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Which is the worst tv or cinema version , you have seen of any book you have read?

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Showing 1-25 of 151 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Jun 2012 18:32:23 BDT
NS dancer says:
Many people have said the tv series Little House on the Prairie makes them cry. I the awful continuity, anachronisms, and rehashing the books would be enough to make anyone weep!

Posted on 3 Jun 2012 19:00:48 BDT
The worst cinema version of any book I have read is without question the bloody terrible adaptation of Robert Harris's Fatherland. The story goes that while he was on the bus to one location he saw the director scribbling something down on a pad of paper. When he asked the director what he was writing he was politely informed that he was changing the ending. That about sums it up for me. Why buy the rights to an a brilliantly constructed novel with a perfect ending and then change it all. Even the characters were different. Oh, and by the way, he may have been great in Blade Runner but Rutger Hauer has been good in NOTHING ELSE!

Posted on 3 Jun 2012 20:53:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Jun 2012 20:53:46 BDT
gille liath says:
There have got to be loads - but you don't tend to remember bad films, unless you were particularly keen on the book. As a Tolkien afficionado I wasn't that happy with the LotR films. One that's had more bad versions than most has to be Dracula; the 70s Christopher Lee with-moustache version was particularly risible. And KB's version of Frankenstein.

Btw, 'I the awful continuity'? The irony... ;)

Posted on 3 Jun 2012 23:56:47 BDT
Jen Errik says:
The adaption of the Susan Cooper book - The Dark is Rising. I loved that series when I was young. Very English (sometimes Welsh) series - Arthur and Merlin and the Old Ones protecting England from the forces of darkness - so they rewrite the main character as American... And it's all downhill from there.

Posted on 4 Jun 2012 00:43:30 BDT
The first Alex Cross book, Along Came A Spider. I could not believe how many things were changed. And don't get me started on how unsuitable Morgan Freeman was for the part (fine actor that he is).
When I read the book I saw Denzel Washington in the role, until he made The Bone Collector which has nearly as many changes in it. Why oh why ? I eagerly anticipate what they do to Jack Reacher. I've read that they've changed the title to Jack Reacher when any fan could have told them no-one calls him Jack, to everyone he's just Reacher.

Posted on 4 Jun 2012 03:18:52 BDT
Anita says:
The War of the Worlds. The unfortunate Mr. Wells must be spinning in his grave. And Tom Cruise is perfectly capable to wreck anything he touches

Posted on 4 Jun 2012 06:59:09 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
Most of the Jane Austen adaptions; the makers get obsessed with the period costumes and dance scenes and forget the wit and humour that are such a key part of the books. The BBC's "Pride & Prejudice" was an honourable exception but - for the most part - Austen dramatisations always end up as sub-standard Barbara Cartland.

Posted on 7 Jun 2012 17:07:49 BDT
Skittlespink says:
The lovely bones,.. has to have been one of the worst films I have ever seen and I thought the book was good ( although I know some people didnt!)

Posted on 7 Jun 2012 19:41:42 BDT
Mrs R says:
the absolutely awful tv version of A Wizard of Earthsea. Horrible casting, horrible acting, and they changed the plot so much it was nearly unrecognisable. Only good thing was a half decent dragon.

Posted on 7 Jun 2012 20:11:38 BDT
The worst film of a book I've seen must be Bram Stoker's Dracula. I LOVED the book, but the film was really disappointing. It just didn't seem to tell the same story! Or maybe I just need to watch it again....hmmm....

Ooo, but I do have to disagree about the Austen dramatisations I'm afraid. Though the BBC version of ''Pride and Prejudice'' was the best. But generally I love them all, TV and Film, or maybe I just like the pretty dresses!!! ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2012 20:25:15 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
There's nowt wrong with pretty dresses but there's plenty of Barbara Cartland or even Mills & Boon stuff that the TV companies could adapt if all they want is a fluffy period romance: there's so much more than this to Jane Austen, however, and most adaptions seem totally to miss the point.

Posted on 7 Jun 2012 20:50:35 BDT
Rootbeer says:
One that comes to mind immediately is The other Boleyn girl- the book maybe flawed but boy oh boy that film is painful to watch. A clockwork orange is another -all the subtilities of the book are lost to make a rubbish cheap film. I also had a few issues with the film of Ronald dahls 'Matilda' because it missed the part with the parrot up the chimney that was my fav in the books. Good film versions would be the kite runner and the reader I enjoyed too.

Posted on 8 Jun 2012 12:18:25 BDT
S. Furley says:
Captain Corelli's mandolin - just about my favourite book ever but the film! Nicolas Cage ... really? Could have been wonderful but just plain awful

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jun 2012 14:35:10 BDT
The worst I've ever seen was The Other Boleyn Girl.

The book by Philippa Gregory was excellent, but the film was dreadful. So many major players were missing. How can you have a film about Anne Boleyn without Cardinal Wolsley?

Posted on 8 Jun 2012 14:57:06 BDT
I thought the boy in the striped pyjamas was a poor film adaptation. Good cast, but didn't really capture the book in my opinion.

Posted on 8 Jun 2012 15:43:54 BDT
Jadi says:
Fay Weldon's Life and Loves of a She-Devil...the tv series was fine,the film was horrendous...Roseanne Barr...say no more.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jun 2012 17:55:42 BDT
I agree on that! I couldn't finish the film, and I loved the book

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jun 2012 17:57:19 BDT
I haven't read the book, but I'm not sure I'd be able to if it made me cry as much as the film - it was devastating.

Posted on 9 Jun 2012 15:15:11 BDT
Dogmatix says:
King Solomon's Mines, there have been two sub-standard film versions of this book, first there was the Richard Chamberlain one which was utterly awful and then the Patrick Swaze effort which was a little better than Chamberlain's but Swaze did a Kevin Coster and made no effort at an English accent for the part of Allan Quartermain.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2012 15:57:56 BDT
And you didn't mention the Stewart Grainger version, R. Lacey, which was at least much better than the later ones you mention.

For terrible adaptations of Rider Haggard, I only have to mention "She". At least it had Ursula Andress as Ayesha, and Peter Cushing (if I recall correctly). As a Hammer film it was one of their better ones, but it was still pretty bad considering the excellence of the novel.

Posted on 9 Jun 2012 16:23:41 BDT
Qhunter says:
Without doubt for me the worst television production of a book was BBC TVs attempt at The Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. It was a long time ago and I am sure there have been many contenders for this prize since then but for me the wooden acting and the amateurish butchering of the storyline to make the story small enough for a mini series keeps it at the top of my list of eggs. I suppose it's a fine exampl of what Auntie Beeb can do when money, and financial viability, are no object.

Posted on 9 Jun 2012 20:05:26 BDT
Rachel says:
The Time Travellers Wife- the book is one of the best that I have read but the film was just awful.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2012 20:55:49 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
Although not a patch on the original radio series, I didn't think the TV version of "Hitchhikers" was too bad. I'm not sure if the TV series should be regarded as an adaption of the radio programme or the book (the radio version certainly came first). The TV series was certainly far better than the recent film which was absolutely dire.

Posted on 9 Jun 2012 21:23:10 BDT
Angela says:
If I loved the book, I tend to avoid the movie as 9 of 10 times the film just destroys the book. 2 appalling adaptations come to mind:
1. The House of the Spirits (Isabell Allende) - Meryl Streep playing an 18 year old - REALLY????
2. One Day (David Nicholls) - and not just for one dimensional Anne Hathaway

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2012 21:27:59 BDT
gille liath says:
I agree, I think that was a surprising one.

Thought of a few more: Terry Jones' Wind in the Willows (was going along okay until that daft business about the cat food factory); the Tim Burton Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (all very fancy, but it's no fun); the Kelsey Grammer Christmas Carol (it's like that awful TV production in Scrooged); the brat pack Three Musketeers (whoa, it's Richelieu dude!).
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  71
Total posts:  151
Initial post:  3 Jun 2012
Latest post:  20 Jul 2012

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