I started today with all intentions of dividing the topic Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations into 5 and 5 and realized about halfway through that I could not. So here you have my list of 10 best and 10 worst adaptations to the big screen. I could include the small one but the lists would be even longer.
The 10 Best Adaptations
This was one of the very first horror books I ever read and one of the first horror movies I ever saw. They both were amazingly powerful for a 12 year old.
Carrie: It was bad, Mama. They laughed at me.
Stand by Me (1986)
The second Stephen King adaptation on the list and there could have been more.
The Writer: [typing on computer] I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?
The Princess Bride (1987)
A classic which we recently read and watched with the girls.
Grandpa: [reading to his grandson] Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind. The end.
Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
Brilliance from ever performer but Glenn Close and John Malkovich are classic.
Vicomte de Valmont: It’s beyond my control.
The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
One of the very first movies to remind me that what really scares me is not gory a la American Psycho but creepy.
Hannibal Lecter: A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.
I saw this movie even before I had children, which reminds me I should probably watch it with them too.
Farmer Hoggett: That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.
Pride and Prejudice (1995 Mini-Series)
OK, so technically not a big screen adaptation but Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Enough Said!
Mr. Darcy: If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.
Remains of the Day (1996)
The restraint of this love story is what draws me in every time.
James Stevens: I don’t believe a man can consider himself fully content until he has done all he can to be of service to his employer.
Lord of the Rings (2001 – 2003)
These movies were amazing and while I am a canon freak about some things I thing the Jackson’s take was almost perfect.
Aragorn: Hold your ground, hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you *stand, Men of the West!*
Harry Potter (2001-2011)
This series had its ups and downs but over all it was something wonderful and magical.
Professor Severus Snape: Always.
The Ten Worst Adaptations
(No links to movies because that would be cruel)
One Word: Sting
The Scarlet Letter (1995)
The words “freely adapted” should have been a dead giveaway.
Romeo and Juliet (1996)
The Word bastardization was invented for this film. The whole movie was awful and treated the audience as if they were stupid. The only thing that could have saved this movie is if Baz Luhrmann had confused the ending with Hamlet.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
I never thought I would say the words awful and Sean Connery in the same sentence. This movie made me.
Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) / The Cat in The Hat (2003)
Because sometimes live action should be murdered.
I Am Legend (2007)
Sometimes when you change the end of a story you change the entire reason for its being. Yup, that is what happened here. This movie was no longer I Am Legend.
The Golden Compass (2007)
Smart Book, Dumb Movie.
This one was painful. I wanted to love this one. It had adorable Charlie Cox in it. But sadly I think the screenwriters only read the SparkNotes.
The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (2007)
Apparently tweens are why we can’t have nice things.
The Great Gatsby (2013)
Full disclosure? I have only seen the trailer but after what he did to Romeo and Juliet (including the use of the plus sign for the word “and”) I could not bring myself to what another Baz Luhrmann adaptation.