Of Mice and Men Of Mice and Men discussion


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Book vs. Movie

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message 1: by Becky (new) - added it

Becky Did anyone feel that the Of Mice and Men movie was better than the book? I didn't. I felt that the movie was too played up for Hollywood, and some of the elements were overplayed. I also felt that I was able to follow the character's emotions better in the book than in the movie, just because it was going from one scene to the next.

Quick question: does nyone have a bok where they think that the movie did it justice? Perhaps the movie was better than the book?


Mark Movies that do a book justice.
Tough to do, to say the least.

Personally, I love the adaptation of The Green Mile & The Shawshank Redemption.

I wouldn't swap the movie for the book, though.
For any book, I doubt.


Grace I saw the version starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise. I really enjoyed it.

I thought that the movie version of The Bridges of Madison County was so much better than the book.


Geoffrey I have seen both versions of the movie and I enjoyed both. I would not necessarily underrate the film version. All three were excellent.

I particularly liked Malkovich in the second version. It was the first time I had seen him in anything and I recall thinking, Wow, gotta watch this guy. He`s incredible. Haven`t felt that way about too many newbies recently with the exception of Anne Hathaway in the DEVIL LOVES PRADA.


Thom Swennes Few movies compare favorably with the books on which they are based. One exception is Forrest Gump. Tom Hanks played his role masterfully


Dawn I wasn't a big fan of the book, but I did like the movie version with John Malkovich, Gary Sinise & Sherilyn Fenn. Talented cast.


Grace Yeah, I fell in "love" with Gary Sinise from watching that movie.


Dawn Grace wrote: "Yeah, I fell in "love" with Gary Sinise from watching that movie."

It's funny you should say that, because I was just thinking of when I first really took notice of Gary Sinise. I think it was when I watched The Stand back when it first aired. Loved him ever since. I even managed to catch an interview he did for Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio. Very talented guy, and seems surprisingly down-to-earth.


Grace Yes, I saw that interview as well. Yeah, he seems very humble.


message 10: by Casey (last edited May 04, 2011 09:48PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Casey The movie wasn't bad, but, naturally, the book was better.

As for others, I would say the movie "Precious" was about as good as the book "Push." Even though they changed the title, they didn't change too much else, if I remember right.
I still prefer the book, though.


Maxine I have rarely seen a movie that I thought was as good as the book it was based on. The one exception for me is pretty much anything by Stephen King. The Shining, Stand By Me, Christine, Cujo, Carrie - in every case, I preferred the movie to the book (or short story in the case of Stand By Me).


message 12: by Lucy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lucy I really love Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck absolutely knew how to create characters who had power, and his books are so emotionally moving. Sorry, young people, I didnt see the Sinise/Malkovich version, but I saw the original movie (black and white, 1938 or '39 I believe) and it really came close.
I still have to stand with books being better, though.


message 13: by John (new) - added it

John I wasn’t aware there was a version of “Of Mice and Men” starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise. Something to look forward to.

I’m reading “the Stand’ (uncut) now and can’t help but to picture Gary Sinise as “Stu”. Great actor.

As a novella, “Of Mice and Men” is thin enough that I picked it up when I was fairly young. It was about the size of a “Hardy Boys” so I figured it would work for me. It’s a story that can have a big impact on a develpoping mind. I wonder how many other children have made that “mistake”.

I think the movie “Bladerunner” was better than Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”.


Tsuki I cried at the end of "Of Mice and Men" (book), and I expected at the end of the movie I would be bawling my eyes out. That wasn't the case. I wasn't able to connect with the characters in the movie like I was able to in the book. And I would agree that Bladerunner is better than Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, but than again I loved the architecture in the movie so I'm kind of bias.


Cassidy RoseEllen Clark The thing I wasn't so crazy about in the movie was the shooting. It was so much different from the book! The book made it emotional. In the book, he felt bad about shooting him, it took him a little while to actually build up the strength to do what he thought he had to do..But in the movie he doesnt really seem as involved and kind of just kills him...


Jacqueline I thought the movie "Precious" was far batter than the book (called "Push"). Anyone else think so?


Abraham Where the movie stays true to the book, typically movies being better is a sign of pour imagination skills. that when the movie doesn't stay true to the book, they are different stories and should not really be compared.


Sarah D. I can't really visualize details proved by this book because I couldn't really get myself to see what the characters look like. I think the movie did a very good job of capturing the emotions of the book. This is one of those movies which I can say can be compared to the book.


Valerie I appreciated the fact the movie followed the book. Like the way the movie ended better than the ending of the book. I caught myself at the end of the book thinking there has to be a page I'm missing here...


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

The movie was good, because it included almost all of the book, but the book is always better.


Destiney Jones I thought the book was better because the movie was in a different sequence then the book. But the movie was very entertaining especially when Lennie was talking about the rabbits.! :)


message 22: by CJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

CJ Which version?

Are you talking about the older one. . .?

I saw the later, tv-movie type of one with Gary Senise playing George and John Malkovich playing Lennie.

That one was excellent but nothing can top the book!


message 23: by Emmy (last edited Mar 28, 2012 01:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emmy I adored the older version of the film from 1939, but I could not bring myself to watch the 1990s version. I saw a few clips, and was genuinely repulsed by how Lennie was portrayed. He's supposed to be mentally handicapped and childlike, not malicious, which was the impression I was getting from the film.


message 24: by Doug (new) - rated it 5 stars

Doug Christi You're absolutely right. The 1939 version provided a much better portrayal of Lenny (Lon Chaney) and is a closer representation of the book than the 1992 remake. I hated that John Malkovich played him as mentally retarded, (or perhaps he was directed to play it that way). I'm not sure the character was malicious, but certainly nowhere close to Steinbeck's written description. Besides, the story just feels right in black & white.


message 25: by Neha (new) - rated it 5 stars

Neha Yes, but there is the element in Lennie which can be seen as malicious if one takes into account the fact that he does not know his own strength, this can be seen in him crushing curley's hand, and the impulsive way in which he snaps curley's wife's neck


message 26: by Emmy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emmy Yes, but both times, he did not mean to actually hurt anyone. When it came to Curly's hand, George told him to do it. And when he releases him, he even cries to George "You told me to do it." He didn't want to hurt anyone. And as for Curly's wife, he was trying to make her be quiet; he did not mean to hurt her either. There is nothing malicious about him.


message 27: by Doug (new) - rated it 5 stars

Doug Christi Lenny's character was soft, his body was strong. He never meant to hurt anyone, (except Curly--self-defense), he only liked to touch soft things and dream about tending the rabbits. To say he was malicious is to imply "intent" to harm.


don  Presnell can John Malkovich make a bad movie.
the first movie was right up there with
the origanal Grapes of Wrath


message 29: by Doug (new) - rated it 5 stars

Doug Christi Malkovich is a helluva actor. Unfortunately, his portrayal of Lenny was way off base. Although Lon Chaney will always be underestimated because of his "monster" movie heritage, he nailed the character of Lenny when compared to the book, (and isn't that what it's about?).


Kirby I've never seen a movie of this book. as for the second question, I think that the gone with the wind movie did the book justice.


message 31: by Doug (new) - rated it 5 stars

Doug Christi Kirby. There have been two movies made from "Of Mice and Men". You should definately check out the original (1939) starring Lon Chaney and a very young Burgess Meredith. I bought a copy from Amazon for cheap:O)


message 32: by Nina (new) - added it

Nina nassi me i prefer to read the book then to watch it's movie.


message 33: by Doug (new) - rated it 5 stars

Doug Christi The book is always better than the movie. Of Mice and Men is one of the best books ever, a pretty impossible feat to duplicatte in an hour and a half.


Alexia I preferred the book for all the animal imagery which is much harder to convey in a film. But I loved their adaptation of George in the film, he was much different from what was in my head but probably better.


message 35: by Emma (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emma I strongly disliked the film adaption, I felt they cut far too much out and changed some characters to suit the hollywood ideal.
I wouldn't swap the book for the movie adaptation, ever.


message 36: by Doug (new) - rated it 5 stars

Doug Christi Emma, good point. However, the original version, (1939) is a much better adaptation than the newer. But, it would be impossible to impart all the feeling and mood in a movie that Stteinbeck created in the book.


message 37: by Samantha (last edited Jun 13, 2012 11:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Samantha Marie Doug wrote: "The book is always better than the movie. Of Mice and Men is one of the best books ever, a pretty impossible feat to duplicatte in an hour and a half."

You've read and seen Water for Elephants right? Lol.
Because the movie trumped the book over and over again.

On the other statements, I agree with.


message 38: by Kim (last edited Jun 15, 2012 12:34PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim i think this was one of the extremely rare occasions, where the book and the movie complemented each other. I watched the movie first and i loved everything about it! John Malkovitch and Gary Sinise were perfect for their parts! i then read the book and loved it even more becuase i had faces to put with the characters. Normally i hate watching movies based on books, especially the ones that i have read, but in this case, i think the movie and the book go perfectly together and enhance each other!


message 39: by Doug (new) - rated it 5 stars

Doug Christi Unfortunately, John Malkovich, (who I admire as a fine actor), chose to play Lenny as retartded rather than slow. The original film version with Lon Chaney as Lenny was much more true to Steinbeck's description. If you haven't see the 1939 movie, please check it out. You will then enjoy the complete picture of how the movie and book can compliment each other.


message 40: by Monty J (last edited Jul 31, 2012 11:10AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Monty J Heying Becky wrote: "Did anyone feel that the Of Mice and Men movie was better than the book? I didn't. I felt that the movie was too played up for Hollywood, and some of the elements were overplayed. I also felt that ..."

The closest film rendition of OMM to the book is the '39 version with Lon Cheney (Lenny), Burgess Meredith (George) and Bob Steel (Curley). The '86 version wasn't well done, and the '92 version with Senise and Malkovich mutilated the Curley's wife character, making her out to be this innocent victim. (The film did poorly in the box office because of this, I believe, because a story needs a powerful villain, and Curley was too two dimensional.)

The role of Candy was powerfully rendered in the '39 version and in the '92 version as well. Slim, the line boss, was also very effective in both versions.

Bear in mind that, even in the '39 version, Curley's wife was softened to placate the female audience.

No film version has ever been up to the power of the book, although the '92 version was extremely realistic and well acted. If they'd not mutilated the Curley's wife role, it would have been much more powerful and financially successful. Instead, a great female villain was turned into a so-so victim and the victim, Lenny, was twisted into becoming a so-so villain, destroying his effectiveness.

Someone needs to write a screenplay that's loyal to this brilliantly conceived and well rendered novel.


message 41: by Doug (new) - rated it 5 stars

Doug Christi I agree that the role of Curly's wife was softened for the movie, (I'm not sure placate is the correct word to use), but I disagree that in the book she sould be considered a "villian" as you suggested in another post. Did she flaunt her sexuality? Yes. Was she inappropriate in her comments and actions? Absolutely. However, I think JS was commenting on the tragic paradigm established during that era in which women were often forced to choose between a life of servitude and dullness, (mostly the plain and unattractive females), and a life of wealth and possessions, (garnered by the more fetching women who learned at a young age how to use their wiles to the best advantage). Either way, women were made to feel powerless. The need to break free of that weak role and assert some form of control caused women to make all sorts of questionable judgements, (including racist behavior which was commonplace in the early twentieth century). The sadness of Steinbeck's characters is the prophetic nature of the roles which are still played out in society today. Lenny demonstrated the simple/soft side of men which we have all been trained to ignore or even punish. His mental limitations suggest that when his fondness for soft things resulted in an awkward circumstance, he reacted with violence, (like it or not, most men see violence as an early option when confused and/or trying to portray masculinity). We must try to put the story in the context of the time when it was written rather than fit it into our modern point of view.


Monty J Heying Doug wrote: "I agree that the role of Curly's wife was softened for the movie, (I'm not sure placate is the correct word to use), but I disagree that in the book she sould be considered a "villian" as you sugge..."

Thanks for your input. I've edited my post to expand and elaborate. Perhaps that will help.

As for violence, males are endowed by nature with a lot more testosterone than females, which helps to explain, not justify, their proclivity toward violence.


message 43: by Doug (new) - rated it 5 stars

Doug Christi Thanks Wordist. I think we may view the theme and subtext of OMM differently, but I think we agree that the movie version(s) have little chance of capturing the intended message envisioned by John Steinbeck. Also--although hormonal differnces can account for much of the violent behavior of men, I think we must inculpate environmental influences and social pressures as well.


Monty J Heying Doug wrote: "Thanks Wordist. I think we may view the theme and subtext of OMM differently, but I think we agree that the movie version(s) have little chance of capturing the intended message envisioned by John ..."

We agree about the social/environmental conditioning. I can't stand to watch hockey and most football programming. Forget boxing and that cage fighting. As long as society rewards extreme violence so handsomely, men will keep getting sucked in. Unless they rise above such barbarism.


message 45: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Thomas I actually viewed the movie before I read the book, and was surprised when, at a young age, the literature resonated with me on a more profound emotional level. While director Gary Sinese did an excellent job of connecting the viewer to George's constant struggle and the unique bond he shared with Lennie, no filmmaker, despite his or her artistic gifts, will ever be able to capture the mutual beauty and horror of George's decision, which is both understandable and haunting.

I like how Wordlist pointed out that in the '92 film adaptation Lennie is characterized as unlikely villain while Curly's Wife takes on the role of innocent victim. This understanding has always framed my reading of Of Mice and Men, and I now find myself returning to the text with an entirely new take on Curly's Wife. It's a completely different read.


message 46: by Doug (new) - rated it 5 stars

Doug Christi Wordist & Matt--Couldn't agree more! (Except I still think Sinese and Malkovich dropped the ball on their adaptation. The 1939 version is infinitely better:O))


message 47: by Kim (last edited Jun 21, 2012 02:26PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Matt wrote: "I actually viewed the movie before I read the book, and was surprised when, at a young age, the literature resonated with me on a more profound emotional level. While director Gary Sinese did an ex..."

Guys i hate to disagree with you, but i never thought of Lenny as a villain in the 92 version! Curly's wife was my least favorite character and by the end of the movie i kept thinking "wow she deserved that!" I didn't get the impression that she was innocent at all. i saw her as a useless, negative, ungrateful woman and like i said, by the end of the movie, i was glad she was gone. I sympathized with Lenny and loved him so much more as a character, dispite the murder. at the risk of sounding "stereotypical" i think my being a woman probably has a lot to do with my dislike of Curly's wife. I pick up on the faults of female characters more than the male, simply because i already have a female, pre conceived idea of how women should act. Just kinda thinking out loud.


message 48: by Kara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kara Dobson They were both emotional and amazing. I cried during both ):


Monty J Heying Kara wrote: "They were both emotional and amazing. I cried during both ):"

I rarely have cried at a movie, but in the '92 version, I had to get up and walk to the back of the theater during the last scene. I knew what was coming, and I didn't want my 12 and 14 year-old daughters to see me cry. Damn powerful scene.

(Can't believe I got them to go with me to the movies. I didn't even have to bribe them. They seemed to sense the high regard I had for Steinbeck's work.)


Monty J Heying Kim wrote: "Matt wrote: "I actually viewed the movie before I read the book, and was surprised when, at a young age, the literature resonated with me on a more profound emotional level. While director Gary Sin..."

Thanks Kim for your comment. I'm glad to know there are women like you, as I've taken flack for decades, defending my position against the vocal multitudes who see CW as misunderstood.

I think the OMM character of Curley's Wife is taught that way in literature classes out here on the West Coast, where literary vision seems to so often get clouded by political positioning.


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