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August 2012: Movie/TV Adaptation Month

A monthly discussion on varying themes guided by our members. (Book of the Month discussions through December 2011 can be found in this section too.)
Ash
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Post by Ash » Thu August 2nd, 2012, 2:31 am

Worst book-to-film? Disney's Jungle Book. I was outraged, when, as a child, I saw what had been done to my favorite Kipling, turning a thoughtful coming-of-age story into a childish joke, and even changing one of the main good guys (Kaa, the python) into a bad guy!
I didn't read the book till long after I saw the movie many many times. Heck, I can still sing the songs by heart! Once I read the book I realized how much more involved it was, but I still have fond memories of that movie.

Worst Disney is what they did to the Hunchback of Notre Dame. A close second is Anastasia, but that wasn't based on a book. Just history, supposedly.

I loved the BBC production of P&P with Colin Firth

Do plays count? I loved the films The Good Husband and Importance of Being Earnest, both Wilde plays we did in HS. I was thrilled by how well the story was captured and made modern at the same time

Far Pavillions the movie was a decent adaptation of the book tho it left much out. Kim was also very well done

Which version of Christmas Carol is everyone's fav? I am partial to Alistair Sims

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Vanessa
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Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Post by Vanessa » Thu August 2nd, 2012, 8:18 am

Oh, I liked the Colin Firth P&P. The wet clothes scene! They put a similar scene in the first recent St Trinian's film for a bit of a laugh! :D

I liked the Alistair Sims Christmas Carol - I like the old black and whites, though; they tend to have quite a bit of atmosphere without resorting to any great special effects.

I loved the Poldark TV series! Is Poldark classed as a classic? And, of course, Gone with the Wind is one of my all-time favourite books and I thought the film was fabulous even though they did 'delete' the odd husband!
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Justin Swanton
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Post by Justin Swanton » Wed August 8th, 2012, 4:21 pm

Best: Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth. I can't find anything to fault in it.

Worst: The Sound of Music. One of the worst miscastings of a main character that I have ever seen and a film plot that makes a joke of the book. A real shame, because there is so much in the book that is filmworthy, like the scene where Baron von Trapp is offered command of a cruiser by the Reich and has a great struggle within himself, Maria walking next to him and saying nothing because there was nothing she could say, until his innate sense of right and wrong finally overcomes his sense of duty and love of the navy. If only the director of Pride and Prejudice had been allowed to make this film!
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rockygirl
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Post by rockygirl » Sat August 25th, 2012, 12:31 pm

Favorite--Howard's End.

Least Favorite--the Little House TV series. As a kid, I hated that Pa didn't have a beard, that extra characters were added, etc., etc. As an adult, I still don't like it.
Currently reading Cocaine Blues.

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princess garnet
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Post by princess garnet » Sat August 25th, 2012, 3:02 pm

[quote=""rockygirl""]Favorite--Howard's End.

Least Favorite--the Little House TV series. As a kid, I hated that Pa didn't have a beard, that extra characters were added, etc., etc. As an adult, I still don't like it.[/quote]
I see that show on INSP (259 on Dish Network) during its 10 pm slot. They certainly took liberties with it!

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
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Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sat August 25th, 2012, 7:21 pm

Justin, I don't think the Sound of Music was intended to be an adaptation of Maria Von Trapp's autobiography. They just loosely based the musical on her story.

The musicals of the 50's and 60's were more stylized productions than they were drama, essentially the modern form of opera. Everything had to work around the score, and having a song-and/or dance production at the proper intervals. Which, I suppose, also applies to Disney's treatment of my beloved Jungle Book.

But having read Anna and the King of Siam, I think the King and I did an adequate job of giving a snippet of the problems involved--though the romantic element was entirely made up. I haven't watched the more recent adaptation with Jodie Foster.

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Mon August 27th, 2012, 4:12 am

Best book to big screen of all time: Emma Thompson's version of Sense & Sensibility. I call it hers because she wrote it. Granted the director did a good job too, but if he hadn't had her screenplay to work with, it might not have been as good.

I can't pick an absolute worst. There have been so many. Though I agree with rockygirl about LHotP. Michael Landon was horrible as Charles Ingalls. Also the 1972 BBC Emma was pretty bad. I've never been able to sit through the whole thing.

MLE, I watched the Jodie Foster movie. It was good. Haven't read the book so I don't know how close it was, but I liked it. Seemed more believable to me than the musical.
Last edited by LoveHistory on Mon August 27th, 2012, 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Mon August 27th, 2012, 4:17 am

Afterthought: the 1940 Pride & Prejudice that MGM made. Great cast (Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier were the leads), but the movie is so bad it's funny. Aldous Huxley wrote the screenplay so there are some gems of dialogue, but... They used leftover costumes from Gone With The Wind, and music that was in The Wizard of Oz. They made Mr. Darcy likable, and had Lady Catherine playing matchmaker.

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Mon August 27th, 2012, 4:23 am

[quote=""Ash""]
Worst Disney is what they did to the Hunchback of Notre Dame. A close second is Anastasia, but that wasn't based on a book. Just history, supposedly.


Which version of Christmas Carol is everyone's fav? I am partial to Alistair Sims[/quote]

I'd forgotten about the monstrosity of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I don't think I watched even half of that. Hercules was awful too, but that wasn't based on a book. Actually Disney has always taken liberties with stories to the point that very few could be said to be based on the books. But Disney didn't make Anastasia.

I think I've watched all the versions of A Christmas Carol in existence except the one with Jim Carrey. I like aspects of all of them (there's just no beating Alistair Sim for Scrooge, though George C. Scott is an admirable second) but my favorites are The Muppet's Christmas Carol, and the musical version NBC had a few years ago--probably because of the music (Alan Menken is a genius).

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Justin Swanton
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Post by Justin Swanton » Mon August 27th, 2012, 5:42 am

[quote=""MLE""]But having read Anna and the King of Siam, I think the King and I did an adequate job of giving a snippet of the problems involved--though the romantic element was entirely made up. I haven't watched the more recent adaptation with Jodie Foster.[/quote]

The real king was around 60 at the time and a little less than prepossessing, and he found the real Anna a "difficult woman and more difficult than generality". Anna made every attempt to increase her social standing and escape poverty by hiding her humble (and mixed race) origins. Making abstraction of this, the Jodie Foster film was good - one of my HF movie favourites.

Here is king Mongkut at the time of Anna's stay in Siam.

Image
Last edited by Justin Swanton on Mon August 27th, 2012, 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nunquam minus solus quam cum solus.

Author of Centurion's Daughter

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