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Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Best and Worst film adaptations of Classic Novels
I'm very late with this post. This was supposed to be in October. I drafted it back when, and just forgot to post. You will receive a refund of your October subscription to The Once Lost Wanderer.
The good folks at The Classics Club posed this meme reboot from August 2014: What are your thoughts on adaptions of classics? Say mini-series or movies? Or maybe modern approaches? Are there any good ones? Is it better to read the book first? Or maybe just compare the book and an adaptation?
Good question. After each classic I read, I try to watch a film version. Most often, the film is not nearly as good. That’s not surprising, since trying to condense even a short 400 page novel into a two hour movie, will almost certainly have to cut out many details and even portions of the plot or subplot. Mini-series are often better, but honestly, I don’t usually like to commit that much time to watching, when I could be reading.
Some of the worst film adaptations I’ve seen:
Animal Farm (any version)
Lord of the Flies (any version)
Frankenstein (IMO no one has done a faithful rendition yet.)
Dune (1984, maybe the worst of all of these. I’m told the 2000 mini-series is pretty good)
The Scarlet Letter (1995)
Some of the best film adaptations I’ve seen:
A few that have not yet been adapted to film that I’d like to see:
Catcher in the Rye (sorta hard to believe this hasn’t been done, huh?)
And a double adaptation: Heart of Darkness Adapted from print to the film Apocalypse Now, where the setting is adapted from late 19th Century British Imperial Africa to 1970s Southeast Asia/Vietnam War. This is one of those rare instances when the film is better than the book. This just hit me – this could be perceived as quite a testimony to Marlon Brando who also stars in perhaps the best example of the movie better than the book: The Godfather.