Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Hollywood Version

Top Ten Tuesday:  Top Ten Book to Movie Adaptations

Movies usually ruin a good book, but here are ten movies I loved nearly as much as (or more than) the original books.

1.  The Birds, based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier.  The film, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is absolutely brilliant.  Tippi Hedren plays a spoiled socialite with underlying psychological issues. Scary and stylish.
2. Rebecca, by Daphne DuMaurier. This novel by du Maurier.  Again, Hitchcock directs this 1940 black and white film starring Joan Fontaine, who is perfect in the title role. Also starring Laurence Olivier, and Judith Anderson as the creepy Mrs. Danvers, Rebecca the film is a moody psychological thriller.
3. To Have and to Have Not by Ernest Hemingway. Who cares about the book? The plot was dramatically altered.  Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are magnetic in this black and white film.  Bacall was only nineteen years old, and the chemistry between her and Bogart is palpable.  Howard Hawks directed, William Faulkner wrote the screenplay. Hoagy Carmichael plays the piano, Bacall sings, the whole thing is just sexy.
4. Howards End, by E.M. Forster. A Merchant Ivory production, this film features superb acting by Vanessa Redgrave, Emma Thompson,Helena Bonham Carter and Anthony Hopkins.
5. The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton. Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder star, with Martin Scorsese.  One of the few films with extensive voice over that actually works. Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder are perfectly cast.
6. Enchanted April, by Elizabeth von Arnheim. The beauty of this film is breathtaking.Pretty people falling in love in a stupendously beautiful landscape. Lovely.
7. Bright Star, based on the poems and letters of John Keats. Letters and poems are woven into the dialogue of this Jane Campion film which tells the story of the love affair between John Keats and Fanny Brawne. Ben Wishaw is feisty and adorable as the poet, and he recites the poetry of Keats most swoonably.
8. A Room with a View, by E.M. Forster.Helena Bonham Carter, Julian Sands, and Daniel Day-Lewis star in another Merchant Ivory film.
9. Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper. The book does nothing for me, but I loved Daniel Day-Lewis running through the forest in buckskins, his long hair streaming behind him. Sexy Native Americans and evil soldiers.
10. Bride and Prejudice. Based on Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.This fun film melds Hollywood and Bollywood. Starring India's biggest Bollywood star, Aishwarya Rai. My favorite scene in the movie is a dance number at a wedding where Naveen Andrews gets to show his sense of humor and his dance skills.

I bet you can think of at least ten movie adaptations of books that you really love.  Name one.


Roger Billings said...

This is a great list! Thanks. I would add "Stardust." Neil Gaiman is spectacular and the book is very entertaining, but everything I like most about the movie is not in the book. Old man at the wall-not in the book, Landing on the star- not in the book, and so on. Amazing screenplay!

Anonymous said...

good list lisa commented on others earlier and then spent evening thinking of others the roddy doyle books made to films like commitments always worked with the books spirit and ethos ,lot books I read film into the unfilmable or to obscure to make to films shame there are some great ones that would make wonderful films ,all the best stu

Rummanah Aasi said...

I was so excited to see "Bright Star", but I felt completely lost when I watched it. So lost, that I had to turn it off after watching 20 min and read Keats instead.

I had no idea that "The Birds" was a DuMaurier short story. How cool is that? I also have "Rebecca" on mine.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

How in the world could I have forgotten To Have and Have Not!! I also don't care for any of Cooper's work but loved Last of the Mohicans.

LBC said...

Good ones. I haven't seen either The Birds or Rebecca, but I just read Rebecca and I'm always thinking about how I should watch some Hitchcock.

Bright Star was a good movie as well.
Here is my list: http://hawthornescarlet.blogspot.com/2011/02/top-ten-tuesday-on-silver-screen.html

ImageNations said...

I recently asked my readers movies/tv adaptations of books they love. It's great to know people love these as much as or more than the books

Ana S. said...

I need to watch The Enchanted April and A Room With a View! I adored both books and have heard great things about the adaptations. And yes, The Birds is brilliant, though it traumatised me as a child :P

Ben said...

Wow, I don't think I have watched or read anyone of them /inferioritysyndrome

Robyn Ryle said...

Oh, this is a great list. I see you gravitate towards older movies, too. I thought of Age of Innocence briefly. I love the scene where he kisses just the bare skin on her glove. And yes, both Room with a View and Howard's End are great. I love Forster. Now I need to see To Have and To Have Not and Hitchock's Rebecca. Have you ever read the short story, "The Birds for Christmas." It's partially about the movie.

Bybee said...

True Grit. I love the book and I'm fond of both movie versions, but the 2011 version is closer in spirit to the novel and therefore has a slight edge.

Aisle B said...

I was going to add Room with A View and noticed it on your list. What an absolutely beautiful movie. I cried buckets for that one.

great list and you forgot one... To Kill a Mockingbird. That is still my favorite all time book / movie.

bibliophiliac said...

@Morias Enkomion--I haven't read any Neil Gaiman-huge oversight, I know. I've also never seen Stardust :(
@winstonsdad-thanks stu, I loved The Commitments too--forgot all about that one!

bibliophiliac said...

@Rummanah--I hope you read the letters too, they are wonderful.
@PeppermintPhD--Last of the Mohicans is an example of the movie surpassing the book, IMO.
@LBC-Hitchcock was a genius. I can watch his films over and over.

bibliophiliac said...

@Nana-I'll have to check out your post...
@Nymeth-I think you would love the film version of Enchanted April.
@Ben--that may just be an indication of my advanced age!