Books whose movies are just as good—or even better

By August 25, 2013Uncategorized

Was thinking about movies made from books that manage to be just as good or even better than the books. Sacrilege? Maybe.

The topic came up at home when my husband couldn’t find the Blu-ray he was looking for in our movie cabinet, and had to dig out stacks and stacks of things in the process. I heard him cataloging what he found. “Cold Comfort Farm.”

I LOVE Cold Comfort Farm, the movie. I saw it years and years ago, before I knew there was a book. Rufus Sewell being all steamy. Stephen Fry playing it straight and randy. Joanna Lumley before she was Absolutely Fabulous. Kate Beckinsale before she had her teeth fixed. I LOVE it.

And then I read the book last year, and it shot to my all-time-favorites list. If I’d read it before I saw the movie, I might not have liked the film.

Other movies that do the book justice: To Kill a Mockingbird, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, something else without a bird in the title. Jurassic Park. Shawshank Redemption (it was only a novella in book form, for one thing).

One movie that it’s cool to hate, but that made the story actually operational: Forrest Gump. Have you read that book? It’s terrible. Although I did enjoy when Forrest became a professional wrestler in Muncie, Indiana. Other than that, though, give me the Tom Hanks version.

I’m about to read a book by Shannon Hale called Austenland, as the movie version enjoys its opening weekend. Will I see the movie? Maybe. Depends on whether the book is any good, amIright?

What movies from books do you recommend?

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Carsten says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I had a rough time with Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country for Old Men”. I’m crazy about the movie, but the book just didn’t sit with me right (perhaps it was the long sentences without proper punctuation/capitalization).

    “Stand By Me” was also a better film than the short story, probably due to the strong kid performances.

    I read the first Harry Potter book (on a plane, no less) and had sort of an “eh, it’s okay” reaction to it. I have never read any of the books beyond the first one. Can’t say I went bonkers for the film, but I saw all of them and considered them to be well made and entertaining.

    Oh, and here’s a bit of blasphemy for ya — Lord of the Rings. I may have read the first book as a teenager, but I picked it up again about 6 month before the first movie came out and couldn’t get through it. I made it about 1/3 way in and decided I’d just see the movie. Feel free to be aghast in disgust and disdain.

    If I think of any others, I’ll let you know.

    • Lori says:

      STAND BY ME–you’re totally right. The movie brought it to life. The Harry Potter movies dispense with some of JK’s extra fluff. I like the books, but the movies are better in most cases.

      I’ve never read Lord of the Rings, and I don’t plan to. But I love the movie series.

      Good ones, Carsten!

  • Hands down, to my mind, the Excellent Flick from Badly Written Tripe Award goes to The Bridges of Madison County.

    • Lori says:

      Just thought of another book to movie that I like equally well: Remains of the Day. Lovely book with an unreliable narrator to beat them all, and a really great movie.

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