Are movie adaptations always worse than the original books upon which they’re based? I’ve heard, “It wasn’t as good as the book” about a gajillion times. But I’ve rarely–ever?– heard someone say “The movie was better than the book.” Does that happen?
I took my questions to the Charlotte Geeks on Facebook. Within hours, I had a list of films that were arguably better than their source material.
Of course, much comes down to a matter of personal taste. Other suggestions included Stand By Me, Forrest Gump, The Green Mile, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and The Bridges of Madison County.
Fight Club, Brokeback Mountain, Princess Bride and The Godfather were also suggested. And since most viewers never read the books upon which those movies were based, audiences didn’t have any book-related biases going in.
Stardust and Starship Troopers were mentioned as films that surpassed their source material, but not by me. In the case of Stardust, I did enjoy the movie but it had no where near the same level of emotional impact and love that I felt for the original four-issue mini-series from Vertigo. And Starship Troopers… well, let’s just say that you couldn’t pay me to watch that movie again.
What do you think? Are books usually better than movies or TV shows? What are the exceptions? What about video games based on books? Join the discussion.
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J.L. Hilton is the author of the Stellarnet Series published by Carina Press, and a contributor to CharlotteGeeks.com and the Contact-Infinite Futures SF/SFR blog. She is the founder of Raleigh’s Can’t Stop the Serenity event and a CSTS global sponsor. Her jewelry designs are featured in the books Steampunk Style Jewelry and 1000 Steampunk Creations. Visit her at JLHilton.com or follow her on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads and deviantART.