I love reading, and I suppose I enjoy watching movies as well. Half the movies out there are visual renditions of books, if not even more. The trouble with these movies are they generally don’t live up to the books remotely, due to all sorts of constraints, and many of them seem like rushed summaries of the source material.
But are there any movies out there that actually surpass their original writings?
I really don’t know…so from now on, I will be keeping a running list of any I happen to find.
Trouble is, I haven’t read the book to most of the movies I’ve seen, and the books I’ve read, I haven’t seen the movies, and kind of don’t want to, because they are probably terrible.
If you can think of any, please let me know!
I’m drawing a blank but here is what I’ve thought of so far.
Catch Me If You Can
The book is sort of an auto-biography of Frank Abagnale Jr. as he tells of his time as a master check fraud con man. It’s a good book for sure and gives more insight into what was actually going on in his life than the movie.
The movie is much better however. But to be fair, it changes a lot and makes it more dramatic and eventful. The fact that two of the best actors ever, Tom Hanks and Leonardo DeCaprio, star in it helps it a whole lot too. The changes they make only improve it and make it one heck of a wild ride.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
These films are truly a marvel. The books are practically nothing but long, relentless descriptions of nature, and an awkward closeness between Frodo and Sam. Each book gets better than the last, but they all are pretty rough reads.
The movies however…my god. Peter Jackson essentially took the characters and main plot goal and then did his own thing. He cuts about 90% of the books and replaces it with amazing action, suspense and drama and everything awesome.
What he was able to do with such poor source material is truly amazing. Not only are these movies infinitely better than the less than enjoyable books, but he managed to make them into three of the best movies ever made.
The Shawshank Redemption
This is one of the best book to film adaptations I have ever seen. It remains very true to the original text. There are a few things cut, and a few things changed. All these changes actually make the scenes more powerful and effective, thus making the movie better as a whole.
As for the cut portions, they don’t really add that much significance to the overall story, but they did help understand Andy’s character better, and gave a better feel for the length of time he was imprisoned.
The Little House on the Prairie
Okay, so this one is cheating a bit, as this is not a movie, (well there are several movies, actually) but a TV series. A really fantastic series. The books are a whole lot of boring, but the series is far from it.
And… that’s all I’ve got. Wow…hopefully we’ll see some more added here.
Again let me know if you know of any movies that you like better than the books!