Thursday, September 11, 2014

Karla Stover Takes On Movies vs. Books


Ghost Stories:

The Uninvited, based on Dorothy Macardle’s book, Uneasy Freehold. Both are really good. TCM likes the movie, too. I prefer the book, but only because it’s longer.
            The Haunting, based on Shirley Jackson’s book, The Haunting of Hill House. Again, prefer the book.
The Woman in Black, based on the same named book by Susan Hill. The book had a better ending.
Twilight, based on Stephenie Meyer’s book of the same name. Neither encouraged me to read or watch beyond the first one.

Love Stories:

Doctor Zhivago, based on Boris Pasternak’s book of the same name. I struggled with the book but love the movie.

Gone With the Wind, based on Margaret Mitchel’s book of the same name. Love them equally.

Musicales and Comedies:

Meet Me in St. Louis, based on by Sally Benson’s book of the same name. I love the book but the movie has a joyousness the book lacks, not that it’s gloomy, just different.
            Our Hearts Were Young and Gay based on Cornelia Otis Skinner’s book of the same name. Both are delightful.
            Cheaper By the Dozen, based on Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey’s book of the same name. The book is a hoot but the movie skimped on everything that happened to the family in this combination biography/memoir.
            The Egg and I, by Betty MacDonald’s book of the same name. I regularly reread this just for the laughs. This is where Ma and Pa Kettle came from. They were real people. The movie was a big hit but I thought it was so-so.


            The Jewel in the Crown, based on Paul Scott’s book, The Raj Quartet. The movie was on Masterpiece Theater and I loved it so much I bought a copy. I started the book once, but got bogged down, will have to try again.
            Rebecca, based on Daphne duMaurier’s book of the same name. Really like them both.
            Nicholas and Alexandra based on Robert K. Massie’s book of the same name. I’m a nut about Russian history and loved the book, but there was too much history in the book to be covered in a movie.
            Winter’s Bone, based on Daniel Woodrell’s book of the same name. I really liked them both, but the movie had Marideth Sisco singing—what a plus.

Obviously, this is a very incomplete list and, just as obviously, most of the books are older. I don’t read anything that might appear on the Hallmark channel or the list would be longer, and so many current movies are all about special effects or are from young adult books. Producers aren’t looking for what I read. Nevertheless, I always stay through the credits, just in case.
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  1. Not being a movie buff I usually like the book better. Loved Dr. Zivago in book form. Movie disappointed me. The movies I felt really put the book across The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Watching the movie, I could remember parts of the book . The A & E version of Pride and Prejudice was wonderful and caught the essence of the book. I tend to watch this once a year.

  2. Karla, You pushed some of my buttons in this blog by mentioning a few of my all-time favorites. I LOVED Nicholas and Alexandra, but never saw the movie. Rebecca, of course--both book and move versions. IMHO, books are nearly always better than their film counterparts, but some stand out as being almost equal: Lord of the Flies (the 1960s-something version), and The Collector, with a very young, creepy but gorgeous Terrance Stamp. I loved Dr. Zhivago (the book) and when I saw the movie in its original released, I loved it, too. Seeing it again recently, tho', I was disappointed. And how about Little Big Man? Both book and movie were excellent. Another, Natalie Babbitt's YA, Tuck Everlasting...just popped into my head. Both are wonderful.

    Thanks for the mental prod:-)

    1. I didn't know Little Big man came from a book but I don't think it would be something I'd read. That being said, I do read and watch Longmire on TV--not a movie, but oh well. Thanks for responding. Karla


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