The movie was better. . .

Mirroring the ‘book was better’ thread, do you know of any movies that were an improvement on the book?

I’ll start with ‘The Black Stallion.’


Jurassic Park.

Don’t get me wrong, an excellent read, but the movie had a heart I didn’t find in the pages. Plus the music just help make that film.


John Carpenter’s Vampires. The book had more “bro worship” than a frat house on St Patrick’s Day weekend.

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Fight Club

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Fight Club is probably the best translation of a book to the screen. They pretty much captured everything from the book and amped it up, and any changes they made were for the better.

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any changes they made were for the better

That was also my opinion.

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Jaws. Absolutely Jaws.


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?Blade Runner although this is entirely debatable. Personally, I feel the movie is better; totally recognize that many folks cannot stand it.

An odd one here but From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. More specifically, the 1973 adaptation (“The Hideaways”).

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Jurassic Park did have an awesome soundtrack.


I thought Atomic Blonde a better film than the graphic novel The Coldest City it was based on. Granted, I saw the movie first, but the book seemed a fairly straightforward tale of Cold War double dealing in comparison.

TV show, not a movie, but Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries.

Loved the TV series, tried the first book and gave up. The writing was stilted and Kerry Greenwood seemed fascinated with describing clothes and food. If anyone has read the books, do they get better?

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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Less racism, for one thing (though I’ve heard more recent editions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have been changed to be less racist, so that’s good).


I would say I barely recognize a connection between the two. In fact, Ridley Scott’s insistence on Deckard being an android annihilates the premise of the book.

As for movies that were better than the book, well, it’s hard to compare the experience. That said, there are most certainly movies based on books that are much “bigger” in their respective canons.

Like, Wizard of Oz, Silence of the Lambs, even Gone with the Wind. Maltese Falcon, First Blood, Dracula (and Nosferatu) and Frankenstein, maybe the first Wonka movie, Die Hard…just off the top of my head.

Probably a lot of stuff based on Roald Dahl books is genuinely “better” in the sense of being more cohesive in terms of plot and characterization, though I think only Matilda really captures the spirit of his writing.

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It’s been a very long time since I read the source material, but I’m going with Shawshank Redemption.

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I couldn’t agree with this more. It’s been forever since I read it, but I recall it being a hair ball of subplots that I hated. Spielberg and Carl Gottlieb streamlined that mofo down into an amazing screenplay.


Jaws for sure, and I liked Shane a bit more in movie form.

And if there are any out there in MST-land, this will infuriate the Cornell Woolrich purists (who dislike the movie), but I prefer Phantom Lady.

Yes, the novel is brilliantly intense, I loved the countdown for each chapter - on the other hand, I felt the dialogue was rather clunky, and the 25-page info dump at the end takes the wind out its sails. I prefer how the movie doles out information, piece by piece, even if it means revealing who the killer is earlier than the novel. I mean, not all crime or suspense stories are ‘who dun its’ - and dramatic irony can be an effective tool, one that’s been used by masters like Hitchcock and more - allowing the audience to be privy to information unknown to the protagonist, is not unheard of and works here.

The film also has some great noir visuals and it still captures the novel’s sense of urban loneliness. Plus it has Ella Raines and Elisha Cook Jr. (and their jazz club scene is a knock-out)


Oh Psycho. Definitely Psycho. Arguably everything Hitch ever directed based on a novel.

He picked great novels. Like, The Vanishing Lady—which I thought of when I read @JakeGittes talking about Phantom Lady—is one of the greatest thrillers I’ve ever read. Is the movie “better”? I don’t know, but most things directed by Hitchcock have a greater prominence in the film canon than the writers have in the literary canon.

Ooh…Laura. Movie’s better.


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

I’ve warned others about reading DADOES - don’t assume the film follows the novel. Quite the opposite. But, I’m a long time fan of Philip K Dick’s work, so it’s still a worthwhile read.

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Murdoch Mysteries is a better show than the books, too. At least going by what I’ve read of the books.

The movie is always better.