Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday Musing: Book vs. Movie

After seeing Stardust, and now reading it, I've been pondering books that have been turned into movies. Sometimes they're successful and sometimes they're not, and it doesn't seem to matter if they slavishly follow the book or not.

The Princess Bride, for example is a fantastic movie, with a large cult following, but absolutely nothing like the book, which also was fantastic

Stardust the movie is similar to The Princess Bride. Large plot elements are changed, characters reworked, the entire tone is changed. And yet it is a successful story. I won't try to claim that either of the movies is a masterpiece, but they work.

I'm always intrigued when a story is successful retold, revisited. What's your favorite reworking of a story?


bookwoman said...

I almost always am disappointed in the movie. However, Princess Bride ranks as one of my top 5 books and movies. I think it's because, even though they left out huge plot elements, the heart of the story remained the same.
One case where I actually prefer the movie is Roddy Doyle's The Commitments. I love the movie, but thought the book was a drag. And I'm a big Roddy Doyle fan. With that one, I think it was all about the music. The music was such an important part of the story that the book seemed flat without it.

2ndGenLibrarian said...

Yes, I'm reading The New Policeman right now and before every chapter there's a bit of music written out. I don't sight read and wish I could hear the music.

I'm not familiar with Roddy Doyle. I'll have to check him out.

DogEar said...

The book turned movie I was most excited to see in my long 26 years was The Lord of the Rings (and I do consider it one book and one movie - and yes, I am referring to the extended version of the movie). A fantastic book reimagined to make a glorious movie. I was so anxious when I first heard Arwen's character was expanded and so relieved when I learned how it was expanded. Perfect. The Lord of the Rings embraced the true spirit of Tolkien's works, a feat the Potter movies are only beginning to realize.

2ndGenLibrarian said...

Oh yes! How can I forget the Lord of the Rings? (Perhaps cause I didn't care much for the books.) But I do love the story and the movie(s) are beautiful.

I'm still so dissapointed by the Potter movies, though they are improving quite a bit.