originally posted Monday, September 17, 2007
It has become a clique to say “the book is better than the movie.” 99% of the time, that is true. But what about that 1%? Every now and then, Hollywood takes an o-k book and improves it into a classic. Here is a list of movies that are BETTER than the book.
MOVIE: The Shawshank Redemption. BOOK: "Rita Hayworth & Shawshank Redemption" by Stephen King. A novella in King’s Different Seasons collection. The movie explores the storyline in much more detail and nuance, and having Morgan Freeman in your movie is ALWAYS a great move.
MOVIES: The Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy, Bourne Ultimatum. BOOKS: Same titles by Robert Ludlum. If you’ve ever tried to muddle your way through Ludlum’s lifeless prose, you were stunned by how good these movies are. Good thing movies cut out the boring prose and replace them with action.
MOVIE: Contact. BOOK by Carl Sagan. Sagan’s writing is as interesting as wet cardboard. The movie however, is thrilling, passionate and suspenseful.
MOVIE: Angel Heart. BOOK: Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg. The book was good, but the movie, holy shit! One of the creepiest movies I’ve ever seen. Lisa Bonet playing a character named Epiphany Goodheart smashes her Cosby kid reputation in one of the best sex scenes in a mainstream movie.
MOVIE: Forrest Gump, BOOK by Winston Groom. I read the novel when it was released and thought it was funny. But the movie . . . is a classic. But you already know that.
MOVIE: Jumanji, BOOK by Chris Van Allsburg. A slim children’s book becomes an amazing comedy/action/fantasy despite the presence of Robin Williams.
MOVIE: Die Hard, BOOK: Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp. Book was a run-of-mill cop action thriller, but Bruce Willis turned into a franchise.
MOVIE: Every film based on a Tom Clancy novel. Clancy writes as well as Rosie O’Donnell diets. Most of his books have turned into good movies.
MOVIE: Somewhere In Time. BOOK: Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson. This time-travel romance movie is INFINITELY better than the novel it’s based on, which is unusual, cause Matheson is one of the best popular writers of the 20th century.
MOVIE: Cool Hand Luke. BOOK by Donn Pierce. The book is almost unreadable; the movie is one of the greatest!