Welcome to Tell Me Something Tuesday. A weekly discussion post here on Rainy Day Ramblings where I discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
This week's post continues the books to movie theme that I have been exploring over the past couple of weeks. First, I talked about books to movie and whether you prefer to read the book before seeing the movie or vice versa. Most people preferred to read the book first. Then I discussed the bad movie adaptations, those movies that butchered some of my favorite books, and now today, I am going to share my picks for best book to movie adaptations.
What are your picks for best book to movie adaptations?
Now that I have gotten all the bad book to movies out of the way, I want to share those few gems that I thought did a relatively good job of transferring the book to the big screen. Here are some of my favorite books turned into movies: (Click on the images for details).
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
This movie has become a beloved classic, but I think many people don't know that it is based on a book. I certainly wasn't aware of that until years later. I read the book six years ago and I was pleased at how true the movie stayed to the book. If you are fan of the movie, definitely check out the book.
Stand By Me based on the novella The Body by Stephen King
This is one of my all time favorite movies. I adore the friendship and the camaraderie between the four boys, and I won't deny that at fifteen I had a crush on River Phoenix and Will Wheaton. There are few minor differences in the adaptation, the main one being that at the end of the book, the narrator character is the only one still living. No big deal. This is a terrific coming of age book, and one that still resonates today. Do you remember the famous barfing scene? I swear this story feels so real to me that I think it was taken from a page of Mr. King's childhood. The original story was published as a novella/short story in Different Seasons by Stephen King, which also has the story that the Shawshank Redemption was based on, another must see movie.
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
This is one of my all time favorite movies, I adore Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as Noah and Allie. This is a book about first loves, lost loves and finding one another again and again. I dare you to watch this movie and not shed a tear. I appreciate that this stayed true to the book, and I loved every minute of the movie. My only hesitation was that I didn't feel like Gena Rowlands is the right fit for the older Allie.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The 1991 movie adaptation with Keneau Reeves, Gary Oldman and Wyona Rider is wonderful. Gary Oldman is phenomenal as Dracula and I loved that this stayed true to the book and that it didn't add a bunch of ridiculous vampire stuff. If you are a vampire fan and you haven't read or seen one of the original vampire books, you need to get it done.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
I loved this book and I was concerned that I wouldn't like the adaptation, but I was pleased with the movie and I thought the ladies who portrayed Aibileen (Viola Davis) and Minnie (Octavia Spencer) did an amazing job. Bryce Howard is terrific as the villainess as well. If you have not seen the movie or read the book, this is a must see and read. Loved this one! The movie was nominated for several Academy Awards.
The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
I think many fans feared that they would totally screw up the smashing books, but the movie stayed mostly true to the book with a few minor changes. I personally like that they expanded Donald Sutherland's role as President Snow a bit. He is a diabolical villain and I love that he does such a great job portraying Snow. All in all, I was pleased with the adaptation and I love Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz in their roles.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
I thought these moves were amazing and I appreciated that they stayed very true to the books. There were a few omissions and some added scenes, but all in all, Mr. Jackson does a tremendous job of capturing Tolkien's vision.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
This still remains one of my all time favorite movies and definitely my all time favorite book. I was a bit disappointed that they didn't include Scarlet's other two children in the book, but considering how long the book is (over a thousand pages) some things had to be omitted. I love Vivian Leigh as Scarlet and Clark Gable as Rhett Butler (swoon). Definitely this remains atop the best of the best list. And this was one of the first movies to include a swear word with the famous "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" line.
And finally, my pick for the movie that was far better than the book (how often does that happen?)
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
I saw the movie and thoroughly enjoyed it from the quirky aunts, to the sisters and all the magic. I didn't know at the time that the movie was based on the book. A couple of years ago, I finally read Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic. I despised the book. All the fun and good feelings were removed, and the book was very dark. The aunts were pretty much non existent in the book, and the charming, cozy feel was not there. I would say see the movie skip the book!
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling For the most part, I thought the movie adaptations were solid. A couple of them Goblet of Fire and Half Blood Prince weren't adapted as well as the others. My favorite movie was The Prisoner of Azkaban, as I thought that one stayed the truest to the books.
These are a few of my picks, what about you all?
Next week's topic:
What are the books that will always remain on your shelf?