Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Books to Films

From: William Ahearn (
Date: 29 Jun 2007

--- Stephen Burridge <> wrote:

> I think "Saboteur" and "North By Northwest" are too
> far from "The
> Thirty-Nine Steps" to be considered versions of the
> same source material,
> even if the form of the story is roughly similar.

No kidding. Hitchcock made the same movie over and over. Young And Innocent is another of the innocent man on the run films.
> Which indirectly leads to the issue of how faithful
> a movie should be to the
> novel on which it's based and from which it takes
> its title and characters
> etc.

And that is an issue that I've been tussling with. For example, I think the book of the 39 Steps wasn't all that great and the movie was better and at the same time, I resent what Hitchcock did to Strangers On A Train, The Secret Agent and The Lodger just to name three. On the other hand, Kurosawa's adaptation of McBain's King's Ransom isn't true to the story but I believe it's true to the 87th Precinct series. It is better than the book. I don't think there's a hard and fast rule since films are sometimes better than the books even if they violate the original premise. At least, that's how I feel right now.


Essays and Ramblings

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