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03/18/17 3:00 PM
03/18/17 3:44 PM
davlghry wrote:For balance, I think we should introduce a sub-category... "Novelizations That Are Better Than The Films They're Based On."
As much as I love Billy Wilder I think the novelization of THE PRIVATE LIVES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES is better than the movie. Not sure if it's better but the novelization of THE LAST OF SHEILA is quite good and features some differences from the movie. Perhaps it was based on an earlier draft of the screenplay?
While we're on the subject of novelizations it should be said that while many of them simply follow the screenplay or the film's final cut there are others that add material and further explain actions, events, and characterizations in the film. I always enjoy getting that added value that helps answer a question I had in the movie.
03/18/17 3:55 PM
atenolol said: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 Messala plays in the novel. The sea battle & chariot race are ordinary in the novel, in my judgment, but action highlights in the movies.
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 Messala plays in the novel. The sea battle & chariot race are ordinary in the novel, in my judgment, but action highlights in the movies.
I recently watched last year's release of BEN-HUR and was gobsmacked by the ending in which SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER Messala not only isn't killed in the chariot race but goes off hand-in-hand with Judah and Esther. The core of the 1959 film is the dynamics of the Judah & Messala relationship and how that drives the drama and plot. It is also a key element in Judah's conversion to the ways of the new prophet, Jesus. Not having read the novel, I was surprised to learn that this newest film is actually truer to the source in that regard as the idea was to forefront the Christian message of forgiveness. Regardless, the '59 film gets that point across much better even with Messala's grisly end and defiance even in the face of death. I'll take that over the book's development.
03/18/17 4:01 PM
>Dracula--well the novel starts in high gear and then slowly dribbles off.< Aten, again I respectfully disagree. And with even more defense of the original author. Stoker's is one of the few novels I've reread several times, and dramatized once. I think it slogs a bit in the middle, but think both setup and windup are great. As most of the characters, esp. the Count, Harker, Van Helsing, and Mina & Lucy, are really solid. -Craig
I agree. When I was younger I didn't care a whole lot for the novel and preferred almost any movie version. Recently, though, last year to be exact, I re-read the book to research a piece I was preparing for the board about how the 1931 Count isn't much of a tactician and does a lot of stupid things that result in his demise. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the book.
03/18/17 5:08 PM
03/18/17 6:49 PM
03/18/17 9:17 PM
DJ Neyer wrote:Myself, I like the book version of Ben-Hur, even though (like most 19th-Century novels) it's a lot more diffuse in its narrative structure than the movie is, and is a little ponderous in its writing style by modern standards (I read James Fenimore Cooper for pleasure, and thus can easily handle Wallace). Incidentally, Messala's fate in the book is nothing like the fate Ryanbrennan describes in the new movie. He's crippled for life after the chariot race, but still retains all his hatred of Judah, hiring a pair of assassins to kill him. Judah kills one of these assassins and successfully bribes the other (a swaggering, cynical Northern barbarian) into helping him pass the dead man's body off as his own, effectively getting Messala off his back for the remainder of the novel. We only hear of Messala again at the very end, when Iras the Egyptian seductress, who exited the book some time before to become Messala's mistress, briefly returns to reveal to Esther that she slew Messala for "wronging" her.
03/18/17 9:47 PM
professor liebstrum wrote:I read TESS OF THE D'URBEVILLES for pleasure or just because I was on a self improvement jag and thought I should get some Hardy under my belt.
Polanski's film is a worthy effort and I was in love with Ms Kinski when I saw it about four times, but it removes a crucial early scene, which explains why Tess feels she owes her family and gets herself into the mess she ends up in.
03/18/17 9:53 PM
03/18/17 10:11 PM
Wich2 wrote:Dav, one is STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE's, by Gene Roddenberry. Still a derivative story, but fuller and better-paced than the film. (And w/o the acting and effects issues!)
03/18/17 10:20 PM
03/18/17 11:04 PM
Alfred Hitchcock directed sound features that show his reliance on literary sources:
BLACKMAIL (Charles Bennett novel)
JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK (Sean O’Casey play)
MURDER! (Clemence Dane & Helen Simpson play & novel)
THE SKIN GAME (John Galsworthy play)
RICH AND STRANGE (Dale Collins novel)
NUMBER SEVENTEEN (J. Jefferson Farjeon play)
WALTZES FROM VIENNA (musical)
THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (G.K. Chesterton -- title only)
THE 39 STEPS (John Buchan novel)
SECRET AGENT (Somerset Maugham novel)
SABOTAGE (Joseph Conrad novel)
YOUNG AND INNOCENT (Josephine Tey novel)
THE LADY VANISHES (Ethel Lina White novel)
JAMAICA INN (Daphne du Maurier novel)
REBECCA (Daphne du Maurier novel)
FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (Vincent Sheean memoir)
SUSPICION (Francis Iles novel)
SPELLBOUND (Hilary Saint George Saunders & John Palmer novel)
THE PARADINE CASE (Robert Smythe Hichens novel)
ROPE (Patrick Hamilton play)
UNDER CAPRICORN (Daphne du Maurier novel)
STAGE FRIGHT (Selwyn Jepson novel)
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (Patricia Highsmith novel)
I CONFESS (Paul Anthelme play)
DIAL M FOR MURDER (Frederick Knott play)
REAR WINDOW (Cornell Woolrich short story)
TO CATCH A THIEF (David Dodge novel)
THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY (Jack Trevor Story novel)
THE WRONG MAN (Maxwell Anderson non-fiction book)
VERTIGO (Pierre Boileau & Thomas Narcejac)
PSYCHO (Robert Bloch novel)
THE BIRDS (Daphne du Maurier short story)
MARNIE (Winston Graham novel)
TOPAZ (Leon Uris novel)
FRENZY (Arthur La Bern novel)
FAMILY PLOT (Victor Canning novel)
03/19/17 2:09 AM
Grant wrote:Needless to say, I think the movie THUNDERBALL improved on the book in one huge way. The movie - both the screenwriters and Luciana Paluzzi came up with an unforgettable villainess. The book - no villainess at all!
03/19/17 7:02 AM
03/19/17 10:01 AM
03/19/17 3:45 PM
03/19/17 6:59 PM
DJ Neyer wrote:I am truly sorry about the Ben-Hur spoiler, Ryan. It's a bad habit of mine to assume that I'm the only person alive that actually reads 19th-century multi-volume novels anymore, so I tend to be rather free with explaining their plots.
03/19/17 7:38 PM
03/19/17 9:52 PM
03/21/17 9:19 AM
scotpens wrote:(The history of the legal issues surrounding the James Bond franchise is more entertaining than some of the movies!)
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