Blog Hop: Page vs. Screen

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: What was the one time you thought the movie was better than the book?

There are actually a number of movies that were better than the book…although I do think the trend is usually the other way!

One of the big ones is Horatio Hornblower.  I watched the miniseries, went to the books, and found out all my favorite bits of the miniseries weren’t in the books.  What’s especially odd is that the miniseries had much, much better development of the characters and their relationships than the book did–not the usual situation.  Oddly enough (or not), the same author wrote The African Queen.  Exact same problem with regard to best bits and character portrayal compared to the Hepburn/Bogart movie.

More likely to raise some controversy…I also feel that the movie Stardust was better than Neil Gaiman’s book.  Two reasons: he summarizes a major journey that sounds like the most interesting part into only a few pages; the movie portrays this portion much better.  Second, he subverts expectations at the end with a kind of non-climax…and there’s a reason people like climaxes.  I preferred the movie’s admittedly more conventional ending.

Have you encountered times when the movie was better than the book?  What made the difference for you?

4 thoughts on “Blog Hop: Page vs. Screen

  1. I feel the same about Stardust. I adored the movie, but just didn’t feel the same way about the book.

    The Hundred-Foot journey is another movie that’s far better than the book. The book has a problem where towards the end, there’s a lot of aimlessness. The movie did a great job of directing the main character to certain goals. And the relationships between the characters are explored much better in the movie I think. There are even some cute relationships that didn’t exist in the book.

  2. Dennis

    My vote for a story in which the movie was better than the book would be Ben Hur. The author, Lew Wallace, did years of research, and it shows–but not in a good way. The book gets bogged down in unnecessary detail, as if Wallace was determined to throw in his research whether the story called for it or not. But he did create the core of a great story. The Charleton Heston movie culled out the essential elements, disregarded the rest, and the result was one of the all-time classics.

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