Don’t Judge a Book by the Movie, Unless. . .

I’ve had a few “Did you like the movie as much as the book?” discussions  since The Hunger Games hit theaters last weekend. The answer to that question is almost always, “No.” In fact, I might go ahead and say the answer is always “no” since I can’t think of a single movie I liked more than I liked the book.

“Don’t judge a book by the movie,” is a pretty good rule to follow, unless of course you see the movie before you read the book. There were a few (loud) teenage girls in the row in front of us at the theater who clearly did not read the book before seeing the movie. They clapped at the wrong times and gasped in surprise at events the rest of us knew were coming. They should definitely read the book since they seemed to love the movie.

I can think of some really good movie adaptations (To Kill a Mockingbird with Gregory Peck and the recent Jane Eyre come to mind immediately), but even the really good ones don’t compare to the books. The best movie adaptations make you want to read the book, either again or for the very first time.

What’s your favorite book to movie adaptation? What do you think made it so good?

Comments

  1. Movies and books are two different forms of artistic expression. I don’t know as if we ought to expect them to be exactly the same. However, that being, said, I do find it a rather postmodern thing where a screenwriter adapts a book, completely ignoring the original author’s original intent. I don’t like it when significant portions of the movie are taken out for the sake of time. Hollywood makes movies to make money; not to promulgate truth. It is evident in their adaptations.

    My favourite screen adaptation is the production of Jane Eyre, starring Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clarke. One of the worst adaptations, I found, was the Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightly.

  2. The Time Travelers Wife was a book that was turned into a movie that was well done. Despite knowing the ending, I was still shocked when it happened, and I cried. That was one movie that did make me want to go back and read the book again to pick up what I had missed the first time around.