It’s really sad when you see a movie and truly enjoy it, only later to pick up the book the film was based on, love it, and begin despising the movie version you so recently loved.

There are a few exceptions, for example, The Godfather, Roots, Goldfinger, The Andromeda Strain (orginal), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Color Purple. Those movies translated well to film.

Can you think of any movie adaptations you loved before you read the written version? And what was it you read that made you dislike the movie?

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The Maltese Falcon is a great adaptation, almost literal. Get Shorty worked well, too. I read Mystic River after I saw the movie; it's different, but translated well. Jaws is a much better movie than book.

Books that ruined a movie I liked? There have been several, but none come to mind right now, probably because of the disconnect. I know there have been several movies I enjoyed, then read the book and wondered what books they'd been reading.

It's tough, creating what purports to be the same story for an entirely different medium. I've seen lots of movies that were pretty good where I thought "I'll bet the book is better" while I was watching it, if only because I expected the book would set up the character's actions better.
I can't think of any movie I saw that made me read the book, only to have me hate the movie. I saw 'Fight Club' before I read it, and respect both versions enormously. In fact, if you look at adaptations like 'Goodfellas' and then read the Pileggi book, it only adds to your appreciation of the movie, in my view.

What are you thinking of, though? I suppose some Elmore Leonard adaptations would count (the one with Burt Reynolds - sorry, I really can't remember its name - would qualify here, except that the movie was enjoyable, only far less than the book).

Hey, I can think of one adaptation where the movie really stank & the book rocked - Strip Tease. But the movie was a stinker from the start, in my view - apart from Burt Reynolds. Anyone seen that SNL sketch where he changes his name to Turd Ferguson? It's on the best of Will Ferrell DVD, and I was splitting my sides. Top stuff.
Stick, is the Burt Reynolds movie from the Elmore Leonard book. Out of Sight is the best adaptation of Elmore Leonard so far.

I liked LA Confidential a little less after I read the book - or really after I read the trilogy. It wasn't really the movie's fault, it's fine, but after all three books it's really just tip of the iceberg stuff.

I'd like to see more cable TV adaptations of books - mini-series, I guess I'm saying.

The older I get, the less interested I am in movies. It's probably just me....
I must have been one of the few people who read "the silence of the lambs"before I saw the movie.It was also one of the few films that stood up well to the original version,unlike just about everything by elmore leonard(with the excweption of jackie brown).Other great dissapointments for me,albeit in different genres,are just about every philip k.dick interpretations,and the myriad failures to transcribe the genius of the graphic novelist Alan Moore.Fingers crossed for the Watchmen.
I've seen a few movies that have inspired me to read the book, and in general, the books are usually better. But that's the nature of's very hard to accurately portray a good book on film.

That doesn't take away from the movie, as far as I'm concerned. It just reflects the limitations of film.
If I read the book first, and then see the movie, I tend to be critical. However, if I see the movie first, I can love the movie and the book as separate entities. Jurassic Park is an example of this, as is Practical Magic, and the first two Harry Potter movies. Ooh, and Jackie Brown. I have a harder time thinking of movie adaptations that I loathed, actually. I think I tend to block them out when they get too atrocious.
Generally speaking, books are more intriguing than their movies. However, I recently had the opposite problem: picked a book based on the not-terrible tv movie, and found the book a distinctly lesser vehicle. The author was a publishing industry insider and should have known better than to let some of those amateurish sentences and meandering subplots survive to the galley stage.

Another example: I gave up on Elizabeth George novels after a couple of unsuccessful attempts, but I don't mind the tv series (mainly because of Havers).
Sometimes a lousy book makes for a great movie. When it does, you have to give the screenwriter a lot of the credit. A great piece of film noir is Born to Kill, directed by Robert Wise and starring Lawrence Tierney and Claire Trevor. It came out in 1947 and was based on a 1942 novel by James Gunn titled Deadlier Than the Male. The film was tough, tight and well-acted. The book, alas, was a mess. Once in while it pays to skip the book and watch the movie.
I can't think of any movies offhand. I usually try to read the book first, so I can critique the movie. This may not be fair, but it's what I do. Also I have found some new authors by looking for the message :" based on a book by..." and then I can either trash the movie or the book. As a rule, the book is usually better, but I agree with your choices.
Should it not be the other way round? I have never been to see a film that was based on a book without reading the book first of all. As far as I am concerned it means that I am not disappointed. Wasn't it J W Egan that said "never judge a book by its movie"?
I have to confess after only reading the subject line of this thread, I started thinking of the many times I've had a paperback in my back pocket as I walked into a movie. I tend to read before the lights go down and lately it seems I'm hooked into the book and trying to continue reading in the darkness, not really caring about the movie anymore!
The movie "Relic". I read the book after seeing this and found that like most movies it isn't true to the book with slight plot changes and an emphasis on different characters. The same goes for the TV show "Bones". While I love both the show and the books, the main character is portrayed differently in both. I understand that they do this to get better viewing but it is still disappointing. I have found that most Stephen King books translate to the screen really well.


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