Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Showdown....

In one corner, we have the original story as it was told by the author, call it what you may: book, eReader, etc. THE defending champion who will stand up today and reclaim its title, if it can.

In the other corner, we have the film version of the same story, hoping to throw down some new moves and claim the title for itself.

I give you, the Friday Showdown :    Book vs. Film


                          


So tell me, my writerly friends, are their any stories out there where you prefer the film story over the original author's story? In most every case, the book always rules for me and the films are often a disappointment. I love the in depth story the books give and how I get to imagine the characters and scenes. Some films are pretty close to the originals (Harry Potter, Star Wars) but some films tend to leave out very important details or fly through pivotal scenes so the crux of the story is missed.

There just so happens to be a few films I prefer over the original story. Not to say I didn't enjoy the books as well--most are my favorite books as well as films--but in these rare cases, I actually prefer the film version story to the original author story.

A few off the top of my head:

Jaws
The Count of Monte Cristo
Stardust
Dracula

Either it's the happier ending or just the addition or blending of characters/scenes that made me enjoy the film version more than the original story. Now, I give all credit where credit is due. The films would be nothing without the original author story. I LOVE all four of those books written by talented authors who dreamt up these stories in the first place.

BUT .... when it comes down to it, the film version stories are more fulfilling. Those happen to be four of my fave movies as well.

What are your thoughts? Any films you prefer over the original story? It's rare, I know. But they are out there. Do you disagree? Why?

16 comments:

salarsenッ said...

Yeah, you've got my vote with the Count of Monte Cristo. Edmund is my close second most favorite male character of all time...2nd to Mr. Darcy, my forever love. *grins and blushes* Gosh, did I have a crush on him in high school. I agree that most books outweigh any theatrical production. Not always, but mostly.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

When I like a book, it is rare that I also like the movie based on it. But I was recently reminded of a movie based on a book that I love a lot - LA Confidential

Catana/Sylvie Mac said...

I don't think I've ever seen a movie that improved on the book. I try to avoid such "remakes," but the most I hope for is that the movie doesn't completely trash the book and is well-done in its own right. Which Pride and Prejudice are you comparing? The original mini-series is wonderful, and a tribute to the book. I wouldn't touch any of the theatre-length films with a ten foot pole.

Talli Roland said...

I can safely say that I've never enjoyed a movie more than a book. It could be that I'm biased, though! :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Even with the goofy whispering, I enjoyed the 1984 Dune movie better than the book. Paul was such an anti-hero in the novel and I practically hated him by the end of the book. They toned that aspect down for the movie.

E.J. Wesley said...

I'm a giant fan of the books and the author, so don't kill me for say this people: I think the Lord of the Rings movies (extended versions) are better than the books. I'll go into hiding now ...

Here's why: I love the books for how deep and immersive they were. You want to know 16 generations of hobbits? Done. You want to know what the dwarfs had for dinner 200 years ago? Done. However, I've known so many people who've tried to read them and never got through the 1st book. I just think it's a story that isn't profound until you've read all of it, and the writing isn't exactly 'thriller paced'. The movies made it much more palatable for general consumption, in my opinion, yet still captured the heart of the stories.

I also thought Pet Cemetery was a better movie than book. That's about it.

Pk Hrezo said...

@Sher, me too!! So in love with Mr. Darcy. ;)

@Rayna I didn't even realize LA Confidential was a book. Good movie!

@Catana You are so right! I goofed! P&P was missing vital info (the latest version with Keira Knightly) I hated how they watered down the father scene in the study. That was my fave part of story.

@Talli, I agree in most cases. But every so often....

@ Diane.. I never read Dune.. great suggestion!

@EJ You make a great point. I loved the LOTR films and they were pretty darn accurate without being boring, altho I know many peeps who found the films too long. I loved them.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I agree with EJ. Tolkien goes into TOO much detail for me, but I thought the movies were outstanding and true to the essence of the books.

Kathryn said...

I agree with E.J. on Tolkien to an extent. I think the movies were ALMOST as good as the books, perhaps equal, but not better. (I wish they had included Tom Bombadil though)

Hands down, The Notebook. I didn't think the book had ANY merit when it came to chemistry between the main characters. Call me a biased Canuck, but I thought McAdams/Gosling made the story a hundred times better.

Norma Beishir said...

I've always preferred the film adaptations of Tom Clancy's books. As for Star Wars, the movies came first. The books were adaptations of the screenplays.

Melissa said...

Stardust was way better in film. Okay, this isn't a movie but I read the Vampire DIaries books and the TV show makes them look like gum on the bottom of my shoe! The show did everything the author couldn't and expanding on everything LJ could! It's fantastic writing

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I usually prefer the book (Harry Potter because they left out some major stuff-I admit, I was very indignant on that point) but Stardust was definitely a treasure! I couldn't get over the movie. The book wasn't quite as satisfying.

Florence said...

Interesting question, but in the end ... apples and oranges.

It's J.R.Tolkein by the way ... and like Narnia and the many wonderful tales of fantasy, nothing can ever compare to the intimacy of a book.

William Kendall said...

Great choice of pics there, by the way...

I'd definitely say Stardust and the Count of Monte Cristo work better in the film format then the original books.

kmckendry said...

I agree that Pride and Prejudice was a much better movie just to look at Mr. Darcy..... I also liked Much Ado About Nothing as a movie better than reading the original Shakespeare. I think the whole Beatrice and Benedict bickering is well played in the movie.

coyhanson said...

Shawshank Redemption. I know that is not a fair comparison because it was a short story. I just love that movie.