Hope all of you dads out there had a great day yesterday! I did the obligatory watching of To Kill A Mockingbird - obligatory not necessarily because it was Fathers' Day, but obligatory because whenever it shows, I have to watch it. It's fun to browse that page at IMDB; for instance, I like the comments people leave about which scenes always make them cry. I agreed with most of them, but was surprised at the ones that were missing: I always tear up during Atticus' summation to the jury when he says, "In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe Tom Robinson." (Did you know that Gregory Peck did that scene in ONE TAKE?? That Oscar was well-earned, I tell you what!), and I also always cry when, near the very end, Atticus extends his hand to Boo Radley and says, "Thank you Arthur. Thank you for my children." Good Lord, I cry just writing about it!!
Speaking of tears, those were real tears that Brock Peters produced in his incredible testimony scene when, having been asked by Atticus if he had raped Mayella Ewell, he responded, "I did not, sir." Gregory Peck said that, during the filming of that scene, he couldn't look directly at Peters because he was in danger of losing his own composure, which is not surprising. Also, I didn't know that Brock Peters had delivered the eulogy at Peck's funeral.
So, this morning I was thinking about good books-to-movies transitions and here is my spontaneous, not-very-extensively-thought-about list. I also started thinking about what I think are some of the WORST books-to-movies transitions. All very subjective, your suggestions welcome!
Good (or great) books made into good (or great) movies:
Yes, TKAM has to top this list.
The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II
The Grapes of Wrath
The Shining, and while we're on Kubrick, we might as well add A Clockwork Orange
I'm sure there are many that I am forgetting. Let's see what comes up in the comments! Meanwhile, here's my short list (so far) of good/great/moderately good books that were made into terrible (or at least, disappointing to me) movies:
The Cider House Rules
UPDATE: How could I forget The Prince of Tides? I just can't warm up to Barbra Streisand. Like Liza Minnelli, I can appreciate her talent, but her personality just rankles, and it has to be a really, really good movie for me to get past my dislike of those two Stars. (Cabaret managed it, but I can't think of another example. But I digress!)
And this is a special category, I didn't like either the book OR the movie:
The Bridges of Madison County