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Mar 18 17 1:33 AM
Mar 18 17 2:11 AM
Mar 18 17 2:33 AM
Robert Laughlin wrote:I've read an English translation of D'entre les morts. It's very good, with a really chilling ending, but the Hitchcock film is better still.
Mar 18 17 4:02 AM
Mar 18 17 8:59 AM
sillyhuron wrote:Worst example I've ever come across is that epic western The Big Sky (1952). I like the book because it goes against the genre rules. The hero's borderline psychopathic (and incredibly compelling), the good guys bring whiskey & VD & large portions of the cast die suddenly halfway through.
So what does Hollywood do? Make the hero the sidekick, his sidekick the hero (and make him Kirk Douglas!) and have a happy ending. Face it - you couldn't make the book into a movie, at least in the 50's. But it was a bestseller - so you had to make it into one, and this mutation was the result. It might actually be a good movie. I just haven't been able to sit through it to find out.
Mar 18 17 9:03 AM
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Mar 18 17 1:56 PM
For balance, I think we should introduce a sub-category... "Novelizations That Are Better Than The Films They're Based On."
Mar 18 17 2:02 PM
Mar 18 17 2:06 PM
Depends I guess
Hound of the Baskervilles--lots of fine adaptations, but novel is better due to Doyle's ability to etch an ominous atmosphere.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde--the movies are always much different, and have the advantage of us actually seeing the change, but otherwise, the novel for me. The only overall competition is the 1932 version.
The Lost World--despite Doyle's writing ability, I go for the movie as it is just more fun to see a dinosaur than to imagine one.
Madame Bovary--movie okay, but the novel is so much better.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame--this novel is very good, but I prefer the 1939 version which improves the ending and Esmeralda's character in my opinion.
Ben-Hur--Wallace was turgid for me. The movie versions from the 1920's and 1959 were much better. Especially the 1926 version. As with the dinosaurs, actually getting to see Imperial Rome recreated gives the movie a big lift. I saw the movies first, so was surprised by the relatively secondary role Messalla plays in the novel. The sea battle & chariot race are ordinary in the novel, in my judgment, but action highlights in the movies.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance--the short story is okay, but the movie does much more with it, and I think deepens the point of view by introducing ambiguity about what really happened during the shootout. (many viewers will disagree with me on this interpretation I am certain)
High Noon (from The Tin Star)--really changed story. The Will Kane of the story is actually more like Lon Chaney's character, the deputy is 180 degrees different, and the ending different. I think few would read the story at all were it not for the movie.
Casting the Runes--yes, excellent story becomes fine movie. If the movie has a flaw, it was showing the monster at the outset.
The Searchers--the movie has the great visuals and is considered by many a classic of classics. But altering the character of Aaron of the novel from a hinted at deep-dyed villain to a flawed but still ultimately heroic Ethan produces a stretched motivation which was never resolved. The Aaron of the novel seems to be searching for Debbie so he can kill her to get his hands on his brother's ranch. Martin ends up romantically involved with Debbie, while Laurie marries Charley. The movie manages to both bring the racial subtext front and center and still make it much more tepid with Ethan being given an out for his racism as his entire family has been murdered by Scar.
Frankenstein--the novel is turgid with the monster not only articulate but droning on like a tenured professor. The monster of the James Whale movies is much more plausible and convincing, and is the image which pops up when one thinks of Frankenstein.
Dracula--the novel starts in high gear and then slowly dribbles off. My take is that few would bother to read the novel today were it not for the ratlike Count Orlock, the suave Bela Lugosi, or the animalistic Christopher Lee, of the movies. The movies are extremely varied and I notice that the more a movie follows the novel, the weaker it usually is.
The Tall T--the story is strong and really well-recreated by the movie. I would choose the movie as seeing it actually acted out is an advantage.
Mar 18 17 2:12 PM
Mar 18 17 2:37 PM
atenolol wrote:Ben-Hur--Wallace was turgid for me. The movie versions from the 1920's and 1959 were much better. Especially the 1926 version. As with the dinosaurs, actually getting to see Imperial Rome recreated gives the movie a big lift. I saw the movies first, so was surprised by the relatively secondary role Messalla plays in the novel. The sea battle & chariot race are ordinary in the novel, in my judgment, but action highlights in the movies.
Mar 18 17 2:53 PM
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