Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Books to Movies

I think these are good screen-interpretations of classic literature.

1. The Postman Always Rings Twice by James Cain. With Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange. Steamy

2. Double Indemnity by James Cain. With Babs and Fred MacStoneFace. Noir at its best.

3. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. With Daniel Day-Lewis and Michele Pfeiffer. Dir by Scorcese. Beautiful period settings, clothes, manners.

4. The Sand Pebbles by Richard McKenna. With Steve McQueen. Prestige epic: violence plus ideas, what a rare combo for Hollywood.

5. The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham. With Naomi Watts. Superb production values, excellent acting.

Re "movie takes you to the book is cheating." No way for two reasons. Movie versions are often so loosely based on the source novels that inevitably the book is better than the movie on almost every score, plot, incident, believablity of characters and motivation, etc. Second, one right as a reader is the right NOT to have to defend our taste. We avid readers read to develop our own unique authentic tastes and it is not for anybody else to be passing glib judgements on what we read or how we came to read it (or how much we read but that is another thread). Naysayers would sneer at including McKenna, Cain, and Maugham on a list of writers of classic lit, but frankly my dear I don't give a - hey, how could I forget

6. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.