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What is the best adaptation of a book into a film?What book that has been made into a...

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted July 28, 2008 at 5:44 PM via web

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What is the best adaptation of a book into a film?

What book that has been made into a film have you most enjoyed or found interesting?

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 29, 2008 at 6:39 AM (Answer #2)

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I like the DeNiro version of Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN.  It does the creature more justice than any other version I have seen.

On the other hand, I don't like Demi Moore's SCARLET LETTER or Ted Danson's GULLIVER'S TRAVELS.  While I show excerpts of these films to my students for learning purposes, the directors/producers take way too many liberties with the original work just to make a movie that will attract audiences and sell, sell, sell.

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted July 30, 2008 at 10:27 AM (Answer #3)

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It's rare that a film is as good as the book, in my opinion, but two that instantly spring to mind are The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, which was adapted into the wonderful Film Noir starring Humphry Bogart of the same title, and Phillip K. Dick's "Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" which became Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

Both of them are exciting films which are pretty faithful to the original and use it as a springboard to create images worthy of the text.

Another Chandler adaptation that veers from the source material but still makes a fun and engaging film is Robert Altman's version of The Long Goodbye. Elliot Gould as Marlowe, transposed to the 1970's? You wouldn't think it could work, but it does. Although I know not everyone is a fan, especially some Chandler purists. 

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted July 30, 2008 at 3:17 PM (Answer #4)

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It's rare that a film is as good as the book, in my opinion, but two that instantly spring to mind are The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, which was adapted into the wonderful Film Noir starring Humphry Bogart of the same title, and Phillip K. Dick's "Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" which became Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

Both of them are exciting films which are pretty faithful to the original and use it as a springboard to create images worthy of the text.

Another Chandler adaptation that veers from the source material but still makes a fun and engaging film is Robert Altman's version of The Long Goodbye. Elliot Gould as Marlowe, transposed to the 1970's? You wouldn't think it could work, but it does. Although I know not everyone is a fan, especially some Chandler purists. 

  The Big Sleep is a GREAT movie adaptation. I totally forgot about that wonderful movie.  It truly is a fantastic film!!!  I've not seen The Long Goodbye, so I'll have to check that out.

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parkerlee | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted July 31, 2008 at 4:09 AM (Answer #5)

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A good film adaptation respects the original text in tone and form but gives full rein to enhance an aspect which lends itself particularly well to visual interpretation. Three film adaptations, very different, come to mind: "Amadeus," "Being There," and "The Firm." I suppose that the common denominator is the casting of the characters - so absolutely perfect! The reader is not disappointed to see the fleshed out characters which he has already visualized in his mind (presuming the book is read first!).

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 31, 2008 at 9:23 AM (Answer #6)

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I think The Rainmaker is pretty faithful to Grisham's book. That movie spoiled Matt Damon for me. Every time I see him in a movie, I think of him as Rudy Baylor; he did a great job.

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted July 31, 2008 at 6:34 PM (Answer #7)

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Love Matt Damon!  I have never read the Bourne Identity books, so I wonder how true the movies were to the books.  I absolutely loved the Bourne trilogy!!!

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted August 5, 2008 at 9:08 AM (Answer #8)

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I'm going old school here for a minute. I really liked the movie "The Mighty," based on the book "Freak the Mighty." I have to say the same for "The Outsiders," despite its deviations from the book.

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted August 5, 2008 at 3:25 PM (Answer #9)

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In response to #8: 

The Outsiders is also a fantastic movie.  I remember seeing that as a young teenager and I was fascinated by it.  I had not read the book first, so once I saw the movie, I got the book and read it.  

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted August 19, 2008 at 8:42 PM (Answer #10)

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Branagh's Henry V...That was my first big-screen Shakespeare experience and it sold me, hook-line-and-sinker, on the Bard and Branagh!  But I suppose that's a play, rather than a book...

As corny as it may sound, I still adore Gone With the Wind.  I've seen the movie innumerable times and read the book at least 5 times that I can remember, and despite the details that had to be cut (otherwise it would probably have been a 6-hour movie), I still think it's a phenomenal adaptation of a book.  It never ceases to amaze me how perfect all of the actors and actresses were for their roles - What a great film!

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