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Book vs. Movie

This post was originally intended to be about an author that my family has read for years. Her most famous work was made into a movie a few years ago, and I had intended to say, “Don’t judge her work by the movie. The book was better.”

The book was better. We hear that all the time when a novel is adapted for screen. It’s become such a truism in our culture, you can buy t-shirts, coffee mugs, and phone covers with the phrase emblazoned on them.

My youngest discovered the truth of that this past summer. He wanted to see the Harry Potter movies. Since some of them are rated PG-13, and he’s not yet 13, we told him he could only see them once he’d read the books. And that was when he learned—the books were better.

So, I thought it might be fun to turn this on its head and ask, Can you think of any instances where you liked the movie better than the book it was based on?

The only one that comes readily to my mind is North and South. If you’ve read the book by Elizabeth Gaskell, you probably noticed the script writers changed the ending. Personally, I think they tied up the lose ends better than Gaskell did.

The floor is now open for your nominations! 


  1. :::melts into a puddle of sparkly pink goo:::

    Even that tiny bit brings tears to my eyes. Look at the expression on his face while she's talking. Sigh.

    Yeah, this was definitely better than the book. Hands down. And I'm usually a "book is better person."

    But Richard Armitage. Need I say more?

    1. I put that picture at the top just for you. Well, maybe for Deb too -- but mostly for you.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Another example of this would be the Hobbit movies, which took atrocious liberties with the material from the Book (singular: it was ONE novel, not a trilogy). BUT Richard Armitage played Thorin Oakenshield, which almost made it all forgiveable.

    4. Although in that case, I think the book was better. Except the costumes. I almost see the Hobbit movies not so much as an adaptation of the book, but more an over-dramatized retelling involving some of the same characters.
      Otherwise, I think they would be all but intolerable for us Tolkien affectionados.

  2. And here I am... haha. Pavlov's Dog. I read the book after seeing the series, so I'm not a good judge. I have to say that I thought Bridges of Madison County was a movie where the book and the movie felt absolutely the same. But that wasn't the question. I'm stalling for time. There is a movie that I am adamant about and it fits this question. Now if I could remember it...

    Has anyone read the book/seen the movie Cold Mountain? I only bring it up because it had a very different ending in the movie. Okay, I'll get back to you, C.J.

    1. Ugh. Don't get me started on Cold Mountain. I thought the book was absolutely gorgeously written, but that ending made me so mad I could have thrown the book across the room. It was random and senseless and cruel. Hated it. Hated. It.

      The movie was just nasty.

  3. I read Cold Mountain, but I never saw the movie.

    Everyone I've posed this question to has the same response. "I know I've seen it happen, but off the top of my head, I can't remember which movie it was."

  4. I really liked the book of North and South, but yes...the movie. *So many happy sighs*. Because yes, Richard Armitage. He does an amazing job and that ending!! <3
    This doesn't count as I adore both pretty equally, but I must say that in Wives and Daughters, I love the ending of the movie. Of course, the book itself did not have an ending since dear Elizabeth Gaskell passed away before finishing. The movie ending was perfect though!

    And another instance...I have to say it. I prefer the How to Train Your Dragon movies (1 and 2) to the books. The books are excellent, but different, and the movies are fantastic. ^.^


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