When they get it right – from book to film

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One of my favourites:

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Oh, Virginia! And then something like:

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to

a-clockwork-orange

What are your favourite book-to-film adaptations? I love all of the above because the films aren’t necessarily 100% true to the plot and characters of the books, but are something wonderful on their own – maintaining something of the ‘mood’ of the original work. What do you think?

Here’s an older article from the Guardian to jog your memory on some.

I’m looking forward to seeing The Road also – though I haven’t read the book… (I know).

13 thoughts on “When they get it right – from book to film

  1. I like ‘Adaptation’ as the movie of Susan Orlean’s ‘The Orchid Thief’. Two quite different stories, both fantastic in different ways.

  2. ‘No Country For Old Men’ comes to mind. ‘Blade Runner’ as a similar-but-different-and-arguably-better version of ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?’ also fits with the ones you’ve listed above.

  3. I loved the book “The Road”, but am not sure I want to see the movie. I can’t see how it could improve on the book and it risks moving into a horror movie.

  4. acannon – absolutely. I love the film of Adaptation, though haven’t read Susan Orlean’s book. Suuuuch a great movie.

    benn – Blade Runner – another brilliant film. I haven’t read the story, though I knew it was based on that.

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  6. Jurassic Park. The only Michael Crichton book I liked. And because it had velociraptors. But it may only be because I had a childhood crush on Dr Malcolm/Jeff Goldblum.

  7. Definitely Fight Club. I loved the book and the movie. Each use prose and film techniques well.

    Oh and love the Trainspotting movie even though I’ve never been able to read the book in Cockney past the first chapter.

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  9. I agree with Trainspotting, for sure, and would nominate High Fidelity too. Also I watched the film Perfume last week for the first time and thought it was a respectable attempt at an incredible book – and with the book’s preoccupation with the sense of smell making it a peculiarly difficult one to adapt.

  10. I have to agree with nico – Perfume (the film) is an admirable and enjoyable adapation, although it is often criticised. I liked it, and thought they did the best they could with the highly visceral and olfactory nature of the story.

    It seems to me that many books just shouldn’t be made into films – it is simply impossible to adequately transplant them onto the screen. However, I have no problems with films changing the plot or characters or other details of a book to make it a more enjoyable and fully realised experience. Lord of the Rings is a blockbuster example of this – but the films are wonderful, even standing alone from Tolkien’s books that inspired them.

  11. I’m also looking forward to The Road, and would love to see a film of Blood Meridian. I agree with the sentiment towards Blade Runner, Fight Club, and Adaptation, and would also add Requiem for a Dream to the list, even if I didn’t look at my coffee the same way for quite a number of weeks…

  12. Disgrace, by J.M Coetzee is one that stands out for mine. Like the book the film was beautifully paced, with Malkovich’s performance as the protagonist captivating.

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