Friday, July 8, 2011

Movie-Addicted Writers Unite!

I have something awesome planned for you today! But first, thanks to everyone for your awesome comments regarding my next book. I was really overwhelmed!

Now I know you often wonder “Why does this writer blather on about movies all the time?” There is a connection! And to prove it, I have invited the awesome Melissa Bradley from Melissa’s Imaginarium to share her thoughts on the matter. Get ‘em, Melissa!


Books and Their Movie Counterparts: The Good, The Bad and The What Have They Done

Books and movies are two of my favorite things. I became a writer partly because of films that inspired me. They are integral part of our culture and let’s face it, when they do bring a novel to the big screen, it makes the writer me go “Yes!” There are some really great films born of novels. The Godfather, Gone With The Wind, To Kill A Mockingbird, Precious and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

On the other hand, there are instances of books into film that give me nightmares. These are the films that seem to have taken the novel source material, chucked it and merely used the name. They leave you scratching your head and wanting your money back. The director maniacally twists and turns the plot and the characters in his own image until it is almost unrecognizable from the book. Random Hearts comes to mind. They eliminated half the plot, changed the careers of the two leads and altered the very incident that brought them together. I wonder why they even bothered saying it was based on the novel? Legal action probably. And with novels from long dead authors it’s even worse. The last incarnation of Pride and Prejudice replaced Mr. Darcy with Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights and turned Elizabeth into a raging brat while giving her dialogue from other characters. I sat through both of these films going “What have they done?”

I tell you, sometimes what Hollywood does to a novel is beyond me. And it goes beyond the film treatment, it even permeates the very promotion of the movie itself. Remember back in the 90’s when Wynona Ryder and Susan Sarandon starred in Little Women? Some marketing genius got it into their head that Louisa May Alcott’s novel wasn’t good enough. So on book shelves everywhere appeared Little Women, the novelization of the screenplay based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott. WTF? Are you kidding me? They apparently thought that reading the actual novel would either not be cool or that we were too dumb to read the original.

As a writer and fan of movies, I dream of having my novel someday turned into a screenplay, but some of this stuff gives me nightmares. I can imagine them taking my werewolf and turning her into a vampire then making her a man.

Thanks, Melissa! (And crap, wouldn't that be scary?) Check out her really cool site, Melissa’s Imaginarium.

Now, who’s ready for a movie?

102 comments:

Melissa Bradley said...

Thanks Alex for letting me come out and play today. You know how love getting on a roll and ranting, especially about two of my favorite subjects. :)

Jessica Bell said...

I didn't know that about Little Women! Really? They did that? How weird ...

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A wonderful post and thanks Alex for hosting. I only thought only you who was keen on films .....but I was wrong. I enjoyed the read.

Have a lovely week-end.
Yvonne.

iNews said...

Interesting post, I love your blog!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Melissa, you're welcome!

Yvonne, now you know I'm not the only movie geek out there.

Huntress said...

I put the movies that claim books as their ‘inspiration’ (code word) in a different category than the novel. To me, they are two different kind of animal and I have no expectations that they will be similar or *shrug* even familiar.
The only movie adaptation that made an excellent transition from novel to screen is the HP series, IMHO.
BTW, ‘inspired by’ is code for ‘good thing we have the famous title for this film otherwise we wouldn’t make a dime’.

Laila Knight said...

Gee, Alex, and I thought you just liked movies. Great blog guest. This is so true that a lot of stories have their plots altered or discarded altogether when they hit Hollywood. It happens when they remake movies too. Look at True Grit. The only good part was Jeff Bridges...and half the time I couldn't understand what he was mumbling about.

Melissa Bradley said...

@Jessica They sure did. I couldn't believe it. At first I thought it was just a new cover for the book.

@Yvonne Thanks! Glad you enjoyed my post and I hope you have a great weekend as well.

@iNews Thank you!

@Huntress LOL that is so true about "inspired by"

@Laila Thanks! You're right about those remakes. They do love to change around the plot and the characters.

Clarissa Draper said...

Great post, Melissa, I agree with you completely. I especially did not like the remake (one of many) with Keira of Pride & Prejudice. I felt like I was watching the book on fast forward. It's like watching the Reader's Digest version of the novel--dumbed down for those who don't know what a Jane Austen is. Awesome.

Carol Fleisher said...

I didn't know that they did that to Little Women. That's one of my favorite books and I thought the movie was good also. Thanks for all the interesting information. Great job Melissa

Matthew MacNish said...

And every once in a while a book gets made better. Like True Blood. Okay, admittedly the new season is terrible so far, but the first two were much better than the books.

Sarah McCabe said...

As far as I'm concerned, movies based on books where they change key elements is outright plagiarism. If you're not going to stick to the author's story, write your own. And I place the LOTR movies strongly in this category. They changed so much and ripped the soul right out of them.

Michael Malone said...

Good post,folks. My pet peev is when no one even knows the movie comes from a book and you hear the actors doing publicity talking endlessly about what they brought to the character. Has me ranting at the screen - what about the frickin' writer!!

Aleta said...

I'm always a little nervous when a book is turned into a movie. The written word gives us our own private world of creation. But then, when it's done right - it's beautiful (I could watch Lord of the Rings over and over Lol)...

I wonder what you thought of Water for Elephants, the movie.

L.G.Smith said...

Oh, I feel the same way. There are some wonderful movie adaptations, but sometimes you just can't believe the mess Hollywood makes of a good book.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Hah! I didn't know the Little Women with the movie cover was the screen adaptation. I mean, WTF?!

Karen Walker said...

This was so interesting to me. I didn't know about the Little Women change either. Thanks Alex and Melissa.
Karen

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Huntress, you nailed it with that last comment! I do think the LOTR movies were excellent and actually better than the books.

Laila, what's funny is the latest movie version of True Grit is based more on the book than the John Wayne version.

Matthew, I've not watched those, but I thought LOTR made for better movies than books.

Sarah, I felt the opposite - liked the movies much better.

Michael, excellent point!

Aleta, you are so right - LOTR rocked.

The Happy Whisk said...

Just popped in to say, Happy Friday. And yeah, Miss Wiggy has a pointy-ass head. It's a little devil horn, not full grown. Very pointy and hard.

Have a groovy weekend, Alex.

Liza said...

While I agree with a lot of what you say...John Grisham's The Firm made me crazy when I saw it on film...I have to respectfully disagee on Pride and Prejudice...After I saw the recent movie, I re-read the book and thought things remained fairly true. That said, in most cases, I try to read a book before going to a movie, because I know the film has to leave out all the detail and nuance that makes reading such great entertainment. Great post.

Carol Kilgore said...

I've had some of those same thoughts about some movies!

Happy Weekend :)

Callie Leuck said...

Alex - I have to admit, I did wonder why you spend so much time talking about movies. Glad I caught this post today so I can appreciate your posts more!

My hackles raised when you started in on the recent Pride & Prejudice movie, but the comment "replaced Mr. Darcy with Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights and turned Elizabeth into a raging brat" made me literalol! I only recently read Wuthering Heights, and I can completely see the astuteness of your criticism. Fantastic.

Laura Josephsen said...

I did not know they did that to Little Women. O_o How weird.

Reading books can be inspiring and spark the imagination, but I also find that watching movies/favorite tv shows can do the same thing. Both are different means of transporting my imagination into another world.

Old Kitty said...

Hello Melissa and cap'n Alex!!

I have to admit to preferring the film adaptations of Sense and Sensibility (Ang Lee - director, Emma Thompson, screenplay writer)and Jean de Florette (Claude Berri - director and writer) to the very hard going novels that I had to read in school!! LOL! That's my contribution to this debate! LOL!

Take care
x

Ciara said...

Turning books into movies always scares me. One of the few I liked was The Green Mile.

Teresa aka Journaling Woman said...

Movies inspire the writer, that's for sure.

I think having a book turned into a movie IS scary, but so is writing. In fact art of any kind that puts you "out in the public eye" is scary. I guess we just need to accept we can't control everything or everyone.

Great post--both of you!

Theresa Milstein said...

There's nothing more disappointing when a movie isn't true to a book, especially an iconic one.

Courtney Ann Moulton, at her signing two nights ago, said that she's a huge movie buff. She seems to love action and sci fi.

Nancy Thompson said...

I'm glad I'm not the only novelist addicted to films. Adaptations are almost always disappointing. The last one I saw was The Lincoln Lawyer, adapted from Michael Connelly's novel. Fortunately, it stayed pretty close to the original story, though now I can only picture Matthew McCaughnahey as Mickey Haller when I read the series. (Not necessarily a bad thing.). Even Connelly refers to him in The Fifth Witness, the latest LL book, as the actor who should play Mickey's part in the movie. Feels oddly like product placement.

Christopher Hudson said...

Alex: no excuse is needed for being a movie buff ... I love 'em too.

Melissa: Interesting points. Cinema and books are such different mediums ... the best movies made from novels really capture the spirit of the book rather then try to be a literal translation ... the Lord of the Rings movies are a good example ... Jackson went for the flavor and got it spot on, so many fans of Tolkien's epic were not disappointed by the details and scenes that were not included.

Having said that, if any Hollywood producers are reading this, you can do ANYTHING you want with my books ... after you buy 'em.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Whisk, poor Wiggy and her pointy-ass head!

Callie, movies are my inspiration!

Kitty, reading some of that stuff in high school is a drag, isn't it?

Theresa, good for her!

Christopher, I certainly wasn't disappointed!

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

Ah yes! Thank you very much. I completely agree with your Pride and pred. comments! I couldn't believe that! The only good thing about that movie was the music and cinematography. (and the fact that it was filmed in none other than my very own ancestor's home...didn't know it until about halfway through).

I shake my head sometimes at screenwriters. Especially when adapting an older book. Another example is A Little Princess. Disney had to put in an ultra-happy ending where the father lives, but you don't get to see Sarah's character growth that way. What's wrong with someone going through something really hard and actually learning to live with it and doing good in your life? Just curious.

Paul Joseph said...

I'm also a fan of books and movies, and in terms of genre, I like the same in both areas of art. I love when my favorite books are turned into movies because, although I typically like the book better, it does offer perspective and provides the framework for analytical thought. FREEDOM WRITERS is the one exception where I thought the movie was far better than the book.

Saumya said...

Ah, books into movies. Either love or hate them. I agree with the comments about Pride and Prejudice. Sometimes I won't even bother with the movie, though, if the story is too precious. I think movies are, on the other hand, a wonderful way to study the craft of writing. And the novelization of the screenplay of Little Women is ridiculous!! Haha.

Rosalind Adam said...

The film industry is so dumb-down. I've noticed the same sort of thing when stage plays are turned into films but that info about Little Women is beyond belief.

Arlee Bird said...

Great topic and post to go with it. I'm with Clarissa's observation on the most recent film version of Pride and Prejudice. I watched it after watching all of the other filmed version and I wondered how anyone who hadn't read the book could even follow it. The 1940s version was condensed but absolutely captured the spirit of the book and the gist of the story.

If a movie is going to a cinematic representation of a book, I want a visual recreation and not someone's interpretation of a book unless this is what the intent is and this is expressed from the outset.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Pat Tillett said...

A great and very interesting post. It's a real mixed bag. I don't ever expect a movie to be as good as the novel it was based on, but I hate it when it's nothing at all like it.

Christine Rains said...

It frightens me sometimes when they turn a book into a movie. I cross my fingers and pray they stay true to the book. At least when the films are horrendous, we can always go back to the books for some comfort.

RaShelle said...

Great stuff, Melissa. I hate it when they take a fab novel and make it into a total crap movie. Ah, well. C'est la vie.

Susan Oloier said...

Great post! I actually hesitate to see a movie based on a book I've read for fear it will ruin my entire image I've created in my mind. That being said, I do love movies--and movies based on books that ARE well made.

GigglesandGuns said...

Holy moly! Makes me scared to se anything that says "based on." I hate when they screw up a book.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lee, those are rare.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for the intro to Melissa! On one hand, I like film adaptations of books, on the other, not so much. It just depends on what they do to them as Melissa pointed out. Good topic.

Happy weekend!

M Pax said...

I used to care, now I think, as long as they pay me OK. Pay me enough, you can do what you want. Although the film version of Dune breaks me out in a cold sweat.

Happy weekend, Melissa and Alex.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Movies and books have a fun connection. I like seeing the imaginary twists and turns of directors, as long as I don't get too caught up in being irritated at their different vision of events. I pictured Aragon differently than Viggo in Lord of the Rings, but I still think Viggo did a great job, and the movies are stunning.
I even liked Voyage of the Dawn Treader as a movie, even though they definitely tweaked the plot out of sorts. I decided going in that I wanted three things: Christian element, Eustace to be played right, and Reepicheep. The movie had all that, so I liked it.

Siv Maria said...

Fun read Melissa! I did see little Women with Winona Ryder and it was one of the worst adaptions I have ever seen. Sometimes they do get it right though. Ordinary People was based on a wonderful novel and the movie was wonderful. Check it out if you have not seen it. Have a great week-end the both of you!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Most of the time I like the book better than the movie. I always shudder when they mess with the classics. But the Harry Potter books--I think they did a great job making those into movies (for the most part.)

Caledonia Lass said...

Awesome post! I'm now following Melissa and not because we both have the same first name... :P
Most of the time I like the book better than the movie and then there are times when I think the movie was better (RARE).
Excellent post about two of my three favorite things. My third is music. ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Careful what you wish for, Mary!

Tyrean, I liked Dawn Treader for those very same reasons, even if they did change the story. And they nailed Eustace!

Mel, you sure it's not the name?

Jeffrey Beesler said...

You're absolutely right, Melissa. What Hollywood can do to a novel is beyond shocking. I hope my novel never suffers such a fate.

Summer Ross said...

Melissa- great post heading over to check out your site now.

Alex- thanks for hosting her on your blog!

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Melissa: Be afraid, be very afraid if Hollywood ever get a hold of one of your books. I too shuddered at Random Hearts. It was awful. I loved and do love To Kill A Mockingbird.

It can be pretty scary. Hollywood money makers think they know what the public wants - they're not always right, not by a long shot.

Melissa Bradley said...

@Clarissa, Yes that new Keria version was completely dumbed down. Blech! ;)

@Carol Thanks! Little Women is one of my faves and I could not believe they did that to Alcott's novel.

@Matthew I'm with you on the True Blood books.

@Sarah I hate when they change key elements as well, though I did enjoy the LOTR films.

@Michael Thanks! I know exactly what you're talking about. Hello the writer creates the characters! :)

@Aleta I have not seen Water for Elephants, but I hope they didn't change too much of the book. I love to watch the LOTR films.

Melissa Bradley said...

@L.G. Hollywood sure knows hot to make a mess of good book sometimes. :)

@Sarah A I didn't know it either until I picked up the the book and looked at it. Seriously, WTF? :)

@Karen W Thanks! Glad you enjoyed my little rant. :)

@Happy You have a great weekend, too!

@Liza The Firm made me crazy, too. :) I prefer reading the book before I go as well. Gets me in the mood.

@Carol Thanks! You have a great weekend, too. :)

Melissa Bradley said...

@Callie Thanks! I'm glad I could make you laugh. Have a great weekend. :)

@Laura I so agree with you about finding inspiration in movies and TV shows. And I still can't believe they did that to Little Women.

@Kitty Hi there! I do agree that there are some film versions I preferred to the actual books. Tess of D'Urbervilles.

@Ciara I loved the Green Mile. What a great film.

@Teresa What a thoughtful way to look at writing and inspiration. :)

Melissa Bradley said...

@Theresa I know what you mean. Nothing is worse than twisting up an iconic novel and making almost unrecognizable.

@Nancy You are so not alone. :) and picture Matthew as Mickey now, too.

@Christopher Great points and LOL on the producers comment. I hear you on that one.

@Kathryn You're about Disney. They try to sanitize so much when they get a hold of material. They don't see that character growth is important.

Jemi Fraser said...

Awesome post!! I'm always reluctant to see movies made from novels I love. It took a lot of courage for me to see LotR - thank goodness that one turned out so well!! But there are quite a few based on books I love that I won't see based on previews!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jeffrey, I don't want my novel ruined either.

Melissa, you really stirred up the discussion!

SharleneT said...

Michael Crichton took care of the problem. His 'books' are screenplays -- at least, that was my thought on the very first book of his that I read. Suspect that was his plan, all along!

Donna Hole said...

Oh yeah; I hope to see my trilogy on the Lifetime channel; but sometimes I cringe at what the producers might change.


.........dhole

Pk Hrezo said...

It is sad. And in most cases I can't stand the theatrical version. But every so often Hollywood actually puts a spin on a tale that resonates stronger with me than the actual book. Ex: Jaws, Stardust

Nebular said...

Mel, you're an incredible writer and even more incredible woman. I love you and you know it :) Based on your talent, I'm pretty sure that one day, one of your books will turn into a great script ;)

Hey, and I loved "Little Women" - both, the book and the movie.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sharlene, you may be right!

Pk, Jaws was great because Spielberg is a master director.

George, I bet you're right!

Helen Ginger said...

I sometimes wonder if directors feel that readers have already created their own movie reel in their heads as they read the book. And the directors know they can't compete with that, so they don't try. But they want the book's title on the movie so people will come, hoping it will meet their expectations.

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

Great post, Melissa! It often gets my gripe when a movie adaptation more or less spits on the source material in order to make it 'more commercial'. Then again, there have also been cases where a movie is more or less completely faithful to the original, and doesn't get a good reception by the public. We're a fickle bunch, us movie goers :P

Elana Johnson said...

I think there's a huge correlation, and Melissa did a great job explaining it.

Tina said...

I have yet to see a movie version of the book that was even close to as good as the book. I guess that means if I were listing my loves, books would be first, then movies, and then, like Caldonia, music. The only movies that come close enough to the book to not irritate the crap out of me are the Harry Potters, and maybe a couple of John Grisham's. Here are the two worst offenders:

The Horse Whisperer. First of all, Tom doesn't look like Robert Redford. And how in the world did they get away with letting him live? Unbelievable. Makes it SO not right.

The Firm. Young attorney's name which escapes me does NOT look like Tom Cruise. And Jeanne Trippelhorn has got to be THE single worst actress ever. I'd rather have Tori "my dad is the producer so I get a part" Spelling for God's sake.

Tina @ Life is Good

Raquel Byrnes said...

I totally agree that they sometimes really drop the ball, but I still watch them. I'm a huge fan of adaptations especially of the Marvel comic variety.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

L. Diane Wolfe said...

So they dumbed down Little Women for us? Nice job, guys.

I would love to see Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern novels on the big screen, especially as technology is finally good enough to do it right. But I shudder to think what they will change or leave out.

Sheila Deeth said...

Great post. We used to joke with the kids about the book of the movie of the book. But some adaptations are really good. And then there's Harry Potter. Can't wait for the movie even though we've read the book over and over.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Helen, they have to know that, right?

Pull no punches, Tina!

Raquel, now if only DC would get it right...

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Great post.

Despite my fears, I still watch the movies and try to compare, just out of curiosity. It's often disappointing.

Doris

Matthew Vanacore said...

Great stuff, Mel and Alex! Very interesting. As a movie lover and staunch advocate of creative writing, I'm delighted to see both aspects represented so prominently here!

And congrats on the second book deal, Alex! Well-done, Sir.

Cheeseboy said...

Well, Alex, that is why YOU have to make enough money that YOU can make the movies yourself. I'd pay to see them.

Melissa Bradley said...

@Paul Joseph Freedom Writers definitely made a better film. I do like seeing the different story perspectives from books and film. I have enjoyed many favorite books turned into films.

@Saumya Novelizing a screenplay is really silly unless there was no novel before hand. Even then it's like why? It's meant to be seen not read. And I sometimes will ignore a movie version if I already love a book so much that the characters are firmly affixed in my mind's eye.

@Rosalind It sure does seem like Hollywood dumbs down a lot of things because they think we don't understand complexities and subtleties. :)

@Lee Thanks! I know what you mean. I prefer a visual recreation, not an interpretation or spin, unless they do say that that are doing that right from the beginning. I don't like being faked out by expecting one thing, then getting another.

@Pat You're right. It is definitely a mixed bag. When they get it right, it's incredible.

@Christine Isn't it scary when you first hear about a new movie based on a novel? LOL on going back to the book for comfort.

@RaShelle Thank you! I hear you. When that great book becomes a crap film, I want to kill. :)

Melissa Bradley said...

@Susan Thanks! I cringe when they first start talking film about a fave book. That being said, books and movies are two of my fave things and when they come together in a great combo, nothing is finer.

@Giggles Mary, when they screw up a book, it's like sacrilege and someone needs to be punished. Based on are two very scary words for me. :)

@Karen L Thank you! Books into film really is dual-edged sword. There's potential for greatness as well as catastrophe.

@MPax LOL I hear you! And yes, Dune is cringe inducing.

@Tyrean Books and movies make great chemistry. Oh I loved Dawn Treader. Eustace was great. :)

@Siv Ordinary Thanks! People rocked! I loved that book and the film. Great acting in there. :)And yeah that Little Women was not so hot.

@Elizabeth the Harry Potter movies are awesome. Love them and the books. I get very nervous when they tackle a classic novel.

Melissa Bradley said...

@Caledonia Another Melissa Whoo Hoo! Thanks for the follow. :) I love music as well, though I have not blogged about it other than to list some fave songs. There are those rare occasions when s film is better. :)

@Jeffrey Thanks! Yeah H-Wood certainly does some shocking things to a story when they bring it to film. Almost like they think the author's original story is crap and they need to fix it. Why buy the story then?

@Summer Thank you so much. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog. :)

@Wendy LOL I am afraid if Hollywood comes calling that I might just let them have their way if they offer enough. I love To Kill A Mockingbird. it is one of my fave movies and certainly my favorite novel.

@Jemi Thank you! Yes the LoTR turned out great, but I have avoided some stinkers based on the previews. Thank God for them, too. :) Saved me money.

@Alex This has been incredible. I am loving this discussion.

Melissa Bradley said...

@Sharlene LOL That is too true about Michael Crichton. Dan Brown, too. :)

@Donna I know what you mean. Seeing one of my stories in film would be a dream, but it also a nightmare when I think about what they might change.

@Pk H-Wood doesn't always get it right, but they sure did with Jaws and Stardust. You're right about the movies being better than the books here.

@Nebular Aww thank you so much sweetie. I sure hope that one my stories gets made into a film. That would an absolute dream. Little Women was a good movie. I just didn't think they had to novelize the screenplay. :)

@Helen That is a very interesting way of looking at this argument. I never thought about that before, but you could be right.

@Jamie Thanks! You are so right. Sometimes we movie fans are very fickle indeed. It still stinks when they go so wrong in a movie adaptation. :)

@Elana thank you o much. I'm glad you enjoyed this post and discussion.

@

Melissa Bradley said...

@Tina I so hear you. Books are my first love bar none. Movies and music come in behind at about the same distance. Wasn't The Horse Whisperer awful? I had to read the book again to cleanse my brain.

@Raquel I love me the Marvel movies. Aren't they just awesome?

@L Diane Could you believe that about Little Women? It made me really mad when I saw that. I would love to see DoP on the big screen. It would be glorious, but I shudder, too at what might get left out or altered because o vision, budget, etc.

@Sheila Thanks! LOL Book of the movie of the book. I can't wait for HP, either. I, too have read it countless times.

@Hold My Hand Thank you! In spite of my many disappointments, I go back because I love movies so much.

@Matt Thanks!I'm glad you enjoyed the piece and this discussion. Books and films are intertwined forever and it is interesting to see how visions are interpreted.

@Cheeseboy I'd pay to see movie based on Alex's book, too.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Doris, we all hope, don't we?

Thanks, Matthew!

Cheeseboy, I'm working on it.

Thanks again, Melissa. Maybe someday you will get to see that movie...

Missed Periods said...

I don't know how you feel about this, but even if they don't change the book, it bugs me when they change the book cover to the movie poster.

Melissa Bradley said...

@Missed Yes! I hate when they have to change the book cover to reflect the movie poster. Or changed to reflect something popular like when they changed to cover of Wuthering Heights to reflect the Twilight bookcover because it was Edward's favorite book.

@Alex Thank you so much for this. I had a lot of fun reading everyone's thoughts and debating this topic.

Suze said...

'I tell you, sometimes what Hollywood does to a novel is beyond me. And it goes beyond the film treatment, it even permeates the very promotion of the movie itself. Remember back in the 90’s when Wynona Ryder and Susan Sarandon starred in Little Women? Some marketing genius got it into their head that Louisa May Alcott’s novel wasn’t good enough. So on book shelves everywhere appeared Little Women, the novelization of the screenplay based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott. WTF? Are you kidding me?'

Loved this. :)

Jules said...

Great points Melissa. I remember reading "The Exorcist" before I saw the movie... ended up laughing when everyone else was sucking air. :)

Alex thanks for sticking with me through my MIA period, sure means a lot! :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Ella said...

Well done Melissa! Thanks Alex for sharing! I love Melissa's voice, never afraid to tell it like it is~

I did not know about "Little Women" either... I can't imagine having my baby torn apart, reworked, reduced to potential star dust. Scary to succeed, but then we always hope it will be different! I love books n' movies, but find the film adaptations rarely live up to the hype~
Thanks for sharing~ :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jules, but of course!

Stephen Tremp said...

I'd love to have my bool turned into a movie, just not butchered like so many. Relic, Absolute Power, and others are now flooding my mind as awesome books that were made into disasters of a movie.

Melissa Bradley said...

@Suze Thanks! I remember being so incredulous when I saw that in Borders, it has stayed with me all this time.

@Jules Thank you! Yes, H-Wood has certainly taken some great books and hacked them to pieces. I read the Exorcist long after I saw the film and it was a completely different animal.

@Stephen I would love to see my book turned into a movie as well, but there is some trepidation at what might happen once my baby is turned over and out of my hands. Wow, I had forgotten about Relic and Absolute Power.

Melissa Bradley said...

@Ella Thank you so much for the wonderful compliment. You're so right about the film adaptations rarely living up to the hype. And it it sure is scary to think about what happens after our books get out there. It is like sending your kids off to school. :)

She Writes said...

So on book shelves everywhere appeared Little Women, the novelization of the screenplay based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott. WTF? Are you kidding me? They apparently thought that reading the actual novel would either not be cool or that we were too dumb to read the original.
YES!!!! I so agree.

Melissa Bradley said...

@She Writes Thank you! I still can't believe they did that. Wasn't it enough to plaster Alcott's novel with Winona's face?

Rhonda @Laugh Quotes said...

Thanks Melissa. This was really interesting. I had no idea that they had done that with Little Women. How sick.
Thanks Alex for an awesome guest post.

Jennie Bailey said...

The good, the bad and the what have they done - love it! I'm ashamed to admit that I rented several movies OnDemand this weekend and actually enjoyed them. We're talking movies that got panned. Movies that I should NOT have loved. Movies that I can't even tell you the titles of for fear you will stop following me and commenting on my blog and figure out a way to keep me from buying CassaFire...That bad.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Stephen, Relic was a travesty!

Jennie, we can't have that!!!

The Golden Eagle said...

I can't believe they did that to Little Women. Sheesh.

Sometimes a movie does match up with a book well enough for me to really like it--some movies are good despite not following the original plot. And, of course, sometimes it's abysmal. (Like the way they changed the kid's book The Rats of NIMH. They butchered the original story.)

Great post!

Alison Miller said...

Awesome post! I have seen some of those nightmares. Yikes!

Madeleine said...

Your post is very apposite considering my upcoming blogfest. There are times when I prefer the film to the novel, I have to confess, (I wonder sometimes if the author might have redone parts of their own work with hindsight?)
though at others I am as incensed as you sound about the apparently incomprehensible changes they have made. Sometimes it is harder to present certain aspects through film that are easily conveyed on the page, but at other times the changes seem utterly infuriating.

Melissa Bradley said...

@Rhonda I'm so gad you enjoyed this. It's been 17 years since that Little Women film and I still can't believe they did that to promo the film.

@Jennie Thanks! I know what you mean about those guilty pleasure films. I have some, too. ;)

@Golden Eagle With Little Women they definitely carried the promo too far. And I forgot all about NIMH. That was horrible!

Melissa Bradley said...

@Alison Thank you very much! It's to the point where I start to cringe when I hear that a book I like is getting a film treatment.

@Madeleine You're right film and book are two different mediums and that probably accounts for some changes. And I, too, have several instances where I prefer the film to the movie to the novel. :)

nutschell said...

great post! That whole thing about Little Women simply irks me. Just read the original for crying out loud! Oh and this post reminds me of Eragon the movie--I think they changed the entire storyline save for the character names. :P

nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Melissa Bradley said...

@nutschell Thanks for the comment. I've seen that Little Women stunt done for a few other movies, too, over the years and as an author I'm insulted. I mean the book is good enough for a movie treatment, but when it comes to actually reading it, they're saying forget it. What gives?

I'll add Eragon to my list as I have not seen the movie, but I have read the book. :)

Sarah Allan said...

What a great post! I agree...movies made from books can go either way. The LoTR books/movie adaptations (and now The Hobbit...I have faith in Peter Jackson) were awesome, but there are others that make me want to scrape my eyeballs out with a grapefruit spoon.

Oh, and don't see Eragon. Husband saw it (we've both read the books), and hated it.

Gail M Baugniet said...

Alex, Thank you for hosting Melissa today; and thank you, Melissa, for the insightful comments regarding novels and their movie counterparts.

The only time I wanted a movie to reflect the novel was after reading "the other Boleyn girl." Complete disappointment in the movie strengthened my resolve not to expect one to mirror the other.