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Can a movie be better than the book it was based on?

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Can a movie be better than the book it was based on? What examples come to mind? Or is it sometimes just a matter of which version you see first, as that will define the story for you, regardless of which version was made first?

Yes. But only in certain circumstances for me. Normally I would say no. But take this as an example… Joseph and The Technicolor dream. There is no way that I can sing the songs as well as they can *wink*


I normally enjoy a book much more than a movie. I find that I can visualise things myself a lot better, I can ‘see’ the characters in my mind, and ‘hear’ their voices. Often I watch a movie, and it doesn’t match what I’ve had in my head.


I must admit, that the Harry Potter series, I read, and enjoyed the movies much more than the books. I’m not really sure why though.
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Mrs K

Coke Zero addict, knitter, crocheter, fat, fabulous, fluffy mama.

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2 Responses

  1. randipants says:

    I definitely think a movie can be better than the book. I think so often it’s the other way around because a novelist has much more time/space to get you involved in what’s going on. In a book there’s room for so much backstory and inner monologue that’s not easy to do well in a movie. I’ve seen plenty of movies I thought were better than the books they’re based on, though I think it’s more likely to happen when the book is not very good but has a compelling idea in it (Bridges of Madison County, anyone?). I can also think of a few that are just as good as the book – like The English Patient and Wonder Boys – but different enough that I can think of them as distinct things and not compare them to each other much.

    Lately I tend to guess at whether I want to read the book after I’ve seen a movie (or vice versa) based on how much I liked the movie and what I’ve heard about the book. For example, I love True Blood but I don’t want to read the books. And I thought The Time Traveller’s wife (novel) was kind of terrible but had a good idea and I’d like to get around to the movie one of these days to see if they did a better job with it.

  2. Mrs K says:

    I remember watching Bridges of Madison County – what a fantastic movie! Keen to read the book now. Thank you for your comment!