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Good books, badly adapted for the screen.

We may have covered this before? Forgive me if so.

I recently read a book called The Field of Blood by Scottish author Denise Mina. Really good thriller about the murder of a young boy in Glasgow, set in the eighties from the point of view of a would be journalist called Paddy (Patricia) Meehan, working on the local broadsheet.

I saw that a two part (two hour) TV version had been made seven years ago, so I found that and watched it last night. It was so badly done. I understand that an adaption is just that, it's not a verbatim copy of a book, but they just raced through the story so fast they lost more or less all characterisation and sub-plot. The background story of the real life Paddy (Patrick) Meehan, which was intricately woven around the plot of the book was completely ignored, as were the sectarian issues of early eighties Glasgow, and in addition the main character's issues with catholic guilt were mostly brushed over.

My wife, who normally loves this kind of thing, and had not read the book was deeply unimpressed. Because of the hurried story there was no time to develop any empathy with any of the characters, or to understand how they related to each other.

Read the book, but don't watch the TV version.

Any other really badly done adaptations that stand out in anyone's mind?
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Comments

  • Harry Potter series!!

    Same with the Sharpe series... Great bunch of books by Bernard Cornwell yet some of the TV episodes are awful (i.e. read Sharpe's Gold and then watch the TV version, the script writer must have been smoking some strong stuff that day)

    Its a shame because Sean Bean and Pete Postlethwaite really dragged it along... If you watch the Last Kingdom (also written by Cornwell) yet is more recent, then its a much better TV adaptation!!
  • Catch 22 is about the only book and film I really see as on a par with each other.
    But as the OP said they are completely different arts and usually all you can say is the film is inspired by the book.
  • The new testament
  • Time Traveller's Wife.
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    Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
  • Don’t think any Roald Dahl book has ever been done justice by its film version.
  • iainment said:

    Catch 22 is about the only book and film I really see as on a par with each other.
    But as the OP said they are completely different arts and usually all you can say is the film is inspired by the book.

    Jaws is an example of the book and film being just about as good as each other - although they are slightly different in terms of story line.
  • We're all confident the new Peter Rabbit movie is some abominable shambles, yes? Yes.
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  • High Rise by J.G Ballard.

    The film starring Tom Hiddlestone, whilst visually good, & taking a lot from the vivid imagery of the book, is sadly a mess in its execution.
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  • Aw I really liked the High Rise movie! I'm aware I'm fairly lonely in that regard
  • Leuth said:

    Aw I really liked the High Rise movie! I'm aware I'm fairly lonely in that regard

    I did too, but I have never read the book.
  • The Beach and World War Z are two of my favourite books, and poor films.

    World War Z always felt a very hard book to transfer to film, but The Beach should have been easy to make a lot better.
  • Leuth said:

    Aw I really liked the High Rise movie! I'm aware I'm fairly lonely in that regard

    I did too, but I have never read the book.
    I really wanted to like it, honest! :smile:

    The same with 'The Black Dahlia'. A great James Ellroy book, but the movie, whilst being visually perfect, was a real shitter in it's final cut.
  • Leuth said:

    We're all confident the new Peter Rabbit movie is some abominable shambles, yes? Yes.

    It'll have to be better than the cartoon. The soft rock run rabbit ruuuuun is an abomination. Actually, my daughter has the book and they're shite. The movie has an open goal.
  • .
    Stefco said:

    Leuth said:

    Aw I really liked the High Rise movie! I'm aware I'm fairly lonely in that regard

    I did too, but I have never read the book.
    I really wanted to like it, honest! :smile:

    The same with 'The Black Dahlia'. A great James Ellroy book, but the movie, whilst being visually perfect, was a real shitter in it's final cut.
    I know what you mean about wanting to like films/TV series, the one I started the thread about being a case in point. It was the fact that Karen didn't like it either, despite not having the book as a reference point that prompted me to write about it.
  • The Saint books by Leslie Charteris
  • I don't think any book has been let down so dreadfully as The Great Gatsby by Baz Luhrmann.
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  • The Beach and World War Z are two of my favourite books, and poor films.

    World War Z always felt a very hard book to transfer to film

    Other than the title, I'm not sure there was anything in Max Brooks' book that can be identified in the film. It's a shame because it's a superb book and I love Joe Straczynski's work.

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    I most respectfully disagree. I thought the film was most entertaining.
  • I really liked reading Money by Martin Amis back in the day but the recent TV adaption was god awful. I also hated the movie version of Thank you For Smoking.
  • Leuth said:

    Aw I really liked the High Rise movie! I'm aware I'm fairly lonely in that regard

    It was an enjoyable film but a bad High Rise film
  • The Beach and World War Z are two of my favourite books, and poor films.

    World War Z always felt a very hard book to transfer to film, but The Beach should have been easy to make a lot better.

    World War Z is completely different on film
  • LOTR and the Hobbit ... loved the books and quite liked the films but they have strong differences.
  • I read one of the Bond books once. Not a patch on the film
  • High Fidelity
  • Stardust ... awful version of Neil Gaiman’s great book.
  • I read one of the Bond books once. Not a patch on the film

    Yes - I read The Man With the Golden Gun when I was at school, about the only thing the book and the film had in common were the title and the character names.
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