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message 1: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
What are some of your favorite novels that have been filmed? Have you ever seen a film then discovered it was based upon a novel (or short story) and became inspired to read the source material?

I have never read DUNE (gasp!) but the film never inspired me to visit Frank Herbert's series. Of course, we all know BLADE RUNNER was based on PKD's novel...but I think the novel could still be adapted and become an entirely different film. There are hundreds and I'm curious as to some of our favorites. Personally, I would like to see Haralan Ellison's screenplay for I, ROBOT filmed. I also enjoyed Richard Matheson's TV adaptation of THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES: not perfect, the SFX are a bit cheesy, but overall I liked it. It was also Carpenter's THE THING that forced me to buy a collection of John W. Campbell's short stories.

message 2: by Ubik (new)

Ubik | 101 comments Mod
One of my favorite films is The Quiet Earth, but the book, which is very rare and expensive, ended up being kind of a disappointment.

message 3: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I have read Dune countless times, but would not have if I had only the movie to reccomend it to me.

I like Blade Runner and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep equally. I view them as completely different entities.

Children Of Men was a good movie, the book was excellent, and yes, I only read the book after I had seen the movie.

Rosemary's Baby- loved both.

Just a few.

message 4: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
I forgot about CHILDREN OF MEN...I will look for the book and add to my reading list.

message 5: by Tom (new)

Tom | 166 comments I sought out the novel CHILDREN OF MEN before I saw the film, reading it because I was so taken with Cuaron's filmmaking skills in Y TU MAMA and PRISONER OF AZKABAN. I almost never do that kind of thing anymore, because I have found that I can better appreciate a film without knowing the novel it is based on. Reading the book after seeing the film can help me appreciate the possible reasons for a change being made for the screen, I'm not sure why.

CHILDREN OF MEN is a good read, if a bit over-intellectualized in that P.D. James kind of way. Very different in tone from the film, but there are some terribly disturbing moments in it, and some very interesting imagery, the kind of thing that James never does in her detective novels.

Big fan of A SCANNER DARKLY here, the novel more than the film. Couldn't Linklater have gotten funding with a different actor, was Keanu really that necessary?

Don't let David Lynch's film of DUNE keep you from the book. I've always had a sneaking fondness for the film, I think there are some wonderful things in it, but I can't entirely disagree with those who can't stand it. The book is a lot of fun to read, a good meaty novel.

message 6: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Mar 07, 2009 11:14AM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
Thanks Tom, I'm half-way through the novel Dune and enjoying it very much. But as I read Herbert's political intrigue and myticism, I can't help but think George Lucas created his franchise from the very DNA of this book.

message 7: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Oh Alex, I'm sure you are right, but since I have always loved both Dune and the Lucas "franchise" I don't mind at all. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

message 8: by Tom (new)

Tom | 166 comments Alex, well, maybe. DUNE seems to be much more advanced than anything Lucas ever came up with. DUNE is for grownups, while STAR WARS is for the kid in us all.

That's not a criticism of Lucas' work, of course. Well, at least not until that vile RETURN OF THE JEDI thing, when the Star Wars Franchise turned irretrievably to The Dark Side, but that's another bunch of threads altogether...

message 9: by Michael (new)

Michael (dolphy76) | 3 comments I read Dune 3X and watched David Lynch's movie. I like the movie and also like the mini-series although I prefer many of the actors in the David Lynch version.
Blade Runner is my favorite SF film and I also love Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. I actually like the movie slightly more.
2001 comes in second but the book did nothing for me.

message 10: by Terence (new)

Terence (spocksbro) I've seen Lynch's Dune and the miniseries with William Hurt, I've just completed the 18-disk Audio CD, and I've read the novel umpteen times since my first time at the tender age of 12, and I'm still trying to figure out how profoundly wrong everyone's gotten it since Herbert put pen to paper (at least IMO).

Just a case in point - I tried watching the miniseries concurrently with the audio but couldn't get past the first 30 minutes the script and acting were so bad. And miscasting - William Hurt as Leto? And Gaius Helen Mohiam is clearly described as a witch-like crone but she's a smooth-faced 30-something in the series (granted, though, her appearance may have been colored by Paul's not-very-good reaction to meeting her). On a good note, the actors who played Paul and Jessica worked for me.

But this is supposed to be about favorite film adaptations - so:

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" (original) - Based on a short story to which it bears almost no resemblence (which is a good thing as the story isn't very readable).

"Forbidden Planet" - Though, technically, I don't think you can classify Shakespeare's "The Tempest" as SF (or maybe you can, Prospero is a magician).

And I'll concur with the general consensus about "Children of Men" - good book, good movie.

message 11: by Phillip (last edited Mar 10, 2009 09:42AM) (new)

Phillip tom wrote:

"Don't let David Lynch's film of DUNE keep you from the book. I've always had a sneaking fondness for the film, I think there are some wonderful things in it, but I can't entirely disagree with those who can't stand it. The book is a lot of fun to read, a good meaty novel. "

that's my opinion, word for word.

message 12: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 144 comments I had been hearing about the Dune books all through highschool from my friends. When I actually picked up the first book in my first year of college, I was enthralled. Two years later when I heard the movie was coming out, I was elated.

Unfortunately the movie experience was painful to watch after having just read the novels. It was a stupid silly movie with dialogue that made me wince.
The scenes of Paul riding the giant worms reminded me of the surf sequences from Frankie and Annette on the beach.
I got the feeling Lynch had just given up and was just thumbing his nose at all the Dune fans.

At least the HBO version (john hurt and all) tried to stay with the original concept of Herbert's novel.

So far the only movie that did a really good job of following the novel was "1984".
A very powerful look into the bleak alternative London of Orwell's 1984. Richard Burton's last movie.

message 13: by Ubik (new)

Ubik | 101 comments Mod
I love David Lynch's Dune! And this is coming from someone who a) has not read the book (yet) and b) not someone who thinks David Lynch shits golden eggs no matter what he directs (aka: as objective of an opinion as possible)

message 14: by Phillip (new)

Phillip dune has lynch's touches, but he actually didn't have a lot of freedom to make the movie he wanted to make. a lot of stuff he created for the film was edited out by universal. it's easy to complain that it isn't a great film, and yes, there are scenes like the worm riding scenes which are laughable, but there's also quite a lot of good scenes in the film, i think. if lynch had had more creative control, it would have been more worthy of the book.

message 15: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 144 comments I must admit I did like some of the production values of Lynch's Dune movie. The look of the old palace on Arrakis was great, and I did like the stillsuits worn by the Fremen in the desert.

But come on.........
Dialogue where you can actually hear what people are thinking ........totally laughable. I blame Lynch for that detail.

When Linda Hunt whispers
"Im Shadeout Mapes....The housekeeper" the audience broke out in a riot of laughter and ridicule.

message 16: by Tom (last edited Mar 12, 2009 08:18AM) (new)

Tom | 166 comments Manuel, yes, the unfortunate voiceovers don't help matters. I always remember Francesca Annis thinking in that heated whisper "My son..........lives!"

And that little moment of Linda Hunt's, well...yeah. I've always wondered what on earth prompted that whole thing, if there was a scene or two or three that hit the cutting room floor.

message 17: by Ubik (new)

Ubik | 101 comments Mod
Ya know, that never ever bothered me and I didnt know that it was one of the major contenders for most annoying thing about Dune. In fact, I never really figured out why specifically people *dont* like Dune...

message 18: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
Now that I've almost finished DUNE, I am truly awed by it's grand scope of narrative and imagination: the same feeling I had upon first reading Tolkein's LORD OF THE RINGS. I believe in this world and the people...but now I'm even more hesitant to watch any movie/TV version. When I first saw the RING films (and I really enjoyed them) I was worried that I would always picture the actors as the characters, using the filmmaker's template to replace my own imagination. Since the books were so firmly rooted into my mind, that didn't happen...though I think the casting was excellent. But DUNE is still fresh in my mind and i don't want to spoil it.

message 19: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 144 comments Good choice Alex,
If you really enjoyed the book, I recommend waiting a while before you attempt to see any of the movies:

message 20: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 144 comments I remember I enjoyed seeing "The Illustrated Man"
even though they only filmed 3 of the Ray Bradbury short stories from his anthology.

One of the few "assigned" reading books in high school
I actually liked.

message 21: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
I just rented THE ILLUSTRATED MAN a few months ago and not a bad little adaptation. Bradbury is difficult to adapt to the screen because of his beautiful nostalgic prose, and while his dialogue and inner voice "reads" doesn't sound natural when spoken aloud. But I do like Truffaut's version of FAHRENHEIT 451.

message 22: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 144 comments I remember watching "The Martian Chronicles" when I was a sophomore in high school. Way back then in 1979 I liked it; Im not sure I would still like it today.

Rock Hudson as a settler on Mars?????

message 23: by Phillip (last edited Mar 21, 2009 09:08AM) (new)

Phillip for years i really fussed in my head about "oh, this film isn't like the book at all!"...but nowadays i'm much more open to seeing a director's vision that can do something else with the narrative. it just makes sense. it's a completely different world - the world of words - and the world of images. there were quite a few difference between the novel Let the Right One In, and the film, and i appreciated the director's vision of the book a lot, despite the fact that it left out lots of things that thickened the plot.

cronenberg made a great film out of the impossible to film naked lunch. what a great choice to focus on burroughs writing the book instead of the mountain of material inherent in the novel.

or take the shining for example. in the book you get those great scenes where danny is frightened by the hedge animals...those are some great scenes. they don't appear in the book. but kubrick makes sure danny is terrorized by the hotel, no problems there. he just makes a different choice, and it works perfectly. the ending of the book is also very different from the film. kubrick knew the exploding hotel would have been ridiculous on film, and it's all the more scary that the hotel is alive and well at the end of the film.

i can't comment well on dune. it's been a long time since i read the book (which i really of my favorite sci-fi reads, actually). i've never seen the television version of the book (with william hurt, et. al.). i've already commented on lynch's version. i think it works pretty well, despite a few flaws. it's an entertaining film.

i guess the movie most likely to piss me off is the irish production of james joyce's ulysses (talk about an un-film-able novel!!!). but despite the fact that they "modernized" it, by setting it in the 1960's, i thought they did a pretty good job of presenting a skeleton of the book's numerous themes and plots. milo o'shea is great as bloom, and the internal monologues and flashbacks actually show how joyce pioneered numerous "cinematic" techniques (in literature).

message 24: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I watched Will Smith in "I Am Legend" last night. That makes it a wrap. I've read the book & watched all 3 movies.

I was surprised that I liked this latest movie version as much as I did. With the really crappy CGI, especially in the beginning, I thought it was going to be a complete bomb. It actually developed pretty well. There were even some subtle references that were fun, like the gas prices.

It was a far cry from the book, but good.

message 25: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 144 comments Jim
You pushed me over the edge. I was reluctant to see "I am Legend", but now you convinced me, I should relent and finally rent it.

I like Vincent Price's version, and I was a big fan of Charlton Heston's movie too, but I couldnt convince myself to see this latest release.

message 26: by Ubik (new)

Ubik | 101 comments Mod
Ive never seen Omega Man, but I have seen I Am Legend and Last Man On Earth and I really like both of them. I will say that I prefer the alternate ending of I Am Legend though.

message 27: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 144 comments Omega Man isnt as campy as Last Man on Earth, but Heston does a great job. Im not crazy about his Christ-like death though; sacrificing himself so that mankind can live.

When he is driving through the empty streets of LA, take a look at the background, you can see freeway traffic clearly moving in the distance.

message 28: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I'll have to check out the alternate ending. I've heard about it, but never seen it.

Heston's death scene was certainly a dramatic one. Definitely over blown, but I liked the Christ like sacrifice. It was pretty common, still is. Makes it's point, even if it isn't subtle.

Price dies pretty much on the alter in a church, actually it's where the priest & such stand - can't recall what they call that. That ending is closer to the book. Both the others miss or change the point of the book completely. It's not about sacrifice, it's about the last man on earth being an old monster, a hold over from the past, a monster to the new order. The new people fear him & hold him in awe.

message 29: by Ubik (new)

Ubik | 101 comments Mod
Re: that last paragraph, Jim: Thats what the alternate ending of I Am Legend conveys better than the theatrical one does. In that, the woman monster (forget what they called them) is one of the head monster's wife so Neville finally understands that that the monster is pining for his woman and goes through the barrier and frees her. It shows a lot more emotion coming from the monsters' side. Just watch it.

message 30: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I watched the alternate ending to "I Am Legend". I didn't like it, but I'm trying to pin down the reasons.


'By the book' (which is kind of silly) Neville is killed off because he has no place in the new order. The typical man no longer has a place in the world, he's an anathema, a monster & must be removed before the new order can be free to evolve.

In this particular movie, if I understood this ending correctly, he's allowed to live because he returns the creature's mate. But he's 'cured' her, right? I guess I'm confused about the cure. Did he achieve a successful cure or not?

If he didn't cure her, just not kill her, it makes more sense. Uneasy truce, so he gives up his obsession, realizing they are 'people' & gets out of Dodge.

If he did cure her, what happens to the creature's mate? Since she's 'cured' she should now be the monster. He achieved his goal & then abandons it, going to Vermont with the girl, not knowing if there is really a place to go or not? That doesn't make sense.

message 31: by Ubik (new)

Ubik | 101 comments Mod
I think that he was getting close to the cure working, but it wasnt perfect yet. I cant recall exactly tbh, but I think it wore off or something? So, I do think that she was basically the same as when he caught her. Maybe someone who has seen it more recently can lend a hand here.

Ive actually only seen the film once all the way through and then I saw the alternate ending separately twice and a few key scenes here and there.

message 32: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) That makes more sense. Almost cured her, she's back to 'normal'. Thanks.

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