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Old 12-20-2012, 12:30 PM
 
Location: London
1,068 posts, read 1,819,370 times
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Eugene O'Neil 'The Iceman Cometh'.I read this famous play again recently and really enjoyed it. My favourite play by Eugene O'Neil is 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' and I saw David Suchet give a stirring performance on the London stage a few months back.

I have yet to see 'The Iceman Cometh'. I did however watch a film version of it starring Lee Marvin and though it was a good effort the production didn't live up to the images of the characters or the interpretation of the dialogue I had when reading the text.

This may seem strange to some posters here but has anyone else had the experience of reading a play and then being disappointed by the production? I say this because it is always re-iterated that plays are supposed to be watched rather than read but ever since I read Oscar Wilde's works as a teenager I always rather enjoyed reading the play.

Often I get an image in mind for a character and if I feel the production has misrepresented the text or even if it has done a fairly good job I still feel disappointed sometimes that the performance hasn't lived up to the kind of performance (or action) I had imagined in my head.

Has anyone else had this experience? Enjoying a play more reading it than performed or seen on television? I realise most people hate reading plays but I actually enjoy it.

Alternatively can anyone think of a film they enjoyed more than the book? This may be even rarer as I can't think of one offhand. Even the most ambitious mega-budget films such as 'Lord Of The Rings' I could only admire a fraction as much as the book as I remember it.

If I can think of a film I enjoyed more than the book I will post but in the meantime would be very interested in your experiences as I dare say these anomalies may be quite rare.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Maine
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I've never enjoyed reading Shakespeare, but I love the plays.

I can think of some movies there were better than the books:

THE GODFATHER. One of the great movies ever made. The book really wasn't very good at all. Very poorly written.

JAWS. The greatest action/adventure drama ever made. The book was just plain bad.

BLADE RUNNER. Arguably one of the greatest SF movies. The novella on which it was based is an almost incoherent bore.

FORREST GUMP. Fun movie. Horrible, horrible book.

PSYCHO. Great movie. Good book.

JACKIE BROWN. Great movie. So-so book.

Any of the BOURNE movies. While the quality of the movies varies, the books are all terrible.

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL. Fantastic movie. Okay book.

APOCALYPSE NOW. Great movie. Okay book.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Middle of the valley
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I definitely prefer plays or movies versus reading Shakespeare.

I preferred Wicked (on stage) to the book.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:47 PM
 
Location: London
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These are some great examples. Bladerunner is probably my favourite Sci-Fi movie of all time but I haven't read the book so can't really comment.

Does anyone think 'One Flew Over The Cukoo's Nest' as a movie is better than the book? I personally do not though it certainly comes close. I actually read the book after I saw the film but enjoyed it much more than the film which was also brilliant. I'd say it ran the book close but I am yet to think of a film that stands out as well as the examples given above.

And I actually agree about Shakespeare. The performances really bring the words to life. I remember seeing 'Othello' as my first play at the Globe and the performances were brilliant. So much humour and texture to the text that wasn't apparent to me until I viewed a live performance.

I found Oscar Wilde a different experience. Especially the modern adaptations of his works.I find it more difficult to relate to some recent adaptations on stage and in cinema and have always found it hard to warm to an Oscar Wilde production as much as I warm to the words or characters themselves but then most of Oscar Wilde's characters were deeply flawed the odd noble exception aside I suppose.

Anyway, it was a long time before I found a performance that met my expectations.

Last edited by Fear&Whiskey; 12-20-2012 at 05:59 PM..
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:07 PM
 
1,833 posts, read 2,922,358 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
FORREST GUMP. Fun movie. Horrible, horrible book.
Wow! I was thinking really?!? A movie BETTER than a book? when reading the OP's question. Then I read your list and I saw ^^^. I will remember this from now because I HAVE read this book and it was horrible, but the movie was great.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
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My initial reaction was "no way" but then I remembered... Ordinary People. Brilliant movie but I couldn't get through the book.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:31 AM
 
Location: London
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A possible contender is 'The Silence Of The Lambs' perhaps though to be perfectly honest it isn't one of my favourite films. Great performances from Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. Not sure how well it has stood the test of time because I haven't seen it for many, many years.

I did read the book by Thomas Harris and the sequel 'Hannibal' which I remember more now, primarily for the shoot out scene in the first few chapters that really grabbed my attention. They were capable thrillers but the 'Silence of The Lambs' the film was probably more powerful in this instance. The second film was a poor relation to the book which it has to be said wasn't spectacular if riveting enough as a standard thriller.

Also 'No Country For Old Men' good book by Cormac McCarthy, better film though I know the Coen Brothers have alot of detractors. Thought in this instance the film was better than the book. Loved the ending though no-one else seemed to for some reason.

Last edited by Fear&Whiskey; 12-21-2012 at 06:40 AM..
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
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The prince of tides, Good book, great movie.

Forest Gump, great movie, absolutely horrible book.

The bridges of Madison County, great book, fantastic movie.

Midnight in the garden of good and evil, good book, great movie.

All the presidents men, so so book, very good movie.

Fried green tomatoes, good book, great movie.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,336 posts, read 28,716,234 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucknow View Post
The prince of tides, Good book, great movie.
Oh, funny, I thought the opposite. Granted, I didn't see the movie but... I loved the book. When the movie came out, a friend of mine went to see it. Curious how they handled the tiger scene, which I remember as being pivotal in the book, I asked her. "What tiger?," she said in response. I told her about the tiger in the book. She told me that there was NO tiger in the movie. Whaaaaat? I couldn't believe it. Yes, yes, the book is a big one, they couldn't include everything. But the tiger... I thought it was so important.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear&Whiskey View Post
Also 'No Country For Old Men' good book by Cormac McCarthy, better film though I know the Coen Brothers have alot of detractors. Thought in this instance the film was better than the book. Loved the ending though no-one else seemed to for some reason.
I completely and totally disagree. Even though I liked the movie quite a lot, I thought the book brilliant. The movie really misunderstood two key characters: Sheriff Bell and Anton Chigurrh.
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