Movies Based on Books

How do you feel about movies based on books? How do you feel about movies based on books that you absolutely loved reading? Do the movies ever match the books in that situation? Or have you seen a wonderful movie where the book didn't reach the same level?

One of my favorite books of all time is The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Yes, I first read the book as a requirement for an English class in high school, but I've voluntarily read the book a few times between now and then. Since I often never re-read even books that I enjoyed on the first go-round, to say that I can't really remember exactly how many times I've read The Scarlet Letter is saying something.

I avoided the 1995 Demi Moore-Gary Oldham movie version of The Scarlet Letter for a lo-o-ong time because I knew I wouldn't be happy. Finally, I "braved" watching the movie on television, and I really couldn't conceive how horrible the results would be. THEY GAVE THE TALE A HAPPILY EVER AFTER ENDING! Huh? How in the world could Hester, Reverend Dimmesdale, and little Pearl ride off to start a life together?

I suppose the blessing is that Hawthorne didn't have to see the results of how his novel was handled. Then again, with copyright, he wouldn't have allowed something so tragic to happen to his story during his lifetime.

On the opposite side, I enjoyed Gary Oldham-Winon Ryder's 1992 Bram Stoker's Dracula much, much, much more then the book. Oldham is a fantastic Dracula. I'm sure having Francis Ford Coppola as the director didn't exactly hurt the quality of the movie, either. I love more modern versions of the vampire story, which all owe their roots to Stoker, but I just couldn't really get into his book.

I watched the first The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie before reading the book, and I actually enjoyed the movie version much better. Is that because I saw the movie before reading the book? Could be.

Any suggestions for book and movie combinations that you enjoyed or hated?

Comments

I find that if I really enjoyed a book, the movie is normally always a let down. I did find that The Secret life of Bee's stayed very true to the book and was very impressed, I do think this is very rare. I have a feeling I will find that same dissapointment with Twilight.
I'm worried about Twilight, too, as they didn't allow advance viewings for critics. That generally isn't a very good sign!!

I still haven't read The Secret Life of Bees, which is on my long list of books to read, or seen the movie.
Nicola O. said…
It's old-school, but Gone With The Wind does not disappoint, even if the movie did sort of skip over things like Scarlett's other two children.
Funny that I didn't think of Gone with the Wind! Maybe that's because I've never read the book. Odd, but true.

My sister had a life-size poster of Clark Gable as Rhett Butler on her apartment wall back in the day, though, so you would think GWTW would have come to mind. . . .

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