How do you feel about modern film adaptations of classic novels?How do you feel about modern film adaptations of classic novels? Bernadette #questionnaire #classics
No thank you.
Most of the time…Yuck! ??
Name a good one? I’d seriously like to know what people think in this group.
Depends on the adaptation!?
I love them!
Clueless was a beautiful version of Emma and made the source material relatable.
That one is outstanding!
Sense and Sensibility 1995 was great!
I thought “Clueless” was a clever and imaginative retelling of “Emma” but other than that I’m never really happy with the outcome. The problem always seem to lie in not sticking to the novel. “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” stands out for me there. I watched it and thought, “Which book did you read?”
I found myself wondering why they put his name on it when it had so little to do with it
@Jamie I still think it’s the best screen adaptation of the novel. My buddy and I both decided to read the book before it was released and then see the film. Sadly, on the best of days, Hollywood can’t stop being Hollywood.
@Hank If it weren’t one of my favorite novels, I might have been more open to it. I still think sticking to the story would make a better movie.
Dracula is on my to be reread list, along with Frankenstein.
@Hank If it weren’t one of my favorite novels, I could probably be more open to it. I still think sticking to the story makes a better movie.
@Hank BTW, I just tried reading Dacre Stoker’s “Dracula: the Undead.” Couldn’t get past the first chapter. No “grab” for me there. Still have hopes for his new one, “Dracul” next month?
After you mentioned it before, I placed both on my wish list, right after hitting the lottery and having more time to read 🙂
The book is usually much better. When you read the book, the movie leaves a lot to be desired.
Do you mean like”sense and sensibilities” or “little women”?
Some are done better than others,or do you mean classics set in modern day?
Classics set in the modern day.
@Bernadette not so much then
I saw that a modern version of Little Women is soon to be released. Will be interesting to see..
I did also. That is what prompted me to ask this question because it seemed like it would be interesting to see. Normally I would say no.
And another one closer to the novel next year (with Emma Watson!)
No! Don’t mess a good thing! They RUINED Romeo and Juliet with Claire Danes and Leo Decaprio modern version.
Admittedly, I LOVED this version of Romeo and Juliet, but this was the movie that came out during my youth, and therefore, has a special place in my heart. But when you try to show it to someone even younger, it just doesn’t hold up like it does with those my age (in their 30’s…still wishing we were in our 20’s). The music, the visual effects, the actors themselves, the riotous cadence of the language – it made a whole generation appreciate Shakespeare again, or at least give it a try and enjoy it. I think each generation probably has something like this that gets them encouraged to read the classics, and that’s always a good thing!
I am old ? and watched the Franco Zeffirelli version, with Olivia Hussy and Leonard Whiting. Google them to see photos – they are the real Romeo & Juliet !
And then I thought it was BRILLIANT. From the opening scene where the narrator is a television reporter I was hooked.
I loved the Zeffirelli version too! Probably because any rendition of that play I love!
Liked West Side Story.
@Mandy Have you watched the film “Warm Bodies”? Zombie Apocalypse R&J. I loved it and would love to talk to another fan of the original who has seen it
@Tolley I haven’t but now I think I might need to see it!!
Please do. My fave scene is in the beginning when R is hanging out with M. I’m in stitches, pun intended. Oh,and I am NOT a zombie apocalypse person.
@Tolley me either! But I guess I didn’t realize that movie was a zombie version of R&J! But it is so happening in my world!!!
@Mandy I adored the DiCaprio/Danes version- Shakespeare deserves modern retelling a. Midsummer Nights Dream with Michelle Pfeiffer was perfection.
I loved this version of Romeo and Juliet also.
I loved the Zeffirelli, the Baz Luhrmann, and West Side Story [except Rita Moreno should be Maria, and also die].
After watching a video on the Great American Read page I have a new appreciation for film adaptations. I try to watch them as an art form that portrays a different perspective. I try to pay attention to the movie itself and not the accuracy of the story. I like them.
I’ve been trying to explain this to my 12 year old who gets so angry when the movie doesn’t follow the book exactly. They can both be good in different ways. I usually read the books first.
@Emily Lol your 12 year old and my inner 12 year old would be good friends
As a teacher I love modern retellings because, like it or not, if it’s not relatable most students put up a wall immediately. Pairing a classic novel with key scenes from a modern film is much more accessible for students.
Atonement was a very good adaptation.
I thought the Bollywood version of “Pride and Prejudice” was surprisingly good.
I love that one! It is my second favorite of Pride and prejudice movies. First being the 1985 BBC version that is closed to the book!
Roxane and 10 Things I Hate About You.
Cyrano & Taming of the Shrew- both entertaining modernizations
I also like A Knight’s Tale as a loose adaptation of the Canterbury Tales due, mainly, to the juxtaposition of modern music in a medieval scene.
Gone With the Wind want bad
In 1972 there was a 20 episode mini-series of War and Peace which was outstanding. I wish I could watch is all over again. The 1935 David Copperfield movie version with W.C. Fields has it’s charms as does the 1951 A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim. My favorite movie rendition of a book is of Joyce Cary’s The Hourse’s Mouth with Alec Guiness.
I thought Clueless was a brilliant adaptation of Emma. I think I like the modern film adaptations better than the classically interpreted movies because they usually give the title of the film a different title. So you know it’s based on the book and you can see the characters and story line, but your expectations aren’t completely linked to the book.
And it was a lot of fun!
10 things I hate about you is probably the top one on my list. Very few films do justice to the book.
That’s the only modern adaption of a book that I really liked!
I have to say that I was surprised at how much I enjoyed The Great Gatsby movie with Leonardo DiCapra.
I loved far from the madding crowd
The film adaptation of “Lonesome Dove” was the best adaptation of book to screen that I can recall!
I agree perfect casting.
I thought the adaptation of “A French Lieutenant’s Woman” was tremendous! I had been wondering how they would treat the two separate ending possibilities in the book, and they nailed it!
I liked it too, and John Fowles is one of my favorite writers.
Yes but not a modern adaptation just a film
It’s so hard to generalize. For instance the BBC Pride and Prejudice is superb while the Keira Knightly movie is terrible. Actually I’ve never been able to get into it. All the sisters look alike and they have cows walking outside the front door. This completely distorts the social standing of the Bennetts; though they were land owners, they rented land to farmers rather than farming themselves. What I’m saying is that just like modern adaptations, they can be wonderful or atrocious with perhaps more room for error.
Your opinion is … your single opinion.
“Your Opinion is .. your single opinion”
In all fairness, the OP is directly asking for said opinions. I’m not seeing a calling for saltiness.
@Kerry My point exactly — the adaptation can be excellent for one person and horrid to the next. It’s impossible to say that all adaptations are good or all are bad.
@Carol Yes, I should have said that it is my opinion that the BBC version is much better. Everyone has the right to their own opinion.
depends on how it’s done
I love Branagh’s Hamlet which was reset in time. Branagh is actually one of the “adapters” I trust most. He plays in the gray areas better than anyone else I’ve seen –
If they encourage people to read, I’m all for it!
I love them- but once I love one, I tend not to like a remake with different actors.
i loved “great expectations” with gwyneth paltrow
Me, too. In fact, I liked it much better than the book. ?
I think Bridget Jones’ Diary was a clever twist on Pride and Prejudice.
Glad to know this.
BBC has done some worthwhile adaptations. I’m skeptical of Hollywood major studio productions, though there are exceptions, I’m sure.
I enjoy it very much
I think it brings great stories to an audience that might otherwise miss them. Hopefully, they go on to read the originals.
1995 version of Richard lll, starring Ian McKellan is one of the few modernizations that I really applaud. I think that, even though a great book is timeless, taken out of the era, it usually loses some of its context and flavor. Romeo and Juliet, in modern dress, translates into a maudlin, soupy, teenage self absorbed mess. The story, in context of its time, and language, promotes a thoughtful and sympathetic emotion. I generally do not care for remakes of great movies. Can you imagine Arsenic and Old Lace with any other cast.? Theatre plays are a different matter, they are more adaptable and open to different interpretations.
Al Pacino … docu directing self
BBC productions of Jane Austen books are great..following the books nearly perfect.
I was recently reintroduced to the 1981 BBC 11 part production of Evelyn Waugh’s “Brideshead Revisited” and was absolutely stunned by it. I felt it was a work of art that improved upon the original novel. The acting, cinematography, costumes, set design and writing were first rate. Much of the dialogue came directly from the book including a voice over narration by Jeremy Irons. I would highly recommend this version to anyone who has 12 free hours. It’s like Downton Abbey as art vs. merely entertainment.
Not sure how a film “improves” upon written work.
Two different art forms.
Like people discussing “reading” audio book.
It was beautifully done,never read the book though,so can’t compare
I love that people experience things in different ways. People with synesthesia see music and hear colors. Perhaps what I should have said was that the film enhanced my experience of reading the novel. It added a whole new dimension to my understanding and appreciation of Waugh’s original work. And for that I am very grateful.
Some are good , some bad
Have not been impressed…Most of the time I am left wondering whether someone should have at least read the book.
Not a fan of the modern version of Little Women, I can tell I will hate it just by the commercial
I enjoyed the 90s version with Winona Ryder as Joe.
Although I am doubtful I want to give it a chance without bias. The trailer can be deceiving, both good and bad
True but if the trailer which is “the hook” is bad chances are…
I just don’t like it being placed in 2018. Too many things don’t make sense in modern society to me
I think there is something to be said for the greats. The more people try the cooler adaptations we can get. There are some amazing adaptations of classic novels made in the last 15 years
Age of Innocence ” was good.
The only good Jane Austin or Bronte sisters books are from the BBC also Poldark
If the British make it …it will be excellent!!!!
Yeah, I like it better when the Brits do it. Hollywood just slaughters the crap out of pretty much everything they touch.
Wildly varied as all film is. Well done adaptations can enhance the pleasure of a loved novel, or open new audiences to it. I am pretty much a sucker for all things Shakespearean. His timelessness is astounding.
Depends: is the BBC doing it?? Yes? I’m in!
I give them all a chance and am often delighted!
I think if there aren’t new adaptations of books, they die.
It depends on the film. Theater does that all the time – it depends who is doing the treatment.
Some of them may create new readers for the original books. However what I DON’T like are abridged simplified (sometimes dumbed down) versions of classic books.
Just say no!
The one I’d like to see is Main Street by Sinclair Lewis set in present day! Would be timely.
Depends on the film and if I’m interested in it!
I love historical costume dramas so I am not a huge fan of making them modern just for the sake of it being modern. When I was theatre major we would discuss what makes for a successful change in period from the original. It works best when the two time periods are fairly comparable, say in periods when they both experienced great political upheaval. For instance I once saw a production of Hamlet in the South right after the Civil War. That worked.
Sometimes they are pretty good.. especially the Shakespeare stuff for young adults. Austen…not as succesful.
I hated the latest Anna Karenina, for me it was how they chose to change scenes. I couldn’t sit through it. Also, very few books should be made into movies. Some haven’t even hit the shelves and already have a movie deal.
some people do not read so films can be a manner by which they can appreciate literature
Not opposed to it on principle, as Clueless was sublime.
Agree about Clueless but there are so few that manage to do it as well.
I love the Masterpiece Theatre BBC adaptations. If you “can’t get into” Pickwick Papers, watch the adaptation. I especially loved the actor who played Sam Weller.
I loved Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility. Kate Winslet was a darling Marianne, but the whole cast was great.
And Donald Sutherland was touching and funny as Mr. Bennett in Pride and Prejudice.
Unless it is BBC, I usually hate them!
BBC knows how to do classic
Loved the 1985 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice and Lonesome Dove.
Absolutely! Great productions, both of them.
Just started Lonesome Dove! Great casting
I understand Simon Birch is a ‘suggestion!’ of A Prayer for Owen Meany, and that’s a stretch!
I like them when they stay true to the source material
If it keeps people talking about the book- whether the adaptation is well done or not – its a good thing.
Brings great books to life for non readers. That must be a good idea
Haven’t read Dune yet but hearing that the director of Arrival is in charge of the upcoming adaptation sounds hopeful.
Dune is one of my favorite books. I did not like the 1984 movie at all. Given that Denis Villeneuve is directing this production, I am crossing my fingers and hoping that this version measures up to the wonderful and creative book.
I’m open to new eyes that test how timeless classic novels are.
The best yet is BBC’s Bleak House.
I want a good version of Fahrenheit 451 made.
Has the new one come out yet?
It has. I want a less commercialized, more dystopian view. I think books are so important.
Right, what was that on cable tv?!
Although they seldom live up to the standard of the books they’re based on, l love to watch film adaptations of classic literature. These movies, l feel, give the viewer a sense of the time and place in which the book is set. One of my favorites, “Sense and Sensibility” 1995, presents a gorgeous feel of 19th century England…the countryside, clothing, architecture, etc. IMHO, some of these films can add to the reader’s enjoyment and perhaps understanding of the novels they portray.
It helps a lot with the larger classics. Like war and peace Or Charles Dickens novels, those books have so many characters and plot lines.
Good tv adaptations I haven’t seen mentioned include I Claudius, Harvest Home, Small Sacrifices, and Helter Skelter.
I went to a conference once and the speaker asked us to imagine Rhett Butler as anyone other than Clark Gable. That’s the problem when you see a movie before reading the book. Although some movies can help you better understand the book
CBC’s adaptation of Anne of Green Gables with Megan Follows is a favorite. It brings all the joy, laughter, and heartache of the books.
Anne with an E? They really went far off the plot of the book, though. I love the book and the show, but they’re very different things.
@Ryan No. The 1985 mini-series from Canada. I haven’t seen Anne with an E yet, although I plan to at some point.
@Heather I’ll have to look it up. Anne of Green Gables is one of my all time favorites.
@Heather Great to hear.
The version with Megan Follows will always be my favorite❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Some are good. West Side Story, anyone?
Boy, boy, crazy boy…….:)