This week at The Broke and the Bookish they’re talking about books that have made their way to the big screen, and boy, are there a lot of them. The following are my top ten best and top ten worst book-to-film adaptions.
10. Charlotte’s Web. I watched this animated movie a million times as a kid. I think my favorite part was when they’re in the fairgrounds after dark, and the rat eats all the leftover food. I had a 3-pack of E.B. White books, called “An E.B. White Treasury,” and I’m pretty sure Charlotte’s Web is the only one that ever interested me. Actually, I liked Stuart Little, too, for the most part. But anyway.
9. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The only thing I missed was the Chief’s narration.
8. The Virgin Suicides. Similarly, I missed the neighbor boys’ narration, which really permeated the story in the book version. I loved the movie, though.
7. A Clockwork Orange. Stanley Kubrick’s film is a masterpiece, albeit a disturbing one. But such is the nature of the book. I loved the book more than the film, especially with all of the slang.
6. The Secret Garden. I loved this movie so much as a child, and I loved the book, too, when I finally read it in 5th grade. It’s so magical. The characters have exactly the sort of adventures I wanted to have as a child (and still do!).
5. Girl, Interrupted. Surprisingly, I liked the movie more than I liked the book. I think it’s Winona Ryder’s best role.
4. Misery. So great, and so frightening — both versions. I’m not normally a Stephen King fan, but I really enjoyed Misery.
3. Matilda. Probably not much of a surprise. One of my favorite books — and movies — of all time. Always a delight to read or watch!
2. The Hours. Another of my favorite movies. It’s so haunting and beautiful (and it has a great score!) I haven’t read the book in years. I should pick it up again, especially since I basically have the movie memorized.
1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I love both the books and the movies, in different ways. What a fantastic world Tolkien created. It’s always a great escape.
10. Harry Potter series. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the movies are horrible — but they just cannot even begin to compare to the masterpieces that the books are.
9. The Da Vinci Code. Just, meh. The book just gave so much more detail.
8. Angels & Demons. The book was just so much better.
7. My Sister’s Keeper. They changed the ending! I couldn’t believe it. I think the various points of view in the book really made the story.
6. White Oleander. It’s just not a good movie.
5. Prozac Nation. It didn’t translate well. The main character was obnoxious. When I read the book, I really felt everything the narrator was going through. While watching the movie, I just felt annoyed.
4. Polar Express. I just didn’t think the movie was anything special. And the book was.
3. Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. What was that?
2. The Other Boleyn Girl. I had high hopes for this. It was a great book, and Natalie Portman was in it — but I was sadly disappointed.
1. Ella Enchanted. I, along with so many others, was incredibly disappointed by this film. It was so unlike the book, and so much worse!