We’ve all been warned not to see the movie because the book is so much better, but we’re turning this idea around. On tomorrow’s show, we’re talking to Patrik Henry Bass, senior editor of Essence magazine about what makes a great film adaptation. Ben Sherwood, author of "The Death of Life of Charlie St. Cloud" will also talk about watching his novel become a movie. To set up our conversation about adaptations we’re asking you, our listeners: What movie version of a book did you like better than the book itself? We’ve already gotten a bunch of responses!
Listeners are calling into 877-8-MYTAKE to add their thoughts.
One caller says: I love “Presumed Inncoent,” the movie. I could not get in to the book. I'm sure it was fantastic book but I would fall asleep by the second page every time.
Another tells us: I believe that “Shawshank Redemption” movie was far better than the book and a lot more to offer.
On our website:
Ryan from South Beach writes:
“Cold Comfort Farm” is the only example I can think of. The book was a funny, but the movie is an ensemble piece where the real star is the casting director. Everyone is given full reign to ham it up, but it successfully walks the line between satire and slapstick.
Also, the book mocks pastoral novels with overwritten passages that seem discordant coming from the narrator, but it's neatly solved in the film by having the protagonist be an aspiring writer. As Flora teeters on the brink of being annoyingly competent, it's endearing that her writing is so pitifully dewy-eyed. The net effect is to make an intolerable book an absolutely charming movie.
Jeff meyers from Ann Arbor, Michigan writes:
As a film critic (Detroit Metro Times) I can think of many films that were better than the books they were based on. The Godfather is probably the best example. One of cinema's greatest films is based on a crime soap opera. Let's face it, Puzo was no Hemingway. But here's a quick list off the top of my head...
I think the film versions of “The Godfather” (by Mario Puzo) and “One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest” (by Ken Kesey) were better than the books (though the books weren't bad).
Asa from West Village writes:
Greene wrote "The 3rd Man" with the idea of it being a movie and then received a writing credit on the movie. I would say it was one of the best conversions of a novel to a movie if you can consider the novel to have any life of its own.