Films That Are Better Than the Book

If you’re like me, you’ve had the following dialogue at least ten times in your life:

Person: “So, how did you like the film?”

I: “Not bad at all. The book was better, though.”

Person: “Well, that’s always the case.”

Nonsense! Here are ten films that are better than the book, ranked by the difference in quality between the book and the film (i.e., the lower the rank number, the bigger the difference).

10. The Birds [Short Story]
9. The Third Man
8. Eyes Wide Shut
7. The Pledge
6. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
5. The Dreamers
4. The Ice Storm
3. L.A. Confidential
2. Gangs of New York [Nonfiction Book]
1. Clockwork Orange

Anything missing? Have a better list? Don’t keep it to yourself!


John Althouse Cohen said...

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest! Not even close.

plha said...

Of those entries which I have read and seen I disagree with the clockwork orange. The liguistic part is either not transferable or was poorly transfered to movie by Kubrick.
I would maybe add The Trial, somehow Orson Wells managed to make the movie a bit more coherent than the book (not that the coherence was Kafkas primary concern, but still...).

Anonymous said...

1) The Shining -- this is not to insult the book. It's just the film with Jack Nicholson and the actress who plays his wife Wendy is much creepier.

2) A.I. -- this is cheating because the story it is inspired by is simply a short story. But still, the movie is 100x more fleshed out and rich than the short fiction that inspired it.