Rick's "Fifty Years Ago Today" thread was threatened with a derailing when the subject of comparing a movie to the book upon which it was based came up. Craig suggested a separate thread (actually an entire board) and here it is. Discuss how a movie disappointed compared to the book or vice versa. Explain why one was better or as good as the other. In your experience should you read the book first or see the movie first?
Personally, I find a wide range of comparisons. Some books are definitely better than the resulting movie. This is especially the case when we are talking real literature, whether classic or more recent. On the other hand, there are many movies that one-up the novel, especially popular fiction.
The film industry has traditionally depended upon literary sources for story material. Many people like to say that the book is always better than the movie. This is a debatable point since so many movies are based on obscure and forgettable books that were purchased solely to control the title or lift a concept or idea from the novel.
So, which movies were bitter disappointments? Which movies surprised you by being better?