RARA-AVIS: Re: Laura and film adaptation

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 25 Jul 2006


Re your comment below:

"The Maltese Falcon is a better movie than novel? I don't think so. As much as I love that movie, it doesn't come close to Hammett's book. In fact, I'd say it's a pretty rare occurrence when a film betters the book upon which it is based. Sure, I can think of a few examples (Six becoming Three Days of the Condor comes to mind), but they are the exceptions."

I generally agree with the notion that novels are generally better than their film adaptations, and I certainly agree that Hammett's book is better than Huston's movie. That said, here are few more exceptions.


BULLITT (from Robert L. Pike's MUTE WITNESS)

DIE HARD II (from Walter Wager's 58 MINUTES)

THE DESPERATE HOURS (the Bogart version not the Mickey Roarke version)

THE BIG HEAT (I don't necessarily agree that it's an exception, but William P. McGivern is on record as thinking that the film improves on his novel)

THE 39 STEPS (the '35 version; I might also add here Hitchcock's two uncredited remakes SABOTEUR and NORTH BY NORTHWEST)

Other might have additional suggestions.


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