The common wisdom these days about book to movie adaptations is that “the book was better”. Oftentimes this thinking is justified, as most movie adaptations are either rushed to capitalize on a recently popular book or are boiled down versions of timeless classics that by the nature of runtime have to cut a large amount of necessary plot points. Then of course there are the movies that decide to change the original story for some asinine reason, like the late-90’s TV movie version of Animal Farm that decided to tag on a happy ending. Seriously, what were they thinking?
Still, there are a lot more successful, high quality adaptations of good books than people generally want to admit. The Harry Potter films excellently translate the wonder and darkness the books had to offer. Jurassic Park is one of the classics of adventure. Carrie and The Shining are considered true classics of horror.
These examples all come from good movies made from good books. The truly fun ones that mess with the “book was better” mentality are the great movies that come from mediocre, or even flat-out awful books.
Thank you, John Williams.
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