Zhivago
From Russia With Love
The Grapes of Wrath
East of Eden
About Schmidt
Jurassic Park
Manchurian Candidate (the original)
The Borne Identity
Joy Luck Club
One Flew Over the Cockoo's Nest

11-23-2004, 03:57 PM
The Great Gatsby

11-23-2004, 07:08 PM
How could I forget The Manchurian Candidate?

11-26-2004, 02:51 AM
Hunt For Red October - stinker of a book; good movie.


Kempo Kid
11-26-2004, 08:20 AM
Interview with a Vampire.

11-26-2004, 11:03 PM

Gone With the Wind

11-27-2004, 08:18 AM
Greenwolf -

I know the screenwriter of Amityville Horror well, I'm sure he'd be thrilled to know he made your list.

11-27-2004, 09:36 AM
How about "To Kill A Mockingbird"?

11-27-2004, 09:48 AM
Hands down, the LOTR trilogy.

11-27-2004, 09:54 AM
Good one.

Godzilla.... j/k.

The Hours
Wonder Boys
A Room With a View

11-27-2004, 08:43 PM
That's interesting, Simon. I just wrote an article about The Amityville Horrror.

Kida Adelyn
11-28-2004, 04:39 AM
How about "To Kill A Mockingbird"?

I can't stand the movie. They left out the good bits.

LOTR was the greatest book turned movie.
The Last unicorn is great too. I've never gotten around to reading the book though.

11-28-2004, 05:06 AM

Hmmm....We have to be careful here. Many times the screen play precedes the book in which case they hire an author to write the book after the movie version is an obvious
hit. I think these kind of books are called treatments. I might be wrong here. But a very popular writer for such is Alan Dean Foster. Didn't he do ALIEN after the fact?

Unfortunately, most treatments are really hack in nature since all the material is gleaned from the script.


11-28-2004, 05:36 AM
This was a mini-series, actually: Lonesome Dove. Robert Duvall & Tommy Lee Jones were fantastic leads.

I saw the series first and then read the book, which got me hooked on Larry McMurtry books. LD is actually one of a 4-part series.

11-28-2004, 05:57 AM
To Kida, regarding To Kill A Mockingbird as a choice:

This movie was nominated for Best Picture and that's good enough for me.

Kida Adelyn
11-28-2004, 08:16 AM
So were alot of other movies I wouldn't see If you paid me.
I was merely stating my opinion. I don't like it when they hack a book.

Another great movie:

I liked it so much I read the book. Both are great.

11-28-2004, 03:07 PM
Close Encounter was a good one... didn't know it was a book.

How about good books turned BAD movies (okay, okay, to many to list here, probably) or bad books turned Good movies?

11-28-2004, 11:04 PM
K-19: The Widowmaker

11-30-2004, 03:40 AM
Sum of All Fears - what the heck was that??

Good book, good movie:

Gorky Park

11-30-2004, 07:32 AM
Yeah, Spielberg actually wrote Close Encounters, one of his first and certainly one of his best books. Surprize!
Somebody certainly nailed it when they mentioned:
Might I add: ALIVE, which suffered a bit at the cinema.


11-30-2004, 09:07 AM
Speaking of Garp, Cider House Rules is a good one, too, and Irving wrote the script himself.

I like Ella Enchanted -- I thought it was very entertaining, and I'm not easily swayed by fairytale fantasy stuff.

Speaking of fantasy, how about Shrek?

Motorcycle Diairies is a very good movie. Haven't read Che Guevara's memoir to make a comparison.

The first Stepford Wives.

I really liked Friday Night Lights.

12-01-2004, 02:52 AM
One of my favorite all time movies is "A Far Off Place" it was based on two books in a series. "A Story Like the Wind" & "A Far Off Place". After seeing the movie, I got the books and read them. The books were EXCELLENT. They are my favorite books to this day.

I like to see the movies before I read the books. Otherwise I watch the movie and when I see anything altered, I say, "That's wrong, it happened like this...." or maybe "They messed that part up, it was better in the book."

Anyway Laurens Van der Post is an excellent author. I could read these two books over and over and never get bored.


12-01-2004, 03:43 AM

Can't believe I forgot this one, too.

12-01-2004, 06:50 AM
A Clockwork Orange.

Writing Again
12-02-2004, 03:23 AM
One of the most notable for me was Jaws. The book did precede the movie, however I saw the movie first.

I could not believe how trite the book was.

12-02-2004, 07:38 AM
Planet of the Apes. The movie had a huge impact when it hit the theatres in 1968.

12-02-2004, 10:53 AM
CC, I thought you meant the one with Mark Walberg... yikes.

Some more good ones:

The Last of the Mohicans.
Oliver! (It had a big impact on me as a boy -- Sikes scared the s*** out of me and Nancy's fate devastated me)
Tess (OK... but Natasha was every guy's dream and the score was to die for)

12-02-2004, 11:05 AM
Oh, and how can I forget classic Disney such as Pinocchio, Snow White and Beauty and the Beast?

Lori Basiewicz
12-02-2004, 11:32 AM
A Clockwork Orange.

*shudder* That was one disturbed flick. Weird Relationship went with me. He didn't tell me at that time that he'd already seen it and was just going to watch my reaction to it.

12-03-2004, 02:10 AM
Re: Planet of the Apes

I thought you meant the one with Mark Walberg... yikes
Egads, no!! Mind you, I enjoyed Burton's version on the level of pure escapist entertainment. But the original with Heston was very socially conscious at a time when racism, Vietnam and the nuclear arms race were all reaching a fever pitch. I was thirteen then and it was one of the first movies I ever saw that made me think about such things.

12-04-2004, 01:02 AM
I'm surprised no one mentioned The Princess Bride.

It's inconceivable!

My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.

12-04-2004, 01:37 AM
A Clockwork Orange--weird movie

I agree that this was a very weird movie and it is one of only a few that I walked out of. :eek

12-04-2004, 09:02 AM
The English Patient is one of the few movies I liked better than the book. (Ya, I know, chick flick.)

12-04-2004, 06:44 PM
Contact (the book is better though, I think)
2001: Space Odyssey.

11-07-2013, 04:11 PM
The Maltese Falcon (the Houston version)

... recently watched the 1931 version.
Good flick. Gotta check out the Houston one.
Book was awesome of course.

11-07-2013, 05:31 PM
... recently watched the 1931 version.
Good flick. Gotta check out the Houston one.
Book was awesome of course.
Ken! King of thread necromancy!


11-08-2013, 01:01 AM
King of thread necromancy!

... neat name :-)

A fine day to you.
Or a fine yesterday turned into today ;-)

11-08-2013, 03:02 AM
The Last Detail by Darryl Ponicsan is a great downbeat novel about the U.S. Navy. The movie version, starring Jack Nicholson, is not quite as great and also not quite as downbeat.

Both are worth checking out. Anyone who's into overlooked and long-forgotten 1970s fiction will probably love Ponicsan's book.

11-08-2013, 05:32 AM

Necro-thread! Eek!

(Were all those people on page 1 and 2 really guests, or did their accounts just go defunct undead at some point?)

11-12-2013, 12:10 AM

Necro-thread! Eek!

I know, it's major big-time necro. I'll bet Ken bumped the thread to the top as a mischievous post-Halloween prank.