Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book or Movie?


I remember the first time I watched Gone With The Wind. I was mesmerized by Scarlet O'Hara, the burning of Atlanta, the sheer scope and size of the movie. I think I was about 12 the first time I saw it.

A few years later, I checked the novel out of the library. I was floored that the story-line differed so much from the movie. When it was all said and done, though the book was wonderful (Pulitzer, anyone?) I found I preferred the movie to the book.

I felt the same way when Hallmark made a movie from Julie Garwood's book For The Roses. Again, the book differed from the movie. Hallmark changed handsome, manly, hunky Harrison--the prototypical historical romance hero--into a nerdy little fop that had NO resemblance to the book's hero. The nerve! In addition, in the movie, they killed my favorite character off! This does NOT happen in the book. In this case, I preferred the book to the movie.

Then there are some book-to-movie stories that I think are fairly even, I love them both. Robert Parker's Appaloosa. Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove series, Tolkien's Lord of The Rings.

And I've come to the conclusion that my favorite version of a story tends to be the one I experience first. And if I have a choice of one over the other, I always want to read the book first. I guess I'm more of a 'word person' than a 'picture person.'

So, do you prefer books or movies? Does it matter which one you experience first? Are you more about the words or the visuals? What is your favorite book-to-movie, and which one were you most disappointed with?





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20 comments:

  1. I bet that's it - whatever we experience first must tend to be a favorite. Although, for Princess Bride I love the book as much as the movie even though they are very different. Many times a movie just can't do the book justice. I do love books most of the time more than the move for that reason.

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    1. One of the things I think I love about books is getting to know what a character is thinking, not just doing. That inner life makes me feel as if I'm more a part of the story than just watching it on the screen. :) And I LOVE the Princess Bride, book and movie, too,. :)

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  2. I actually can't think of any book-to-movie, movies I've watched. I always prefer books though. If I have the option of curling up with a book or sitting down to watch a movie, I will always want to go with the book. I'm just not much of a movie person in general. I like them, but I rarely have the desire to sit down a watch one.

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    1. Sarah, you sound like my daughter. She's not much into tv or movies, though occasionally I will hog-tie her into watching a classic film with me. :) Books are the best.

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  3. Books! :) So much more to the story!

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  4. Not really! Sorry haven't had my tea yet :)

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    1. Maybe after a healthy dose of Earl Grey, something will come to you. :)

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  5. I like the true life murder mysteries you see on shows like Dateline and 20/20 but don't care about reading them. However I was fascinated with Fatal Vision the movie and the book. The book gave so much more detail. Jeffrey McDonald is still in prison thank goodness! I loved The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews, so much better than the true life novel.

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    1. Oh yes, The Sound of Music was much better than the book! I've not seen Fatal Vision or read the book. I'll have to look into them. :)

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  6. I'm usually impartial. LOL If they differ extraordinarily, then I like them both because they're practically different stories :)

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    1. Sometimes they might as well be different stories. :) Like the ending of Grisham's The Firm. The book is much more drawn out, the location is different, and the reveal is wildly different. Also, Mitch McDeere in the book (in my head) does NOT look like Tom Cruise. :)

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  7. I think it's generally true that whichever I experience first is what I prefer. I think the very worst comparison was Forrest Gump. The main character in the movie is sweet and winsome - the main character in the book is a brainless thug. Very little similarity between the two. Other than that, I generally prefer the book to the movie.

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    1. Okay, here I am admitting that I have never seen Forrest Gump nor read the book. :) *Blush* I'm going to take your word for it, and if I have the choice, I'll go with watching the movie then. :)

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  8. I think as a general rule I would prefer the book to the movie. I think that they've done an amazing job with the Lord of the Rings movies, though. The two movies that come to mind in particular that are let-downs after reading the books are The Wizard of Oz and The Neverending Story. I read both of those books as an adult when I read them out loud to my daughters. Both of those books have such wonderfully creative characters in them. I have a hard time even watching The Wizard of Oz after having read the book. I actually liked the flying monkeys in the book, but they always scared me in the movie. The Neverending Story was an especially fun book. I will admit that I like the first movie, but the sequel was horrible. I loved the quirky characters in the book, especially the Schlamoofs (sp?) who were colorful, silly clown butterflies.

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    1. Those monkeys are the creepiest!!! I forget how scary the Wizard of Oz is until I watch it with a little kid who has never seen it before.

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  9. "Black Hawk Down" is a really fine adaptation of a very engaging book. The movie had to condense both action and the number of characters to make the story coherent, but the changes were both understandable and intelligently done.

    The film version of Steve Coonts' "Flight of the Intruder" would have been an okay stand-alone film, but as an adaptation, it was awful. The story had nuanced characters (surprising for a first-generation techno-thriller), and explored some deep moral issues. To be fair, the film could not tell the story in the time allotted.

    I can't think of a case in which I preferred the movie to the book. No, wait. "Murphy's War", by Max Catto. The book is dreadful. The movie, with Peter O'Toole, is a gem. It gets away from the 60s pop psych of the book, and tells a straightforward story of the lone survivor of a torpedoed ship out for revenge. The supporting cast, Sian Phillips (O'Toole's then-wife) and Philippe Noiret, are outstanding, and provide a 'friendship foil' that never takes the cheap out into romance.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2014/04/marriage-and-pornography-saddest-battle.html

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    1. I haven't read the book Black Hawk Down. I'll have to check it out. I think you've hit on something with saying the movies have to condense so much. And it's usually my favorite parts that get cut out.

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  10. I don't watch a lot of movies based on books that I have read - I DO enjoy both forms of entertainment, but agree with you Erica, in that the first I experience - book or movie - would probably hold the most attraction for me, as the material is fresh/new.

    I did think the TV movie of the Elizabeth Smart story was accurate, I was mesmerized by the book also. On the other hand - I was so upset at wasting my time and money on the recent viewing of the movie "Noah"!! I felt it held almost no spiritual connection to the bible. I had not planned to see it - based on negative reviews - and changed my mind after reading numerous favorable reviews by some widely respected Christian people/organizations. What a mistake!! One of the reasons I don't often read a book and also view the movie on which it is based.

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    1. I've avoided the Noah movie, mostly because I don't go to a lot of movies anyway, and I KNOW I would be upset by the failure to stick to what we know is true from Scripture. I'm all for literary license, but when it comes to Scripture, don't mess with it! :)

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