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Old March 9 2011, 09:42 PM   #31
Mistral
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

Gulliver-the 1930s (?) cartoon is wonderful, if a little Disney-ish.

George C Scott did a unique take on Holmes-it isn't faithful at all but a splendid movie.
I guess Basil Rathbone will always be Holmes to me...despite straying from who Holmes really was.

Really, one of Hollywood's biggest flaws is its inability to leave well enough alone.
There just aren't that many good adaptations of classics out there. I do agree with the Michael York Musketeers movie. Lots of fun.

Peter Pan-how come Armageddon keeps springing to mind?
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Old March 9 2011, 10:03 PM   #32
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

Lonemagpie wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
Three Musketeers
The 1970s Richard Lester versions are the best - and surprisingly faithful the tone of the original novels.
Agreed, although I admit to a fondness for the old Gene Kelly/Vincent Price version.


I remember enjoying the Richard Chamberlain version of THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO as well.
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Old March 9 2011, 10:05 PM   #33
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

Great thread idea!!
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Old March 9 2011, 10:27 PM   #34
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

Greg Cox wrote: View Post

The 1970s Richard Lester versions are the best - and surprisingly faithful the tone of the original novels.
Agreed, although I admit to a fondness for the old Gene Kelly/Vincent Price version.

Same here. Gene Kelly rocks in that film. Check out this clip (especially after 2:25 or so) for some Gene Kelly awesomeness:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6prWV23jAw
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Old March 9 2011, 10:39 PM   #35
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

Greg Cox wrote: View Post

The idea that Mina is the likeness of Vlad's long-lost love seems to date back to the 1970's tv version with Jack Palance, scripted by Richard Matheson.

Although, of course, this concept has also been a staple of mummy movies since day one, so it could have just been imported for there.
Actually that staple of Mummy movies is also a Bram Stoker creation - it originated from his Jewel Of The Seven Stars.
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Old March 10 2011, 01:39 AM   #36
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

What about the live action Peter Pan that came out a few years ago? I watched it after it came out on DVD and I think I remember liking it.
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Old March 10 2011, 02:01 AM   #37
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

JD wrote: View Post
What about the live action Peter Pan that came out a few years ago? I watched it after it came out on DVD and I think I remember liking it.
I've been meeaning to mention the 2003 version and keep forgetting to. It was quite good, though it's been so many years since I read the book I couldn't tell you how accurate an adaptation it is.

Interesting note re: the origin of Mina's resemblance to Drac's love. Thanks, Greg!
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Old March 10 2011, 02:14 AM   #38
Greg Cox
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

Lonemagpie wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post

The idea that Mina is the likeness of Vlad's long-lost love seems to date back to the 1970's tv version with Jack Palance, scripted by Richard Matheson.

Although, of course, this concept has also been a staple of mummy movies since day one, so it could have just been imported for there.
Actually that staple of Mummy movies is also a Bram Stoker creation - it originated from his Jewel Of The Seven Stars.

Good point. I actually reprinted Jewel at Tor several years ago, with a gorgeous Boris Vallejo cover. Alas, nobody has yet to make a really good version of that book yet. (The Hammer version is better than the Charlton Heston version, but I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say that either of them is really a good movie!)
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Old March 10 2011, 02:27 AM   #39
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

JD wrote: View Post
Recently I've started reading some of the classics, and I'm hoping to watch some of the movie versions after I read the books. Ok, I guess they're not all sci-fi and fantasy but the majority of them are.
I've already watched the Bela Lugosi and Gary Oldman Draculas so I'm happy with those.
The ones I'm most interested in are:
THe Invisible Man
HP Lovecraft's stories
Tarzan
Treasure Island
Guliver's Travels
Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass
Jungle Books
Huck FInn
Peter Pann
Three Musketeers
Illiad/Odyssey
Arabian Nights (whole thing or individual stories)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (I've seen and loved the James Nesibitt/Michele Ryan Jekyll mini, but that's a sequel not an adaptation)
Hunchback of Notre Dame
Les Meserables
Count of Monte Cristo
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Ivanhoe
Crime & Punishment
Man in the Iron Mask
Oliver Twist
Cyrano De Bergerac
Red Badge of Courage
Don Quixote
Robinson Crusoe
Pinocchio
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Tom Sawyer
Sherlock Holmes
King Solomon's Mine
Phantom of the Opera
Beowulf
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Time Machine
Frankenstein
Let's see, what can I help you with....

The Invisible Man: Definitely the Claude Rains version from the 30's. Best movie version, and probably most faithful.

Alice in Wonderland: There isn't a faithful adaptation. Not a one. The Disney version is iconic, but mediocre. The Tim Burton sequel is awful. The best one I've seen is a completely unfaithful, but utterly creepy, Swedish (I think) version that all takes place within a house. Anyone else know what I'm talking about? It's really haunting. Otherwise, you're out of luck. Just reread the books.

Peter Pan: The recent live action version is really very good. (2003, I think.)

Hunchback: Not at all faithful, but the really underrated and entertaining and surprisingly twisted cartoon by Disney is well worth watching. The villain in the cartoon, the judge, is the scariest and most complex villain in any Disney cartoon in history (and his song Hellfire will send shivers down your spine.)

Journey to the Centre of the Earth: There's a good version from the 60's, I think. Again, not completely faithful, but a lot of fun. I remember a chicken being one of the main characters.

Legend of Sleepy Hollow: The Tim Burton version is a masterpiece. Unforgettable imagery, and a twisted sense of humour.

Beowulf: The recent-ish animated version by Robert Zemeckis was excellent when I saw it in 3d. I don't know how well it will translate on the small screen, but it's worth a shot.

Sherlock Holmes: The Jeremy Brett series is perfection. Completely faithful in character and tone.
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Old March 10 2011, 02:42 AM   #40
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

What about the Hallmark Alice in Wonderland, with Martin Short and Whoopie Goldberg? I remember liking that alot when I watched it a couple years ago.
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Old March 10 2011, 02:57 AM   #41
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

JD wrote: View Post
What about the Hallmark Alice in Wonderland, with Martin Short and Whoopie Goldberg? I remember liking that alot when I watched it a couple years ago.
That's always been the favorite I've seen (perhaps I've seen 4 or 5 versions, excluding the new Johnny Depp, which I took a pass on). I can't speak to Faithfulness, since I've never read the book, but, it's the most entertaining one to me.
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Old March 10 2011, 02:59 AM   #42
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

Was that the ABC (or whatever) mini series that ran in the 80s? I do remember liking that one but haven't seen it in years
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Old March 10 2011, 03:55 AM   #43
The Borgified Corpse
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
For more classical ones, apart from the BBC stuff that everyone recommends, there's a very good 1979 film called Murder By Decree starring Christopher Plummer as Holmes.
I have to respectfully disagree with you about this one here. I recently watched Murder by Decree for the 1st time. In the 1st place, it's boring as hell. In the 2nd place, it has fuck all to do with the characters that Arthur Conan Doyle created. It's not really a Sherlock Holmes story. It's just a movie that used Holmes as a vehicle to examine recent historical theories about Jack the Ripper. And then there's Donald Sutherland playing a psychic for some reason. For Holmes to pay any legitimate attention to a psychic at all is completely antithetical to the character. Honestly, as far as authentic Holmes stories go, you'd even be better off with Young Sherlock Holmes.

Kirkman1987 wrote: View Post
Sherlock Holmes

A lot of great options here. The most accurate thing you will find is the Jeremy Brett television series. They follow the stories very closely, and feature good production values. Many consider Brett the definitive Holmes. I also recommend The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (a comedy).
I don't really think The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is a comedy. It's kinda "funny" when Holmes tries to get out of being propositioned by a Russian ballerina by claiming that he & Watson are gay. But other than that, it's a pretty straight story (albeit absent the usual Holmes forensics) about international espionage & the Loch Ness Monster.

Personally, I would best recommend the BBC series Sherlock. Despite its contemporary setting, it absolutely nails the characters and some of the dialogue is lifted straight from the original stories.
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Old March 10 2011, 04:17 AM   #44
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
In the 2nd place, it has fuck all to do with the characters that Arthur Conan Doyle created. It's not really a Sherlock Holmes story. It's just a movie that used Holmes as a vehicle to examine recent historical theories about Jack the Ripper.
It's Sherlock Holmes solving the Ripper case; an extremely common scenario in post-Doyle novels. And I think it's a pretty intelligent examination of what has become a fairly common conspiracy theory.

It's got a strong Holmes, and James Mason's Watson I thought was one of the better versions of the character (certainly of those who use the chubby Watson as their basis).
And then there's Donald Sutherland playing a psychic for some reason. For Holmes to pay any legitimate attention to a psychic at all is completely antithetical to the character. Honestly, as far as authentic Holmes stories go, you'd even be better off with Young Sherlock Holmes.
Sutherland's character is in it because he was a real person who was involved with the Ripper case.

And Holmes in the novels never dismissed the supernatural outright; he was open to the idea in The Hound of the Baskervilles, for instance, but insisted on examining all other avenues, and said that if it was true, there wasn't anything he could do about it. And particularly since Doyle himself later became a spiritualist, I don't think him examining a psychic who claims to have information is some great problem.
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Old March 10 2011, 06:25 AM   #45
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Re: Decent movie versions of classic novels

Bishop76 wrote: View Post
Was that the ABC (or whatever) mini series that ran in the 80s? I do remember liking that one but haven't seen it in years
It was a movie on NBC in 1999. It had Tina Majorino as Alice, Whoopi as the Cheshire Cat, Miranda Richardson as the Queen of Harts and Martin Short as the Mad Hatter.
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