Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thursday Thirteen 91: Books to Movies

Since I seem to have an unintentional literary theme going this month, I thought I'd stick with it this week. While in college, I took a great class called Film & Literature in which we read a variety of works, watched the films based on them, then compared them. The books were awesome, and it was interesting to see how various screenwriters and directors interpreted an author's vision. What follows are thirteen titles I've read and viewed. It is by no means comprehensive, merely the first thirteen titles that came to mind.

(The film is about actors whose lives parallel the movie they are filming--quite a different spin!)

* REBECCA by Daphne Demaurier (The movie is as haunting as the book)

* HAMLET by William Shakespeare
(I had the priviledge of seeing this performed live in HS, and we watched both the Mel Gibson and Laurence Olivier film versions)

* THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck (Perhaps timely again, considering the recent financial crisis)

* ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST by Ken Kesey (Quintesential Jack Nicholson!)

* IN COLD BLOOD by Truman Capote (Gripping and chilling!)

* THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST by Anne Tyler (The movie is as crazy and as good as the book!)

* ALL SUMMER IN A DAY by Ray Bradbury (Anyone else remember this 1982 TV movie?)

* GREAT EXPECTATIONS by Charles Dickens (See the 1946 version, which won two Oscars)

* MYSTERIOUS ISLAND by Jules Verne (Read and viewed in 7th grade. The special effects are decidely cheesy by modern standards, but what can you do?)

* BILLY BUDD by Hermen Melville (The novella was never finished and published after Melville's death; the 1962 film was an Oscar nominee)

* WASHINGTON SQUARE by Henry James (Movie: The Heiress, 1949; There is also a 1997 remake, Washington Square, which I have not seen.)

* WAITING TO EXHALE by Terry McMillan (Perhaps not as good as the book, given the considerable talent of the cast, but not that bad, either)


Stephanie Adkins * Adelle Laudan * Alice Audrey
Shelley Munro * thornesworld * Pamela * Holistic Knitter
Lindsey * Brenda * Kristen * Ms Menozzi * Jenn
Nina Pierce * Mel * Jennifer Leland * Janice
Paige Tyler * Jenna Bayley-Burke * Lia Morgan
Kandyblossom * Storyteller * Eaton Bennett

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things.


Shelley Munro said...

Oh, I have one - Harry Potter and Twilight.

Happy TT!

Heather said...

Shelley ~ Good ones! I actually haven't read the HP series (yet), though I own all of the movies. Funny, too, that I didn't think of TWILIGHT, considering how fast I read the series last summer and just saw the movie a couple weeks ago.

Alice Audrey said...

I loved One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, didn't much care for The French Lieutenant's Woman, and have always meant to get around to The Grapes of Wrath.

Anonymous said...

Really good list.

Pamela said...

Awesome list, Heather! I might just watch a few of these over the weekend.

Chocolat is one of my favorite books turned into a movie. I'll confess I haven't read the book yet. I am, however, reading the sequel, A Girl With No Shadow, now and it's amazing. Can't help wondering if it will be turned into a movie.

Thanks for the great list!

The Holistic Knitter said...

Great list.
Mine's here:

Stephanie Adkins said...

Great list. I love the classics. Great Expectations is a favorite. Happy Thursday! *HUGS*

Lindsey said...

Awesome list, Heather! I have seen the newer Washington Square. There were aspects I liked about it, though it was no Heiress.

Another adaptation I was really impressed with in recent years is I Capture the Castle. I felt like it was not only really accurate, but also gave me new insight into the book.

Brenda ND said...

I thought of 3--Bridges of Madison County and Out of Africa and The Thief Lord. Happy TT!

Kristen said...

What a great list. I have either read or seen all of them.

Ms Menozzi said...

If you have no problem with films with subtitles (and I reckon you might not), I recommend "Io Non Ho Paura", based on the book of the same name by Niccolo Ammaniti.

Fantastic, and a wonderful cast in the film. The book was good enough that my mother finished it in a few days - and that never happens!

Great list!
Happy TT!


Adelle said...

This is a great list. Happy T13!

jenn said...

I am almost always disappointed with the movies after I've read the books.

Paige Tyler said...

I've read some of theose, but haven't ever seen the movies!

I'd add LOTR!


My TT is at

Heather said...

Alice - I kind of liked TFLW because it was so quirky and not a direct "based-on-the-book" movie. I think I've read both Cuckoo and Grapes twice.

Thornesworld - Thank you, and thanks for visiting!

Pamela - Chocolat is one of my all-time favorite movies, though I've not read the book. Yet. I might have to hunt it down... *g*

Knitter - Thank you, I will be sure to pop by and check out your list later!

Stephanie - Thank you! I've always liked GE, too!

Heather said...

Hi Lindsey! I haven't yet read or seen Castle, though I have heard great things about both. Thanks for the recommendation!

Brenda - I have read one of those, Bridges, but it is on my list of movies I refuse to see. Based on the changes to the plot that I read about, I know I would be horribly disappointed in the movie, and that it would ruin the book for me. Not to mention the choice of Streep as Francesca.

Kristen - Ah, it seems we are kindred book-and-movie spirits. LOL Thanks for visiting!

Ms Menozzi - No, I am not averse to the occasional movie with subtitles. In fact, you reminded me of a favorite I can't believe I left off the list, having just watched a version of it on TV last week: Cyrano de Bergerac. You know the Depardieu version is difficult to follow when a French friend tells you how glad she is for the Emglish subtitles!

Thanks Adelle!

Jenn - I too am sometimes disappointed by film adaptations, but there are some gems out there. It just takes a bit of mining to find them. *g*

Paige - Wow, you've not seen one of these? Not even Mel Gibson in tights?? How is that possible?

kandyblossom said...

I really like this list. I am always very skeptical about books turned into movies. I try to go into them with an open mind, but some very bad transitions have made that hard to do sometimes...think Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned. Disaster.

Admittedly though, there are some exceptions and I think you have listed quite a few of them here. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a favorite of mine.

Happy T13!

Heather said...

Kandy - Thanks, I'm glad you like the list. It can be difficult going into a movie based on a book without some skepticism, more so now I think than it used to be, but every now and then a screenwriter or director surprises us.

storyteller said...

Sounds like a wonderful class ... one I'd enjoy taking! This list actually contains books and movies I've read and seen ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Eaton Bennett said...

Wow, I can claim two books, Rebecca and the Grapes of Wrath. That is unusual for me.

Janice said...

My mom has Grapes of Wrath, she grew during the depression and worked in the fruit.

She said because of the language and such it's kind of hard to read.