Worst movie adaptations: The recent release of Watchmen based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore got me thinking about what I thought were the worst movie adaptations of books. What book or books did a director or directors completely ruin in the adaptation(s) that you wish you could “unsee,” and why in your opinion, what made it or them so bad in contrast to the book or books?
It’s been a very long time since I’ve participated in Weekly Geeks but I’ve always wanted to get back into it. For some reason or another I’ve not been able to get around to participating. I’m excited to finally be a Weekly Geek again! And this week is a great subject so I’m really thrilled to be part of this again.
When I first got the Weekly Geeks page I had to laugh because of the post I made earlier today about the new feature I’ll be having on here (Theatrical Thursday). But this question in particular really got me thinking about adaptations I’ve enjoyed and ones I didn’t. There are so many movies I didn’t like and would rather never see again but ones that I can pin point specifically as ones based on books I’ve read is more difficult.
Part of my problem with coming up with bad book films is that if the film is bad enough I block it out as best I can. The two movies that I can think of are Ragtime and A Clockwork Orange. Ragtime is a a fantastic novel by E.L. Doctorow and of course A Clockwork Orange is by Anthony Burgess was one of the first books that had me gripped right from page one and have altered the way I thought for a few days after.
Burgess’ writing is fantastic and the language he creates for the novel is wonderful. I was definitely drawn to the book for sometime before I picked it up and once I finally I did I was really glad. Before I was finished the novel I started thinking using that language which really excited me that a novel could influence me so much. So, when I watched Stanley Kubrick’s film staring Malcolm McDowell I was disappointed. Primarily because I didn’t think it grasped half of what the book did due to the created language.
And I also have to admit that I cannot watch anything that has to do things with a persons eye. Nothing is supposed to eyes, don’t put things in your eyes (and that includes drops and contacts). That just made watching the film extremely difficult. But that’s just a personal issue.
As for Ragtime directed by Milos Forman failed because it was missing too much of the book. Again it’s just a personal thing but I adored the book so much I didn’t think a good film adaptation could ever be made. Without everything the movie just didn’t seem complete. It did have a fabulous cast so it definitely had that going for it. In this clip you can see Mandy Patinkin as Tateh:
But the book was also made into a wonderful musical that I just love. I’ll leave this post with a clip from the musical.