10 Movies That Were Way Better Than the Books


Usually, when a film is based on a book, the result is a weaker and less fulfilling story. Books have the ability to capture more nuance and detail, which gives them an edge that's often impossible to overcome. Sometimes, though, the opposite is true, and a weak or flawed text becomes something altogether different and amazing when turned into a visual experience. It's not that the books were completely terrible; more accurately, it's that they weren't realizing the full potential of the story. These movies are miles better than the books that spawned them, so much so that you might even forget they were books in the first place.

The Bourne Identity: Robert Ludlum's 1980 novel The Bourne Identity was a decent page-turner, the kind of book you'd pick up in an airport, but the 2002 film directed by Doug Liman adds layers of style and emotional complexity while also streamlining the story. (Gone is a subplot about another assassin, leaving the film to focus on Bourne's amnesia and his search for the truth.) It's a great action movie that puts the emphasis on the main character while also working in some uncomfortable ideas about the cost of U.S. foreign policy. A smart and welcome upgrade.

Jaws: You're probably going to start seeing a pattern here: most of the movies on this list surpass their literary versions by cutting off the loose ends and focusing on the heart of the story. That's definitely true for Jaws. Peter Benchley's 1974 novel didn't just deal with the hunt for a shark that's been terrorizing the populace of Amity Island; it also threw in unnecessary flourishes like the mayor's ties to the mob and an affair between Brody's wife and Hooper. Steven Spielberg's 1975 film, in addition to kicking off the modern blockbuster era, cuts all that out and follows the three men who set out to kill the shark — Brody, Hooper, and Quint — without letting anything else get in the way. Still scary after all these years.

The Silence of the Lambs: Published in 1988, Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs was a well-regarded thriller and a sequel to his 1981 novel Red Dragon, which had introduced the character of Hannibal Lecter. But the 1991 film version, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster and directed by Jonathan Demme, blew it out of the water. Dark, eerie, haunting, and featuring perfect performances, the movie is one of the best thrillers ever made. It's bloody but never gratuitous; horrifying but still believable. It went on to win the five major Oscar categories — best picture, actor, actress, director, and screenplay — becoming only the third film to do so. (The other two were It Happened One Night and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.) An amazing film.

The Godfather (I and II): Mario Puzo's The Godfather was a bestseller in 1969, chronicling the rise and emotional fall of Michael Corleone and the Sicilian Mafia in the mid-20th century. Yet the book was regarded as somewhat pulpy and a bit meandering in parts. However, the film adaptations by Francis Ford Coppola in 1972 and 1974 are rightly regarded as some of the best films ever made. They take the story and pare it down without losing any of the impact; what's more, they turn a gripping crime story into a eulogy for the American dream and a meditation on the cost of getting what you most desire. The third film is, of course, a forgettable travesty. Ignore it, ditch the book, and stick with these two perfect flicks.

Mary Poppins: P.L. Travers's series of children's books introduced Mary Poppins to readers in the 1930s, but they can't hold a candle to Disney's 1964 musical film. Why? Simple: in the books, Mary's kind of a jerk. Sure, she still entices her wards with magic, but she's described as curt and cross and almost never happy. She seems reluctant to help the children and completely uninterested in their happiness. The film makes her into a warm and welcoming figure, a magical nanny who's all about the love. Don't even bother with the books in this case. Just give your kids the movie.

The Princess Bride: William Goldman's original book, published in 1973, was intended to be a satire of older fairy tales and the plodding works of a bygone era. Goldman framed the book as an abridgement of a longer tale by S. Morgenstern, but the device was just another part of the fictional gimmick. When the story became a film in 1987, the cynicism was dropped in favor of warm humor and true love, which made for a much more satisfying experience. It's practically required sick-day viewing for anyone who grew up in the 1980s or later.

Carrie: Stephen King's Carrie is not that good. It's remarkably short but still boring in parts, the work of a man just beginning to figure out how to tell a story. It's little wonder that Brian De Palma's 1976 film version outpaces the book. Sissy Spacek is perfectly cast as the shy and bullied Carrie White, and her prom night breakdown in which she gets covered in pig's blood and then telekinetically wipes out the student body remains a classic horror sequence.

Planet of the Apes: The major differences between the book and movie deal with the planet of the apes itself, with the movie version offering a far superior ending. (Forty-year-old spoilers ahead.) The novel's planet is actually a different world from Earth, one that used to be ruled by humans who grew so lazy and dependent on their ape servants that the monkeys staged a coup and took over. It ends with the central astronaut character and his new wife returning back to Earth, only to find that it, too, has fallen to apes, since people are lazy everywhere. Creepy, but not as powerful as the film's twist which kept the astronauts on Earth the whole time. How iconic is that last shot of the Statue of Liberty? Add in some classic dialogue and a beefy Charlton Heston, and you've got a classic film that easily outweighs the book.

The Shawshank Redemption: First published as "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption," a novella included in Different Seasons, Stephen King's story is a solid work that's markedly more mature than his other creations from the early 1980s. But there's something about the 1994 film version that sets it apart. Morgan Freeman was inspired casting, giving the narrator character a much-needed gravitas, and Tim Robbins's performance as Andy is equally moving. It's also got a more satisfying execution: Andy's nom de plume isn't just a lucky set-up he engineered before imprisonment but a way for him to get back at the warden that's abused him for decades. Inspiring, uplifting, and always worth watching.

A History of Violence: John Wagner and Vince Locke's 1997 graphic novel isn't bad, just kind of ordinary. The 2005 film, directed by David Cronenberg, takes some welcome liberties with the story about a man (Viggo Mortensen) who turns out to have a hidden past and ties to organized crime. It drops the lengthy flashback and tightens up the story, turning Tom and Richie from childhood friends into troubled brothers. It's much more moving, and Tom's family is also given more nuance and complexity as they struggle to understand his past. The book is worth seeking out for completists or the curious, but it's the film that makes for a superior work of art.

TRAFFIC (2011)

 Directed By : Rajesh Pillai 

TRAFFIC is definitely one of the most INTELLIGENT Script ever filmed in Malayalam . Its really a new trend setter in Malayalam . Congrats to the whole crew. ITS A MUST SEE MOVIE

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