Decent movie versions of classic novels

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JD, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. Bishop76

    Bishop76 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, it was a decent attempt at The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Pretty shoddy acting, but Reanimator has the same problem, really. I guess I could let Dagon slide by.
     
  2. ziesha

    ziesha Guest

    I like Harry Potter !
     
  3. Kirkman1987

    Kirkman1987 Commodore Commodore

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    Here are the ones I suggest. I will be going off general quality and not accuracy, but will make some notes if I know the book well enough.


    The Invisible Man


    1933 version with Claude Raines. follows the basic premise of the book (although not exact) and on it's own is one of the best horror films of the era. Incredible special effects for the time.

    HP Lovecraft's stories

    Murky waters here, and you will hear many opinions. I suggest watching Re-animator if you can stomach the gore. Also watch In The Mouth of Madness, even though it's only inspired by Lovecraft.

    Tarzan


    I've never read the original stories, but know enough to realize that the Weissmuller films are nothing like the books. regardless, the first two in the series (Tarzan and Tarzan and his mate) are fantastic escapist entertainment.

    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).

    Phantom of the Opera

    The Silent Lon Chaney version. No question

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

    As others have said, the Disney version is a lot of fun, if a little silly.

    Frankenstein

    Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, although they have little to do with the book. Bride is one of the best sequels of all time, not to mention one of the funniest horror films ever.


    Edit - I don't think anyone mentioned Horror of Dracula, the first Dracula film Christopher Lee did. It's a really cool adaptation of the book, with some neat changes that make that movie very fresh.
     
  4. AviTrek

    AviTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I can't think of a good version of the classic story, but Hook is a great movie about an adult Pan(Robin Williams) returning to Neverland.

    I don't know how accurate the Disney movie is, but it's a classic on its own as a movie.

    People have already mentioned the Jeremy Brett series, and I completely agree. Also, the new BBC series starring Benedict Cumberbatch is great. It's set in modern day London and the stories are more inspired by Doyle than direct reproductions, but they're great.
     
  5. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    The 1970s Richard Lester versions are the best - and surprisingly faithful the tone of the original novels.
     
  6. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Best page-to-screen adaptation I can think of is the 1978 PBS version of Ursula LeGuin's The Lathe of Heaven. Bruce Davison is a perfect George Orr and the script/production mirrors LeGuin's writing about as well as one could want it to.

    There is apparantly a later version (1990's?) that was done for A&E that I've heard nothing good about.
     
  7. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    There's an old Swedish production called Terror of Frankenstein that's the most faithful one I've seen. It's probably faithful enough to be shown to a class studying the novel.

    It's a decent little movie, but if you check it out, be warned that it's very dry. I'm glad to have it, but it illustrates why adaptations of the novel tend to spice it up a bit.
     
  8. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Coppola version is not particularly accurate since it hinges on the idea of Mina as a reincarnated version of Vlad the Impaler's bride - something that is completely invented outside the book, though Elizabeta was a real historical personage who did indeed throw herself from the castle tower. But the movie does follow the plot of the book fairly closely with the exception of the Drac/ Mina seduction scenes.
     
  9. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Coppola version is one of the few Dracula adaptations that retains his moustache from the novel, as well as Drac's being able to walk in daylight.
     
  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    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.
     
  11. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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?:lol:
     
  12. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    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.
     
  13. indranee

    indranee Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Great thread idea!!
     
  14. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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
     
  15. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Actually that staple of Mummy movies is also a Bram Stoker creation - it originated from his Jewel Of The Seven Stars.
     
  16. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  17. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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!
     
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    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!)
     
  19. Ubik

    Ubik Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  20. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    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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