Any movies that are better than the book?

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    • #156766

      Can you name some? Maybe Rambo?

      Usually we say that the book is better than the movie but is this always the case?

    • #157094

      I would say no when it comes to books like The Odyssey or Gulliver’s Travels.  They are hard to get into, but cinematic depictions have always been entertaining.

      • #172489

        It’s not better, but it’s just as good, Generation Kill. I’ve never read a book that is so close to the TV series as this book. There are literally only one or two scenes in the book that aren’t in the TV series and what’s missing isn’t important.

        Yeah, I know, you asked for movies, but this series is just so good and so close to the book that it deserves a mention.

    • #157124

      The Shining

    • #157603

      Honestly, The Princess Bride movie is better than the book.

      • #162724

        Yes this, although, I only like it slightly more. The main story part with Wesley, Buttercup, and all, I’d say I like the book better. But the stuff around the story, (because it’s presented as a translation of a classic story) I like the way it was done in the movie better: Columbo reading to Kevin Arnold instead of this translator trying to get people to like his work. Much more endearing.

    • #157966

      The Jaws film is far superior to the book.

      And even though it’s borrows very little from it’s book, the Who Framed Roger Rabbit book is horrible compared to the movie.

    • #158339

      Batman Under The Red Hood

      • #158458

        Well, if we’re including comic books, I’d add Flashpoint to that list too.

    • #159068

      I haven’t read it so maybe I’m speaking out of turn here, but I’d wager that The Prestige is better than the book of the same name that it was based on. If not, that’s got to be an all time great book…

    • #159849

      Sure, there’s lots of ’em:

      • The Godfather
      • Jurassic Park
      • Princess Bride
      • Fight Club
      • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep/Bladerunner
      • Clockwork Orange
      • American Psycho
      • Forrest Gump
      • Full Metal Jacket/The Short-Timers
      • 2001: A Space Odyssey (though I think screenplay and novel were written at the same time?)

      I’m not a huge Harry Potter guy, but I liked The Goblet of Fire movie, so I’d add that as well.

      I could probably think of more, given time. There’s a bunch of awful YA novels adopted into slightly less awful movies, but I’ll pass on them. Even though they technically meet OP’s criteria.



      • #160864

        MMM Jurassic Park was a pretty damn good novel, especially for what, 1992?  Groundbreaking idea.  Spielberg was the ONLY one that could do this novel justice.

      • #160964

        The Goblet of Fire was the WORST movie of the Harry Potter series. The book was far superior. They changed so much in the movie that the only thing that was in the book was literally… The Goblet of Fire.

        • #165825

          Agreed. They butchered most of them after 3, and each would have likely been split into two parters if done today.

      • #162035

        Ooh, pretty good list but I’m gonna have to agree with @Clearmoon22 and say that while JP is a great film, it’s arguably a poor adaptation of its source material. Now again, it’s a great film, my fave film easily growing up, so this isn’t a hipster/contrarian take.

        The novel presents its characters much differently than the film does, with perhaps the biggest example being John Hammond’s portrayal. In the film, he’s a kindly old grandfather who got swept up in his dream, but he’s much more cynical and clueless in the novel. His character deserves the fate that Crichton wrote for him.

        As cliche as it sounds, the novel is much darker and more violent. I will never give up hope that one day HBO will decide to re-adapt the story as a television miniseries so that we can see a more accurate presentation of the source material. (it’ll never happen though lol)


        For the record, these are the same reasons why Peter Benchley’s Jaws wouldn’t make my list of ‘better than the novel’ adaptations. That one has a much different tone, and has a shocking subplot (Hooper and the wife etc) that the film decided not to tackle. Again like JP, certain characters die in the novel that don’t die in the films, but the reasons the respective authors killed these characters makes sense in context and is fairly well deserved in both cases. Of course they’re both also Spielberg adaptations, so these things are hardly surprising.

        • This reply was modified 4 months ago by blankRedRanger. Reason: Jaws!
        • This reply was modified 4 months ago by blankRedRanger. Reason: Jaws!
    • #160320

      Jaws was a better movie.  Fight Club was a better movie.  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep/Bladerunner was a better movie (nothing against Philip K. Dick, he’s a great writer)

    • #162044

      I’d think that an obvious one would be Silence of the Lambs due to Foster and Sir AH’s portrayals of their respective characters. The acting sells the movie. It’s been so long since I’ve done a comparison between the novels and films but I remember the translation being very respectful and accurate. Now Hannibal is another story entirely though..

    • #165486

      I don’t have anything against the books. I love all of them…but The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and Return of the King films are better than the books. Sorry Mr. Tolkien…you’re still the best, though!

      • #165823

        I get what you’re saying. Myself, I don’t really prefer one over the other. They’re different mediums and I feel that Tolkien’s form works better for the book and Jackson brought It all to life and kept things moving and to the point for the cinema. If we’re talking the theater cuts though, I say the books hands down all day—missing too many valuable components, especially in Return of the King, like the Mouth of Sauron.

        • #165942

          I’ve never seen the theater cut version, lol. I’ve only ever seen the big extended versions.

    • #165819

      Jaws and the Shining are my two picks. The former is more about humans and an affair, over the shark (its death is lame too). Personally, I find the Shining incredibly boring.

    • #166230

      I felt Narnia was better on screen. Those Books are meant for small children and writing cannot escape that. Though with such short source material they did not have to take out entire plot lines to fit into movie length, so I am mystified why some small but important scenes were left out or changed.

    • #166380

      Ben-Hur is a bit better than the book, mostly because it cuts out the more meandering sections of the novel and tightens up the narrative. The book is still great though!

    • #166497

      Interview with the vampire. Anne Rice writing is tedious.

    • #168767

      Try “The Last Unicorn” the animation and music made the story more ethereal and real at the same time.

      the acting talent brought the characters to life adding extra dimensions, just look at difference in how the Cat is show in the movies as opposed to the book. the movie made the cat a pirate.

    • #169505

      First one that comes to mind is Children of Men

    • #169657

      I actually disagreed with a lot of critics in regards to Prince Caspian. The book Prince Caspian is one of Lewis’s weakest entries in the Narnia series. It doesn’t take into account the psychological impact that the events of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe would have had on the children. It also doesn’t have a really clear allegorical take on Christian theology or metaphysics. I felt like the film tried to psychologically situate the children historically and personally, contextualize the ‘apostasy’ of Susan, and recognize the growth that the children may have experienced in the books. The film also gave the book a stronger message: ‘wait for God’s timing’ and ‘stand firm on what you have been told to do’. The film also performed an interesting slight of hand by removing the presence of a Bacchus/Dionysian character complete with mildly drunken revelry and turning the river god into something more Greek and less pagan. Some of this may feel like a loss, since these scene provided the book with a unique cultural flavor, but overall, I think the film felt more believable and solid than the book.

    • #171130

      The Shawshank Redemption and Field of Dreams were both better movies than books.

    • #172171

      Excalibur (1981)


      Excalibur is a 1981 American epic medieval fantasy film directed, produced, and co-written by John Boorman that retells the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, based on the 15th-century Arthurian romance Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory. It stars Nigel Terry as Arthur, Nicol Williamson as Merlin, Nicholas Clay as Lancelot, Cherie Lunghi as Guenevere, Helen Mirren as Morgana, Liam Neeson as Gawain, Gabriel Byrne as Uther Pendragon, Corin Redgrave as Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, and Patrick Stewart as Leondegrance. The film is named after the legendary sword of King Arthur that features prominently in Arthurian literature. The film’s soundtrack features the music of Richard Wagner and Carl Orff, along with an original score by Trevor Jones.

    • #172313
      blankAlex Gherzo

      Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The book is so slow your forget there’s a plot. (The next two in The Karla Trilogy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley’s People, are much better, even in their quieter, more introspective moments.) The movie cuts most of the fat and the story is much more propulsive and tenser, with a sense of urgency the book doesn’t have because it keeps slowing down for these shaggy dog reminiscences (which are handled much better in Smiley’s People). It helps that the performances are all great; though he’s not a physical match for the literary version of the character, I always see Gary Oldman as George Smiley when I read the books.

      The same goes for The IPCRESS File, perhaps even more so. Great movie, dull as dishwater book.

    • #172517

      Ben Hur (1959)

      The novel written by Lew Wallace, the first half of the book/some 300 pages deals with the three wise men meeting in the desert and their reasons for following the Star.

      Super dry reading.

      Luckily the movie only spent the first three minutes on the wise men.

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