This is an edited, updated version of a similar diary I posted a year ago
Lots of books get made into movies. Usually, at least in my opinion, the movie is worse. Often much worse. Sometimes it's just as good. On very rare occasions, the movie is better.
Less often, movies get made into books.
Below the fold, let's discuss books and movies
I am not nearly as much of a moviegoer as a book reader, so a lot of this will be in comments.....
Book into movie and the movie is BETTER
The Princess Bride. The movie is WONDERFUL. One of the very few movies that you can take your kids to (starting at, say, age 6 or so) and could also enjoy alone. Perfect casting, wonderful lines, stuff for kids to laugh at, stuff that adults will get.....just....well go see it. Having loved the movie, I read the book. Feh. It's a nothing. I think this is the only pairing I know of where the book is just MUCH worse than the movie.
Tag lines: "This man is only mostly dead!"
"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die"
"As you wish"
"Liar! Liar Liar Liar Liar!"
Schindler's List. The book (in some editions entitled Schindler's Ark) was very, very good. The movie is magnificent. One of the great films of all time. Go. But expect to be haunted. (Very brief synopsis: This is the story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who, before WW 2 was more or less a jerk, but rose magnificently to save many Jews from Hitler).
MASH -- I am not sure if this started as a book, but the movie was better
Book into movie - both great
The Godfather One of the rare pairings where each form (book and film) takes great advantage of the strengths of the medium. The movie follows the book very closely, but each offers different strengths.
The book makes the Corleone saga into the American Dream in a way that the movie does not. The book also gets into the minds of the leads in ways the movie cannot. But the movie!
- A Space Odyssey I thought the beginning (where the monkeys discover the monolith, was better in the book. But the visual effect of the movie is stunning. Both are great.
Get Shorty: Both were good and funny
Sophie's Choice - the film was amazing; the book also.
Mentioned by others, but where I have no opinion (in comments last time):
Blade Runner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Bridges of Madison County
Day of the Jackal
Flight of the Phoenix
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Harry Potter books/movies
Lonesome Dove (mini series)
Lord of the Rings
Losing Moses on the Freeway
Moby Dick (different versions mentioned)
Of mice and men
Out of Sight
Postman Always Rings Twice (original movie version)
Pride and Prejudice
Return of the Native
Roots (mini series)
Stand by Me
Strangers on a train
The Big Sleep
The Color Purple
The Last Tycoon
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
The Thin Man (several movies)
The Thirteenth Tale
They Shoot Horses Don't They
To kill a mockingbird
Treasure of the Sierra Madre For whom the Bell Tolls
Women in Love