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Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

First, the GOOD

Hubby and I have been watching the Detective Montalbano series based on Andrea Camilleri’s books.  The are not for children and the dvds don’t even bother to blur out things, but we have enjoyed them.  The series is done, now.

The last show left us in some doubt as it was based on a book I had not read, but I found it at B&N and ordered it and read it to see for sure what had happened.  In February of 2013 B&N will have another title available that was shown on TV, also, Dance of Seagulls.

I have read:

    The Shape of Water (I did not like this one at all, but I am glad I tried the next books)
    The Terra-Cotta
    The Snack Thief
    The Voice of the Violin
    Excursion to Tindari
    The Smell of the Night
    Rounding the Mark
    The Patience of the Spider
    The Paper Moon
    August Heat
    The Wings of the Sphinx
    The Track of Sand
    The Potter’s Field
    Age of Doubt

I got used to the looks of the Montalbano character and the other characters are perfectly cast, I believe.  Of course, the books explain so much more and are fun to read.

I also bought used the dvds of the first season for The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.  I have only watched the first two shows, but I like the stories very much.  The cast is wonderful.  Jill Scott is perfect as Precious.  There were some changes and the addition of a character, but that has not bothered me, either.  The scenery is wonderful as it is in Detective Montalbano.

Case Histories is a dvd based on the Jackson Brodie novels by Kate Atkinson which I also believe is very well done.  It touched my heart when Jackson talked with his daughter about the move she was making.

Lark Rise to Candleford had four seasons and was really wonderful.  I bought the dvds, also.

Lark Rise to Candleford is a trilogy of semi-autobiographical novels about the countryside of north-east Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, England, at the end of the 19th century. They were written by Flora Thompson and first published together in 1945. The stories were previously published separately as Lark Rise in 1939, Over to Candleford in 1941 and Candleford Green in 1943.

The stories relate to three communities: the hamlet of Juniper Hill (“Lark Rise”), where Flora grew up; Buckingham (“Candleford”), the nearest town, and the nearby village of Fringford (“Candleford Green”), where Flora got her first job in the Post Office.

I have mentioned in other diaries that I love the movies based on these books and a play:

The Princess Bride


To Kill a Mockingbird

The Return of the Native

Far from the Madding Crowd

A Man for All Seasons (the play)

Of Mice and Men (with Gary Sinise)

So, they can be well done…Hurrah.

Next, the BAD

There are some remakes that are just not as good as the first movie and my example is Dumas’ Three Musketeers.

The film that I liked was:

Directed by

Richard Lester

Writing credits

George MacDonald Fraser
Alexandre Dumas père

Cast (in credits order) verified as complete

Oliver Reed
...     Athos

Raquel Welch
...     Constance de Bonacieux

Richard Chamberlain
...     Aramis

Michael York
...     D'Artagnan

Frank Finlay
...     Porthos / O'Reilly

Christopher Lee
...     Rochefort

Geraldine Chaplin
...     Anna of Austria

Jean-Pierre Cassel
...     Louis XIII (as Jean Pierre Cassel)

Spike Milligan
...     M. Bonacieux

Roy Kinnear
...     Planchet

Georges Wilson
...     Treville

Simon Ward
...     Duke of Buckingham

Faye Dunaway
...     Milady

Charlton Heston
...     Cardinal Richelieu

But…the ones made after were just not as good.

The Neverending Story

The book gave me shivers, but the movie was more for children.  

There were parts that I liked, but it was disappointing compared to the book.

Last, the UGLY

There have been a great many disappointments where it seemed that Hollywood did not trust the viewers to watch a movie that was a great book, but must make changes that were trite and in my opinion destroyed the story.

My two examples are:

Shane by Schaefer  

It is a good movie and Alan Ladd is perfect for Shane, but it is not the book that was written which is a great shame.  Marian’s part in the story was destroyed.  I would love to see this movie remade and done right.

The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean

Wiki says it won and was nominated for several things:


Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama
Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score - Motion Picture (Dimitri Tiomkin)
Academy Award Best Effects, Special Effects (Bill Warrington & Chris Greenham)


Academy Award for Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Director (J. Lee Thompson)
DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (J. Lee Thompson)
Academy Award for Best Film Editing (Alan Osbiston)
Academy Award for Best Original Score (Dimitri Tiomkin)
Grammy Award for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture (Dimitri Tiomkin)
Academy Award for Best Sound (John Cox)
Academy Award for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) Carl Foreman

The movie destroyed the relationship between all the men in the story especially the two main characters.  I will not say anything else in case someone wishes to read the book by Alistair MacLean or watch the movie.  

Your turn.  Which books were made into good movies and which were not in your opinion?

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Note: I understand this poll is hard for those who love all of the ones on the list.  Sorry!!  Try to choose one, please.  

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.


Which is your favorite movie or TV series?

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