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Foo Forum

Books To Films
Best, Worst, Wishing for

 3:30 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Been testing a Foolike forum on our intranet today and this question came up with some interesting replies so I'd thought post it here too.

There have been a fair few books that have been adapted into a film.

What's your best one, worst one and which would you most like to see happen?


Best: Trainspotting (Irvine Welsh)- an excellent translation from book to film losing none of his 'gravel in cuts' story telling. Which must have been a challenge.

Worst: Catch 22 (Joseph Heller)- A fantastic read tranformed into sleep enducing mediocrity.

Wishing for: The Fantastic Mr Fox (Roald Dahl) - ever since I was a kid I wanted to see this adapted for screen. Twas my favourite book back then :)




troels nybo nielsen

 3:50 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Best: Whisky Galore (Compton Mackenzie). Don't know if it's really the very best, but it is the only example I know of a very good film based on a lousy book!

I have no nominations for the other titles.


 3:52 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Best: The Shawshank Redemption

Worst: The Bourne Identity. Great books, let down at the theater.

Wanted: Angels and Demons (Dan Brown) ... random pick of something I read recently, could be done well.

or maybe Long Dark Teatime of the Soul.. or the first Dirk Gently novel. Wonder if it could happen.. might if H2G2 is a hit.


 6:22 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wanted: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman


 7:36 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Best: The Princess Bride, by S. Morgenstern: One of my all time favorite books and movies. Incredible story, wonderful casting, and most of the lines in the movie are taken word for word from the book.

Worst: Runaway Jury, John Grisham Terrrible, just terrible. It's probably not even the worst ever, but certainly the worst of the Grisham books made into movies.

Wishing for: Hmmm, that's a hard one! I guess I'd go with any Travis McGee book by John MacDonald.


 10:18 am on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Shawshank Redemption

I did'nt know this was a book?


 10:38 am on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Best : The Green Mile (another Stephen King who wrote Shawshank, though I've not read it...wouldn't want to spoil the film)
Worst : The Beach
Please make it soon : The Hobbit!

troels nybo nielsen

 10:57 am on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wanted: Cien años de soledad (Gabriel García Márquez).


 11:31 am on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ho! I've read Cien años de soledad many times, one of my favourite books. Would hate to see a bad movie version!

troels nybo nielsen

 11:39 am on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I fully agreee and I'm aware that it was a dangerous suggestion. It would be a giant task to create a film based on this miraculous novel.


 12:38 pm on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

this miraculous novel.

Have you seen an English translated version or is it one of those books that would lose its subtlety?


troels nybo nielsen

 12:48 pm on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Actually I only know the Danish translation. I do not doubt that some subtleties have been lost but still the book survives in magnificent style. It is such a great story that even a not quite sufficient translation would not be able to seriously harm it.


 1:23 pm on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Best: Do androids dream of electric sheep/blade runner (Philip K. Dick) and Fight Club (Chuck Palahniuk).

Worst: Dune

Wanted: The Master and Margarita (Mihail Bulgakov) and anything by Kurt Vonnegut. I worry that somebody would foul it up. 100 Years of Solitude is one of my favourite books as well. Again, I would worry that somebody would slaughter it.


 1:27 pm on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Cien años de soledad = 100 years of solitude

Available in English, and an excellent book


 2:24 pm on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Shawshank Redemption

I didn't know this was a book?

A novella by Stephen King of all people, I think it was called 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank redemption'. It's not really the best read, but it went quite well to film.

In the same collection (Called 'Different Seasons') there was 'the body' which later became a rather successful movie called 'Stand By Me'. And 'Apt Pupil' which became a not so successful movie I never saw.


 2:35 pm on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Best: A Bridge Too Far. The book was OK, but a bit on the dry and historically oriented side, and spent just a wee bit too much time harping on how much of an idiot Monty was (not that I disagree, but you only have to spend so much time making the point.) The movie was great, kept most of the historical elements intact, good pacing, good action without being over the top, and some great lines and an UNBELIEVABLE cast of some of the biggest names in Hollywood and British Cinema. (As a side bonus, you get to see a "before he was famous" moment of the actor who played Cliff Claven on Cheers. He takes a bullet in the head, very satisfying).

Worst: Practical Joke, by Vonnegut. Great book, in a "makes you think, keeps you laughing" kind of way. The movie was a horrid piece of camp. Some of the themes in the book came off so poorly in the movie that it changed their meaning entirely. The miniaturized chinese ambassador in the movie came off as... a borderline racist statement. Not at ALL what Vonnegut intended.

Would like to see: Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul. Someone already mentioned this, and I'm going to have to back it up. I just wanna see Thor arguing with an airport ticket agent.


 2:54 pm on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

A novella by Stephen King of all people

Goes to show you think you know something... I have always thought Shawshank was based on a true story.


 3:03 pm on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

true story

heh nope, but Stand by Me was semi-autobiographical.

I've never actually enjoyed Stephen King. I don't like horror in any medium, but Different Seasons wasn't horror.

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