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January 02, 2008



"To Kill a Mockingbird" is an excellent representation. I'd like to add another Stephen King pick, "The Shawshank Redemption", adapted from his short story "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption."

Maggie Williamson

I'd like to add the Kite Runner to the list of Boovies that are equally as good as the book. I almost always enjoy the book more than the movie, but I did an about face on this one. The movie was so well done. I'd recommend it to everyone, regardless of whether you read the book, or not.

Gnomi Schrift Gouldin

Novellas tend to make better movies than books, because due to time constraints, movies tend to leave out important--and enjoyable--subplots. That is why "Great Expectations" is mentioned but not "Bleak House." Certainly, Alfred Hitchcock's movies were better than the books and stories on which they were based. My nomination for a recent book that would make a good movie is "The Uncommon Reader," but only if Helen Mirren plays the title role.


I disagree that with John Lynch that the books he mentions were incorporated into the HS canon because of their social context. I think the fact that the language was simple, punchy and accessible was probably at least as important. For that, we have television to blame; few folk who grew up after the 50's are willing to read complex language with a lot of description or metaphor (notice the decline of Dickens).

Sofi Maki

For me it is the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. With compliments to the lady who's husband had practically memorized the books, the movies were better. I loved the books, but, to put it bluntly, Tolkien was a writer in search of an editor, and he refused to be edited. You have to dig for the gold, so to speak, when reading Tolkien.

Jackson and his fellow writers did a brilliant job of making the story understandable and riveting.

On the other hand, being a fantasy fan, the Harry Potter books are better than the movies, although considering the fact they were limited to about two hours apiece contributed to the problem.

Robert Heinlein is another author who's books get butchered by moviemakers. I could go on and on.

I hope this added a bit to the discussion.

Anne M. Lange

Am surprised that nobody nominated Jane Eyre
and Rebecca. Jane Eyre seems foolproof no
matter who essays the roles and Rebecca is
almost a perfect movie.

I would remove Gone with the Wind from the list. I saw the movie for the third time in London just after having re-read the book for the second time and found Clark Gable to be a pale imitation of Rhett
Butler, who was much more dynamic and interesting in the novel. Recently I read
that Clark did not think he had enough talent for the role until Carole Lombard
talked him into it. His instincts were cor-

Mary Montgomery

One of my favorite boovies is Beloved. I read the book in one sitting and must say that had I not seen the film first the book would not have had so strong an impact.In this age of limited time I find that well chosen films have become the new novel. Since I spend a great deal of time reading technical books, a movie will give me the outside of myself experience I need without the investment of time I might not have.
Some recent high impact films for me have been "Pan's Labrynth" "Peaceful Warrior" and of all things the first season of "Heroes". All of these films deal with higher issues of self sacrifice team work and primal issues of right and wrong. I'm sure "Captain Carrelli's Mandolin" made for a great book, but how much pleasure would an old lady get(me) if I didn't have the image of Nicholas Cage in the part I ask you?


Does anyone other than me find that they sometimes cannot tell whether the visual images in their memory are from reading the book or seeing a movie of the book?


"Sheltering Sky", directed by Bertolucci; book written by Paul Bowles---who also appeared in the movie as "an observer". The movie is haunting and the ending leaves the viewer with questions of "what happened next". It was so unresolved, that I bought the book to find out the ending. As it turned out, this was one of the truest renderings of a book into a movie that I've seen.

Rachel Wareham

While reading your original proposal I immediately thought of Mystic River and Silence of the Lambs which I noticed were mentioned in the comments that followed. I have not read or seen The Lord of the Rings but the recommendations reminded me of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (director:Andrew Adamson) which I thought was beautifully adapted. The actors, costumes and special effects added even greater depth to an already wonderful book. I also liked Robert Sheahan's comment that because we invest so much of our time and imagination into a book it stands to reason that we will enjoy it more.


Scanned through the list of nominees and felt so strongly about one of them I had to comment. Glad to see two other are in agreement. No way the Firm should be on the list. I still remember how much I had loved reading the book and how equally disappointed disappointed I was in the movie.

Caitlin B. Shively

I thought the movie "Coma" was better than Robin Cook's book, and I read the book first.

This is the first time I've very participated in a blog. Thanks for the invite.

Cait Shively

Pat Hyman

I would nominate Ken Follet's Eye of the Needle as an exceptional adapation of the written word to film. Both the book and the movie are brilliant, but the movie distilled the key points into a breath-holding triumph, especially in the scenes between the German spy and the heroine. It is the perfect example of translating words into visual imagery without losing any of the story's impact.


Fur, The Painted Veil,The Tin Drum, The Tailor of Panama are all better movies, IMO.

valerie rivera

I agree with you Rachel...The Firm as a novel was just okay, the movie was a snoozer. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan is one of my top 10 fave books. The movie was simply awesome.


_Johnathan Livingston Seagull_ was the first movie that I remember thinking "They got it right!" after seeing it.

Joe Lane

I think "84 Charing Cross" was a terrific movie. Starring Anthony Hopkins and Anne Brancroft. It was a great adaptation of a pithy little book that was enjoyable in its own right.


Umberto Eco's In the Name of the Rose was a great book. The movie left me cold. To go one step further the English translastion of the book was not nearly as moving and interesting as the Italian version.

I disagree that the Harry Potter movies have been good. Each time I have tried to watch any of the movies I have fallen asleep, yet I could lose hours reading J.K. Rowling's novels.

The Malcolm X movie, though good omitted
a lot of the character of Alex Haley's book The Autobiography of Malcolm X, regardless of whether or not you liked Malcolm X.

Mike C

One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest - a great movie and a great book - A real boovie!


I have to nominate Marathon Man by William Goldman. Both the book and movie were excellent. I also have to agree with Alison that there are times when I have trouble distinguishing between a movie and my imagination!


Definitely Mystic River -- a wonderfully passionate and compassionate translation of a great book into a great film. Similarly, Sophie's Choice took one of my favorite books and made it come to life in a way that great boovies do. And for sheer breadth of challenge and accomplishment, the Tolkien/Jackson trilogy.


For me, Brideshead Revisited. A fantastic book, and an amazing multi-part adaptation with Jeremy Irons shown on Masterpiece Theater in the early 1980s.


I would nominate The DaVinci Code as a boovie. I liked both the movie and the book. I am an avid reader and I have enjoyed the postings listing many classics. Reading the book allows ones imagination to create their own movie. A movie of the book is someone whose imagination is put on screen for all of us to see.


Babette's Feast - the novella simply could not capture the sensual nature of the meal, the chemistry between the sisters and their rejected lovers.

By the way - books and movies are moments of connection. "have you seen?" or "have you read" is a means of finding kindred souls. There are many of us who read and have read our entire lives, but film has a greater capacity to inspire conversation with people who do not have time or sometimes - even the ability - to read at the level we are talking about. The day after Christmas vacation - there were 5 kids who came up to ask me if I had seen.... Juno. I went to see it and there's a new language there -one that I cannot pretend to understand very well as I approach 60, but my students - they want to teach me that this language has meaning.
Another great connector - anything by Jane Austen. Comparisons between the books and the movies, the tv series, the Darcy's are the comparisons that connect generation of women.

Emily Batista

I saw the movie "Enchanted April" before I read the book upon which it was based, "The Enchanted April" by Elizabeth Van Armin. I loved the movie! So I followed up by reading the book. The ending in the movie was SO much more satisfying. It might be the only case in my personal history where I approved of the story being changed from the book for the film. I don't think seeing it first is the primary reason I prefer the movie version, either. For anyone who hasn't seen this 1991 film, I highly recommend it. And I'll be interested to know if anyone else agrees about the two different endings. Unfortunately, it is not out on DVD.

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