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Worst film adaptations

Discussion in 'Personal' started by EmanuelShadrack, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter


    The recent thread about "Howard's End" got me thinking about worst (film) adaptations.

    For me there's no contest: Andrea Arnold's 2011 adaptation of "Wuthering Heights". Absolutely awful. I wanted to leave the cinema after 10 minutes (no, perhaps it was more like 5), but I was with someone who wanted to watch further. She confessed I'd been right all along once we got to the end.

    The film won some poncy Film Festival awards. I'm always deeply suspicious of such awards - it all depends on the jury. When I heard that Michael Haneke's atrocious film "Amour" had won an award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, I checked out who was on the jury, and in an almost you-couldn't-make-it-up way, Ms Arnold's name was listed.

    If this post saves just one person from wasting more than a few minutes of their life seeing Ms Arnold's film, it would have been well worth it.

    So, what are your "favourites"? (if that's quite the right word).
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Oscar-winning British director Andrea Arnold has said that she finds her acclaimed 2011 adaptation of Wuthering Heights a difficult film to enjoy.

    The film-maker, who won the Academy award for best live-action short in 2005 for Wasp, spoke about Wuthering Heights during a discussion at this year’s Tribeca film festival.

    “People keep saying one day I will come to like it,” she said. “It was a difficult experience making it, for various reasons. I find it hard to look at it.”

    From The Guardian.

    Seems like you weren't the only one not to take to it! :p
    EmanuelShadrack likes this.
  3. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    Haha excellent.

    It's like a chef refusing to sample the food he/she has created. If I heard this, I think I'd find another restaurant...
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    I have seen hardly any of these. I will pick out Stuart Little.

    I saw this in passing on the TV and shied away from it in disgust. Schmaltz. Ghastly.

    I now learn the original book was written by EB White.

    EB White!!!! Who wrote Charlotte's Web. Nothing makes me cry. Not in real life. But the ending of Charlotte's Web!!! Oh, dear. So I don't believe EB White could have written a load of sentimental old tosh. I just don't. How could anyone do that to a book by EB White? Bar stewards.
  5. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Francois Truffaut's 1966 adaption of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 springs readily to mind.

    Assuming we're not just talking about books, I thought Star Trek - The Motion Picture, and the recent Dad's Army were both dire.

    I also find J R R Tolkein's novelisations of the Lord of the Rings movies unreadable.
    EmanuelShadrack likes this.
  6. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    I didn't find Truffaut's film too bad at all. Maybe it was nothing like the book though.

    Oh yes, Star Trek - The Motion Picture. Oh how we all wanted it to be good, but it was appalling. The contrast between that and The Wrath of Khan was night and day.

    Haha re: Lord of the Rings. There were kids at school who'd read them all. I tried, but gave up after about ten pages. I couldn't keep all the characters, places, events, goodness-knows-what all in my head simultaneously.
  7. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    I've only seen "Breakfast at Tiffany's" out of these. I thought it was OK - a film of its time perhaps, but I wouldn't bother watching it again.

    The rest - well looks like they'll go on the to-avoid list, although perhaps not on the avoid-at-all-costs list, already richly populated with Haneke, Arnold, and Ang Lee.
  8. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Graham Greene's The End of the Affair. The ending (in fact that finat third of the film) was all wrong and completely spoiled the pathos of the book.
  9. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Several children's book adaptations come to mind:
    CS Lewis's 'The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe' (and other Narnia chronicles);
    Lloyd Alexander's 'The Black Cauldron'

    But the WORST, without a doubt, is Susan Cooper's brilliant fantasy novel 'The Dark is Rising'.

    One review https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2007/oct/09/thedarkisrisingsoavoidit
    includes the following:

    'The makers have taken considerable liberties with their source material - not only changing the nationality of the hero and his family (to American), and the title throughout the rest of the world (to The Seeker), but also excising virtually the entire back story of the town and its inhabitants, and turning the original narrative - fairly gripping, you might recall - into little more than a find-the-treasures video game. Thus, after a thousand years of inactivity, The Dark is marshalling his power (why now? we're never told). In order to save the world, our hero, Ludwig, must locate six "signs" - all of which happen, conveniently, to be located within a few miles of his own home. No mention of their connection to the elements. No trace of the Lady, or the Walker.

    These changes would be bad enough. But more seriously, Walden have assiduously removed every trace of the pagan elements that were crucial to the original plot, all that fine old Celtic/Arthurian folklore - the Sleepers, Herne the Hunter, the Old Magic - presumably because they ran counter to the "family values approach to positive messages" which the film's makers seek to impart.'

    Susan Cooper was heartbroken at what had been done to her story. She requested changes, but was ignored.

    The film bombed!
  10. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Atlas Shrugged
  11. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    Captain Corelli's mandolin - the film made a mockery of the book.
    nomad and artboyusa like this.
  12. zizzyballoon

    zizzyballoon Star commenter

    But I enjoyed the film much more!
  13. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    Every movie or TV show based on a novel or story by Philip K. Dick has sucked.
  14. nixmith

    nixmith Established commenter

    If I may just spin it around a moment (the thread), earlier this year I very much enjoyed 'Their Finest' - the movie with Gemma Arterton/Bill Nighy so I sought out the book by Lissa Evans and frankly, I wish I hadn't - it was a real struggle.
  15. knitone

    knitone Lead commenter

    Mangleworzle and EmanuelShadrack like this.
  16. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Stephen King books/novellas seem to turn into either classic films or shockers.

    Classics include The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.

    Disasters include Pet Cemetery and the previous version of It (I haven't seen the new one yet).

    The Shining seems to split opinions. I didn't like it.
    coffeekid likes this.
  17. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    You certainly may :)
  18. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    Registrar: So then Mr and Mrs Note, have you decided upon a name?
    Parents: Yes we have
    Registrar: And it is...?
    Parents: £8. Ideally we would like to call him £10, but we can't afford it
    CarrieV, knitone and nomad like this.
  19. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    But the book was about finding each other again when they were old, I like that.
  20. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    On the other hand the film Chocolat ended the way I wanted it to, unlike the book.

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