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A Simple Plan
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General Chat > Best Books to Films?

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A.J. Waines (ajwaines) | 95 comments What's your favourite? I reckon 'A Simple Plan' by Scott Smith is superb, and Harlan Coben (French film) 'Tell No One' - but I keep thinking of new ones all the time! What are yours?


message 2: by Pickle (new)

Pickle | 4 comments i thought No Country for Old Men was a magnificent movie.


A.J. Waines (ajwaines) | 95 comments Pickle wrote: "i thought No Country for Old Men was a magnificent movie."

I'll have to put that on my must-see list!


A.J. Waines (ajwaines) | 95 comments Pickle wrote: "i thought No Country for Old Men was a magnificent movie."

I'll have to put that on my must-see list!


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Mine:

Shutter Island
Dear John
A Simple Plan
Mystic River
Gone Baby Gone
To Kill A Mockingbird


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Do you mean favorite movies that came from books or favorite movie that followed the book almost perfectly? My favorite movie that came from a book is Shawshank Redemption. The movie that I think best followed the book is Hideaway, by Dean Koontz.


A.J. Waines (ajwaines) | 95 comments Kyle wrote: "Mine:

Shutter Island
Dear John
A Simple Plan
Mystic River
Gone Baby Gone
To Kill A Mockingbird"


Thanks for the rating. Good list. Dare we say sometimes they're better than the book?


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

AJ wrote: "Kyle wrote: "Mine:

Shutter Island
Dear John
A Simple Plan
Mystic River
Gone Baby Gone
To Kill A Mockingbird"

Thanks for the rating. Good list. Dare we say sometimes they're better than the book?"

Rarely, but yes there are times when the movie is better than the book.


A.J. Waines (ajwaines) | 95 comments Kathryn wrote: "Do you mean favorite movies that came from books or favorite movie that followed the book almost perfectly? My favorite movie that came from a book is Shawshank Redemption. The movie that I think..."

Good point. I meant books that were simply made into films, really. Do directors/screen-writers take too much liberty with the original story sometimes, do you think? Sometimes the writer insists on their own screenplay, but that kind of writing is a skill different from writing a novel - and not all authors do it well.


message 10: by Bill, Co-Moderator (new)

Bill | 5313 comments Mod
I definitely agree with To Kill a Mockingbird.. the Godfather was excellent.


message 11: by David (new)

David A. (quillracer) | 2218 comments The Lincoln Lawyer is one of the best book to movie adaptations I've ever seen. The only place I really think they slipped was casting Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller. He just didn't match my mental image of Haller.

Kyle: I liked both Mystic River and Gone, Baby, Gone but Mystic River, I think, portrayed the character played by Sean Penn much differently than in the book - he seemed more like a thug in the movie. And the actors portraying Kenzie and Gennaro in Gone, Baby, Gone didn't match my image of the characters - both mainly looked too young to be those two.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Dave wrote: "The Lincoln Lawyer is one of the best book to movie adaptations I've ever seen. The only place I really think they slipped was casting Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller. He just didn't match m..."

Yes, but still, the movies were truer to the books than most, Dave. I agree there are changes, but not enough to say the films were far fetched.
I also thought they portrayed Boston very accurately.


message 13: by Marie-Jo (new)

Marie-Jo Fortis | 118 comments Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Doctor Zhivago
A Passage to India


message 14: by David (new)

David A. (quillracer) | 2218 comments Yes, Kyle, they were.

And yes, they did portray Boston well.

But as I recall, Gone, Baby, Gone deviated quite a bit from the book. I could be wrong; it's been several years since I saw the movie.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

I could be wrong, too. It's been years since I've read the book.

Living in Boston, it's great to see our city portrayed accurately, right down to the accents, in these films.


Rhian (rhianlovesbooksx1f4d6) | 352 comments totally agree with a simple plan and the shawshank redemption, most of the others i've yet to read and will not watch the films 1st


message 17: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (Bookaholic Banter) (bookaholicbanter) The Help


message 18: by C. (new)

C. Stepp | 36 comments In most cases I find movies do a pretty poor job of living up to a well written novel. This rule does have a couple of exceptions to prove it's a rule. I think one of them is "A Clockwork Orange." Stanley Kubrik took a somewhat mediocre book and translated it into a fantastic movie. I also liked "Slaughterhouse 5" Vonnegut is a great American writer, and I like most of his work. Slaughterhouse 5 was one of his earlier works, and I don't think it was one of his best. The movie was able to take advantage of the unstable time signature in a way that was difficult for the author to pull off in literature.


message 19: by A.J. (new) - rated it 5 stars

A.J. Waines (ajwaines) | 95 comments Marie-jo wrote: "Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Doctor Zhivago
A Passage to India"


Oh, yes, Marie-Jo - Tess of the D'Urbevilles


message 20: by A.J. (new) - rated it 5 stars

A.J. Waines (ajwaines) | 95 comments Rhian wrote: "totally agree with a simple plan and the shawshank redemption, most of the others i've yet to read and will not watch the films 1st"

Rhian - good point about whether we should see the film before/after reading the book. I think we should refer to which ever came first - usually, it's the book.


Rhian (rhianlovesbooksx1f4d6) | 352 comments i hate to read a book when i know how it ends and the books last longer so therefore i find them more enjoyable


message 22: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 10, 2013 04:19AM) (new)

I prefer to watch a movie before reading the book. I know that the book will give me much more insight than a movie and I will enjoy the book even after watching the movie, many times because it is much different. Reading the book first usually ruins the movie for me, especially when it is completely different. One example: Along Came a Spider. I loved the movie, then read the Alex Cross series afterward and was shocked at the differences between the movie and the book. I loved both the movie and book because I saw the movie first, but would have hated the movie if I had read the book first.


message 23: by A.J. (new) - rated it 5 stars

A.J. Waines (ajwaines) | 95 comments Kathryn wrote: "I prefer to watch a movie before reading the book. I know that the book will give me much more insight than a movie and I will enjoy the book even after watching the movie, many times because it i..."

Interesting - perhaps we're all different. Or maybe it depends on the book/film.


message 24: by Pickle (last edited Jun 10, 2013 10:29AM) (new)

Pickle | 4 comments both these were better movies than books imo

The Godfather
The Maltese Falcon


message 25: by Ethan (new)

Ethan | 286 comments I think it is also important to note the movies that are adapted by the authors who wrote the book. One very strong example that comes to mind is the film THE GHOSTWRITER based on Robert Harris's novel The Ghost. Having written both the book and the film, Harris ensured that the story was portrayed how he saw fit, in each medium.


message 26: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Robinson | 19 comments Kathryn wrote: "I prefer to watch a movie before reading the book. I know that the book will give me much more insight than a movie and I will enjoy the book even after watching the movie, many times because it i..."

AGREED! If I read the book and then see the movie, 9 times out of 10 I am disappointed in the movie - even though I realize that they have to leave out and change things to make it reasonably fit into two hours. Movie before book for me!
Sometimes it's unavoidable though, as I read so much I've mostly read the books first. However, I have been delighted to find new authors by watching movies based on books.


message 27: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Is this thread about well-done adaptations of thriller books into thriller movies? Or just, 'any' adaptation?


message 28: by David (new)

David A. (quillracer) | 2218 comments Shannon: watching the first Harry Potter movie motivated me to read the books.


message 29: by Sandi (new)

Sandi | 451 comments Interesting writing this after Shannon's comment, but I'm glad I read all Harry Potters before movies, especially the first one. The movie was just perfect for how I imagined it.

To Kill A Mockingbird, one of the best adaptions ever!
The Agony and the Ecstacy, read it before seeing the Sistene Chapel
Julie and Julia, read it first, but the movie is great fun
All The President's Men, scarier than the book

Three are old, but really worth reading/seeing.


message 30: by A.J. (new) - rated it 5 stars

A.J. Waines (ajwaines) | 95 comments Feliks wrote: "Is this thread about well-done adaptations of thriller books into thriller movies? Or just, 'any' adaptation?"

Hi Feliks

I think we're looking at the best adaptations and whether we should read the book or see the film, first.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

The Great Gatsby (the new version). Just brilliant.


message 32: by Angelo (new)

Angelo Marcos (angelomarcos) | 226 comments Shutter Island, definitely.

I also thought Silence of the Lambs was very well done as a film too. Red Dragon was also a good film adaptation as well I thought.

I always liked Misery and The Shining as films, although the Kubrick version of The Shining did deviate a lot from the book. There was a mini-series type version made of The Shining which I remember being much truer to the book but IMHO not as scary or entertaining as the Kubrick version.


message 33: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Robinson | 19 comments Angelo wrote: "Shutter Island, definitely.

I also thought Silence of the Lambs was very well done as a film too. Red Dragon was also a good film adaptation as well I thought.

I always liked Misery and The Shi..."


Misery, Dolores Claiborne, & The Green Mile were definitely well done as book-to-screen.


message 34: by Pickle (last edited Jun 12, 2013 08:10AM) (new)

Pickle | 4 comments I thought both Misery and The Shining were better movies than books. The ending in the movie for The Shining was far better than what was in the book.


message 35: by Poornima (new) - added it

Poornima | 57 comments One up for 'to kill a mocking bird'...

another good adaptation was william dielh's 'primal fear'..


message 36: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan (hieronymus) | 6 comments I think The Godfather and its sequels are the best films from books because, to be honest, they took pretty mediocre books and made them into tremendous movies. Now that's movie magic!


message 37: by Angelo (new)

Angelo Marcos (angelomarcos) | 226 comments Oh yeah, I forgot about The Green Mile.

That too!


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Pickle wrote: "I thought both Misery and The Shining were better movies than books. The ending in the movie for The Shining was far better than what was in the book."

I actually liked The Shining's book ending better than the movie's version. Without giving anything away for somebody that hasn't read it, the end of the book was just more satisfying and provided more closure for me.


message 39: by Pickle (new)

Pickle | 4 comments Kathryn wrote: "Pickle wrote: "I thought both Misery and The Shining were better movies than books. The ending in the movie for The Shining was far better than what was in the book."

I actually liked The Shining'..."


i thought it was very silly and a bit far fetched whereas the movie's ending was excellent.

Id add Jaws as being an OK book but an utterly fantastic movie.. if you consider sci-fi/horror then there are a myriad of movies that are better than the book.


message 40: by Sandi (new)

Sandi | 451 comments Josiah wrote: "The Great Gatsby (the new version). Just brilliant."

From what I've read, you are the only person on the planet loving that movie!


message 41: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 35083 comments Sandi wrote: "Josiah wrote: "The Great Gatsby (the new version). Just brilliant."

From what I've read, you are the only person on the planet loving that movie!"


I wouldn't say I loved it but it was okay.


message 42: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Robinson | 19 comments Unfortunately I'm not a Leo fan and I can't bring myself to watch The Great Gatsby. I also may be one of the only people on the planet who never made it through Titanic. I was done after about 20 minutes.
The last movie I really liked with Leo DiCaprio was What's Eating Gilbert Grape. ;)


message 43: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 16, 2013 06:07AM) (new)

Shannon wrote: "Unfortunately I'm not a Leo fan and I can't bring myself to watch The Great Gatsby. I also may be one of the only people on the planet who never made it through Titanic. I was done after about 20 m..."

I agree with you about the movie Titanic. I did watch the whole thing but I still wasn't overly enthused about it. Plus, I'm a huge fan of the original Poseidon Adventure. I thought that was a lot better movie.


message 44: by Susan from MD (last edited Jun 15, 2013 08:00AM) (new)

Susan from MD | 58 comments I went to The Great Gatsby last weekend and thought it was OK. There is just something about that movie that seems hard to capture on screen - and to some extent may get lost in the book (judging by some comments I've read)!


message 45: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Krisko (kakrisko) | 144 comments The old (1960s?) adaptation of 'Rebecca' Rebecca was, I thought, very well done - as was 'The Birds' (also by Du Maurier).


message 46: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 35083 comments I like the Hitchcock/Selznick version of Rebecca. Fairly faithful to the book. Good book, too.


message 47: by Katherine (new)

Katherine | 187 comments A Town Like Alice (Neville Shute) I think the first ever novel I had read that was turned into a movie/TV series. Made me want to read the rest of his books, especially A Far Country.

Also, The Thorn Birds (who hasn't read the book and watched the series?)


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

does a tv series count? I think the Dexter series was much better than the novels.


message 49: by N (new)

N | 304 comments Gone With the Wind, The Thorn Birds, Flowers in the Attic, Carrie, Shawshank Redemption, Hunger Games, Last 4 Harry Potter, Anna Karenina and Les Miserables (the most recent ones), Lord of the Rings, The Princess Bride, Breakfast at Tiffanys.


message 50: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Robinson | 19 comments N wrote: "Gone With the Wind, The Thorn Birds, Flowers in the Attic, Carrie, Shawshank Redemption, Hunger Games, Last 4 Harry Potter, Anna Karenina and Les Miserables (the most recent ones), Lord of the Ring..."

Flowers in the Attic, you think? I remember I was so anxious to see it when it came out and I was soooo disappointed in it.


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