Are there any novel based movies out there that stay true to the novel?

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  1. backporchstories profile image71
    backporchstoriesposted 11 years ago

    Are there any novel based movies out there that stay true to the novel?

    Often when I have read a great book and it becomes a movie, like so many of Stephen King's, I am disappointed in the movie and always find the book much better.  Seems like not all the opinions and view can be expressed in the movie's frame time.  Are there any movies out there that did great justice to the written words of a great novel?

  2. marwan asmar profile image66
    marwan asmarposted 11 years ago

    I am not sure, there must be though I agree with you, very difficult

  3. profile image0
    msorenssonposted 11 years ago

    It is very challenging to do as the medium are different. In this the writer has more flexibility.

    A movie as an adaptation of a book has to transpose the thought of the writer into something is more challenging..

  4. writeyourwrongs profile image44
    writeyourwrongsposted 11 years ago

    Not at all - I have the same problem as you. However, did you ever see the film 'stardust'?
    Based on the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman, it differentiated greatly from the book, however both the book and film were fantastic.
    The book was naturally the better, but both were good - however, perhaps I only liked the film because it includes Robert De Niro dressing up in drag?

    1. backporchstories profile image71
      backporchstoriesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I love the roles Robert De Niro plays!

  5. SidKemp profile image85
    SidKempposted 11 years ago

    It's very rare, indeed. And you named the most important reason. A feature-length movie has about as much content as a long short story, or maybe a novella. A novel always has more happening.

    That said, the 3-movie series of the Lord of the Rings came about as close as a Hollywood movie can to matching the novel. It dropped some important parts that had lots of meaning, but no action, like meeting Tom Bombadil. There was a shifting of roles to give Arwen at least some significance - but that is reasonable, as Tolkein had no significant roles for women. Gandalf getting into physical fights was ridiculous. And the battle scenes were much long, and the travel scenes much shorter, than in the novel. But all those are things that Hollywood thinks audiences require.

    I do like reading a novel, then watching the movie as an interpretation. It is good to read Lost Horizon, then watch the movie, and to read The Razor's Edge and watch both movie adaptations. But, for historical reasons, there were changes.

    Any time a novel has a deeply loyal fan base, the movie is likely to be closer to the original. I'll try to think of some other examples for you.

    1. backporchstories profile image71
      backporchstoriesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Awesome...looking forward to what else you come up with.

  6. terrektwo profile image81
    terrektwoposted 11 years ago

    I can say in my life that the Nelvana cartoons for Tintin follow the books almost exactly, but it is a little difficult for films to follow books unless you have a film that is incredibly long.

    1. Sara Algoe profile image84
      Sara Algoeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      i agree

  7. miss_jkim profile image74
    miss_jkimposted 11 years ago

    The only novel based movie I have seen that stayed true to the novel, was Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry. An awesome book and movie of the same name. The characters and even the dialog remained word for word.

    If you haven't seen or read this treasure, I highly recommend it.

    1. backporchstories profile image71
      backporchstoriesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That movie was a series too was it not?

  8. Melissa Wlostoski profile image56
    Melissa Wlostoskiposted 11 years ago

    I would say that charile st cloud does an decent job of this action you speak of.

    1. backporchstories profile image71
      backporchstoriesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      What were the movies or novels?  Not familiar with him.

  9. mactavers profile image90
    mactaversposted 11 years ago

    Yes, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, starring Gregory Peck and The Great Gadsby by Fitzgerald, starring Mia Farrell.

    1. backporchstories profile image71
      backporchstoriesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Forgot about Mockingbird!  Great story!

  10. ashish04joshi profile image65
    ashish04joshiposted 11 years ago

    Have you read "The Kite Runner" and watched the movie by the same name based upon the book?
    I would really recommend this one.
    In this case, the movie equals the charm created by the book or may be even goes further.
    Do check it out if ever you get your hands upon it.

  11. Barnsey profile image69
    Barnseyposted 11 years ago

    I think it was the Outsiders in which Pony boy was told to "Stay golden, Johnny, stay golden!" as Ralph Macchio's character bit the dust. This movie was very close to the book, remarkably so in fact. I would recommend the read to anyone.

    1. backporchstories profile image71
      backporchstoriesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That was an awesome movie, but I never read the book!  Good to know.....loved Pony Boy!

  12. Civil War Bob profile image60
    Civil War Bobposted 11 years ago

    Ones that come to mind are LOTR as SidKemp says, To Kill A Mocking Bird as per Mactavers, and from my own watching, Moby Dick with Greg Peck, All Quiet On the Western Front, Pride and Prejudice, Man In The Iron Mask, and Journey to the Center of the Earth.  I don't think I'm being too lenient on these, but opinions vary.

    1. backporchstories profile image71
      backporchstoriesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Wow you are a big book reader!

    2. Civil War Bob profile image60
      Civil War Bobposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Well, that's been over a 60 year lifetime and a reading life begun with Golden Books @ age 4! wink

    3. backporchstories profile image71
      backporchstoriesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Well, Civil War Bob, my trouble is I can not remember back that far anymore!  Mine is 52 years, lucky to remember last year!  LOL!

    4. SidKemp profile image85
      SidKempposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, Bob. That's a good list, but I would disagree about Journey to the Center of the Earth, at least the version I saw, which brought in a romantic sub-plot that wasn't in Verne.

  13. Bukarella profile image80
    Bukarellaposted 11 years ago

    A&E Pride and Prejudice, 6 hour version, is pretty much word-for-word copy of the book. … characters

  14. lovebuglena profile image83
    lovebuglenaposted 11 years ago

    I don't usually compare books to the movies made from these books....
    But usually I find movies adapted from books great. I can't say I've ever been left disappointed.

    It must be hard to stay 100% true to the books when creating a movie based on it. There is so much action happening in the books that it is impossible to fit it all in into two hours or so of the movie. But that aside it is important to stay true to the book as much as possible.

  15. dmhenderson profile image60
    dmhendersonposted 11 years ago

    The long long long PBS video adaptations of Jane Austen are very close, but I don't guess those are really movies, are they?

    I had a film professor who said it's impossible to make a movie that's faithful to the book (I don't/didn't agree with him), although Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca" is supposed to be close because the novel was very popular and readers all had favorite scenes. It's also said that Hitchcock's movies were typically based on very bad books. That's certainly true in some cases, e.g., "Marnie," which was a bad movie as well.

    I believe the movie of Harlan Ellison's "A Boy and His Dog" is pretty close, but it's been a while.

    1. SidKemp profile image85
      SidKempposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I read the short story a long time ago, and never saw the movie. Now, I'll make sure to see it. And this is an example of what we are all saying - a short story made a good movie.

    2. backporchstories profile image71
      backporchstoriesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Seems like it!

  16. xstatic profile image60
    xstaticposted 11 years ago

    Lonesome Dove (actually a six part TV miniseries) was very close to the novel. Much of the dialogue was ver batim.

    1. alancaster149 profile image74
      alancaster149posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      The epic 'Lonesome Dove' with Robert Duvall was screened on tv here as well. It's hard to keep to a book with long descriptive or narrative passages. You're limited to the 'physical' element of a story unless a narrator enters the 'equation'.

  17. joshuanoerr profile image60
    joshuanoerrposted 11 years ago

    A River Runs Through It and Of Mice and Men.

    Almost exact, even borrow a lot from the dialogue

    1. backporchstories profile image71
      backporchstoriesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That is right!  I studied Of Mice And Men in a novel class and saw the movie later.

  18. Matthew Weese profile image59
    Matthew Weeseposted 11 years ago

    No! producers take novels and alter them to fit television.

  19. cascoly profile image60
    cascolyposted 11 years ago

    many movies do - you just cant expect the same experience from a novel and a film - 2 very different methods of narrative and perception

    some faithful adaptations [where 'i've seen & read]:
    Game of Thrones
    Brideshead Revisited [10+ episodes from a 200 p novel!)
    Vanya on 42nd St
    The Swedish versions of the Stieg Laarson - Lisbeth salander novels
    wizard of oz
    most raymond chandler movies, eg Maltese Falcon
    Killer Angels [battle of gettysburg]
    Band of Brothers
    Such a Long Journey [Rohan Mistry]
    Earth [ film version of Cracking India]
    Gone Baby Gone
    The Leopard [italian version]
    The Richard Sharpe series

    Master & Commander [combines 2 of patrick o'brian's books, and preserves the flavor of the series]

    many shakespeare -
    Branagh's Henry V, and anything with Olivier

    A film i've seen but not read that's supposed to capture the book quite well is
    Berlin Alexanderplatz

    1. Ciel Clark profile image72
      Ciel Clarkposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      But not "Wizard of Oz."   I can't agree with that!  I was so disappointed when I saw that movie...  There is no singing in the book.  Dorothy is supposed to be about age ten and with short blonde hair.  It is not a dream from which she wakes up.

  20. songoftruth profile image69
    songoftruthposted 11 years ago

    No.  Good books and good movies are two different things.  What makes a good book does not usually play well on a screen.

  21. Kathleen Cochran profile image76
    Kathleen Cochranposted 11 years ago

    The made for TV mini-series "Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance" - They let the author Leon Uris write the screenplay.  That's the secret.  They usually don't.  I interviewed the reporter who wrote "We Were Soldiers Then and Young." (I'd have to look up his name!)  He said the director added a whole additional battle at the end of the movie.  It never happened.  The reporter of course thought the book was exciting enought without it.

  22. krosch profile image60
    kroschposted 11 years ago

    Lord of the Rings while not a 100% on were pretty dang close and very excellent.

  23. jentaylorsc profile image59
    jentaylorscposted 11 years ago

    I tend to agree with you on this. I have read many books and then tried to watch the movie versions (many of which were Stephen King) and they weren't nearly as good. One that I think did an excellent job was The Green Mile. I read the book and then watched the movie right afterward, and I believe it followed the book very well.

  24. Robephiles profile image92
    Robephilesposted 11 years ago

    An example that nobody has mentioned is Rosemary's Baby.  There are a few scenes in the book that are not in the movie, but it is almost word for word the book.  Roman Polanski, the director, even had all the characters wearing the exact same clothes they are described as wearing in the book, down to the color if it is mentioned. 

    No Country For Old Men is also very close to the book.  The Coen Brothers took out a couple scenes and trimmed some of the dialogue to make certain scenes shorter but it is also almost word for word the book. 

    I also think The Road (another Cormac McCarthy novel adaptation) is really close to the book as well.  Like No Country For Old Men it is almost scene for scene. 

    The Humphrey Bogart version of The Maltese Falcon is also really close if I remember correctly. 

    Since a theatrical film is usual two hours, three tops, it is rare that a book can be translated on screen without at least cutting some scenes.  So a lot of the most faithful book to film adaptations tend to be short books, and books that have stories that rely on actions more than thoughts to move the story forward. 

    The first couple Harry Potter films are really close to the books, which is why they are so long, and in my opinion, so boring.  As the books went along the books got longer, so the movie became less faithful because they had to cut so much and keep the story coherent for people who had not read the books.

    1. backporchstories profile image71
      backporchstoriesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      You have given me a nice list to explore. Thanks for the comment!

  25. Darkproxy profile image58
    Darkproxyposted 11 years ago

    Well I'll say this Tom Clancy movies stay true to the books more often than not, but the down side is unless you like the genre he writes in it can come off as boring or slow.

  26. neosymmetrical profile image59
    neosymmetricalposted 11 years ago

    If you prefer older films and novels I would have to suggest the film based off of Moby Dick and the series of episodes - which you can buy as a combined movie of The Scarlet Letter. The movies themselves aren't bad, while some may say the books themselves are boring the movies keep you engaged and interested.

  27. profile image57
    kdawsonposted 11 years ago

    "To Kill A Mockingbird."  On the reverse side I saw 'The Sand Pebbles' years ago and then sought out the novel it was based on.  The movie version was a better, stronger story than the novel.  They improved it.

  28. KarlawithaK profile image60
    KarlawithaKposted 11 years ago

    A recent one that I experienced was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I'd heard that the adaptation was one of the best in years, so I had high expectations when I went to the theater. I was not disappointed! I had recently finished the book, and was looking for plot holes and changes that usually occur in an adaptation. It is the best example of how to do it right, that I've seen in years.

  29. Jim and Beyond profile image73
    Jim and Beyondposted 11 years ago

    This question was bound to garner lots of responses!

    "The movie wasn't as good as the book" is one of those statements that falls into the category of "it goes without saying."  Of course, if the statement wasn't made in the first place, there would be no need for the qualifying "it goes without saying," would there?

    Sorry, got off on a tangent. 

    I was happily surprised with the movie adaptation of "The Perfect Storm."  The book was written by Sebastian Junger who is predominantly a magazine writer.  The book reads like a long magazine article, which I appreciated, but others told me they found it boring.  At a certain point, no one knows what actually happened to the boat in the story, and Mr. Junger relates stories from talking to other fishermen as a way of saying what might have happened.  For example, one fisherman may have described being in a storm with 30 ft swells, and the weather data indicates that there were 50 ft swells in the "perfect storm" in the story.  So you can imagine how much worse it must have been.  Etc.  The movie portrayed these stories as what DID happen to the boat.  The movie also captured the lifestyle of the fishing community well, which was important to the story.


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