Tag Archives: movie versions of books

Like in the Movies

Does the end of Book II scream “Made for the Big Screen!” to you?  Native Son movie

Bigger hearing the sirens and making his way to the roof top…

Bigger telling himself he wants to die without shame…

Bigger belting the man’s head with the barrel of his gun…

Bigger running across rooftops and climbing the water tank…

Bigger tossing the tear gas canister off the tank…

Bigger knocked off the water tank by the force of the fire house.

Bigger being dragged down the stairs…

Bigger passing out…

The last pages of the novel are just right for an action-packed movie sequence.

Have any of you watched a cinematic retelling of Wright’s story?

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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in Native Son


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A Great Review

CCOM went on another field trip!  Can you guess where?

ggmovie1No, we didn’t imbibe at a speakeasy.  We saw Gatsby at the theater!

We’re going to make these movie reviews down and dirty, much like the parties at Jay Gatsby’s.  Each of us will share a few thoughts about the film, and then we leave you dash of to your nearest multiplex to watch this version of Fitzgerald’s hit.

GG for blogChristine’s thoughts:

Tea Time: One of my favorite parts was the scene where Nick invites Daisy to his house for tea and Gatsby is there. DiCaprio plays Jay Gatz beautifully: the longing, the hoping, the dreaming…the part where he’s dripping wet in a white summer suit.  He’s boyishly charming.  It’s endearing.   I found myself wanting things to work out between the former sweethearts.  Then I told myself to snap out of it and quit rooting for the affair.

Nick Carraway:  Moments before the movie started, I maintained that Nick was merely a tool Fitzgerald used to tell the tale: a narrator and nothing more.  I was wrong.  He became caught up in the soap opera just as much as the other characters.  I found myself liking Nick less and less.  He was an accessory to both affairs.

Clothing:  It was breath-taking.  The women were gorgeous and dramatic with their styled hair, fashionable hats, and beaded dresses.  The men were incredibly dashing with their suspendered pants, buttoned vests, and tailored jackets!  I even liked the pink suit!  Click on this link to learn a little more about Prada’s part in the costuming.  By the end of the night I found myself sighing that my hair would never do what Jordan Baker’s did.

Stay tuned to see what my fellow flapper fans have to say about big screen version of
The Great Gatsby.

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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in The Great Gatsby


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Reviews for the Weekend – It’s A Mixed Bag

Let’s start with the positive, shall we?   On one of my frequent trips to the library, I ran across this darling picture book called The Adventures of Mark Twain, by Huckleberry Finn.  What a cute idea!   The book was a simple biography of Mark Finn, told through the eyes of one who should know him best – his most beloved character, Huck Finn.   I can’t find a picture of it anywhere on the internet right now, but, if you have children, go check this one out.   It was written in the vernacular style similar to our current novel, had nice illustrations, and told the story of the life of Samuel Clemens in a way that was simple yet captivating.

Now for the negative.   Christine passed on a movie version of the novel she had requested, which I was able to watch this week in snippets here and there.

Huck Finn

This was Disney’s attempt to capture the adventurous spirit of Huck Finn.   I was excited about their choice of actor to play the lead role, since I have admired Elijah Wood’s acting for a long time.   I wasn’t disappointed in this.  He was darn cute.   Unfortunately, my positive review ends here.   I thought it was pretty flat for an “adventure novel,” and Disney seemed to have a not-so-hidden agenda.  (Why was I surprised at this, I wonder…)   Anti-slavery sentiments were brought up at every possible opportunity from every possible character, pounding poor Huck’s conscience, which, in the novel, doesn’t really seem to need any help.   The other big disappointment was the ending, which completely strayed from the book.   Apparently they were running out of time or funds, so they chose to end the movie somewhere around chapter 30 of the novel.   They invent some plot to wrap thing up in a way that turns out to be rather confusing.   So, in summary, it was family-friendly, but not very faithful.

Enjoy your weekend, readers!



The Heath is Alive with a Movie Soundtrack

Friday night I was wild and crazy.  I set up the portable DVD player in the kitchen and watched this movie while I prepped and cleaned up dinner.

ROTN movie

It was revolutionary.  Not the movie.  The watching while washing dishes–that was revolutionary.  Since I was multi-tasking, I grabbed an index card on which to scratch down some notes to share with you.  These are by no means exhaustive.  Fellow Blogger Christina and her husband also watched the movie.  I hope they’ll add in the comments anything vital that I forgot.

  • Clym sees Eustacia magically on the heath the 1st day he comes home.  I say magically because she appears out of the mist with a white horse.  Eustacia is played by Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Charlie does indeed hold E’s hand in exchange for her playing his part of the Turkish knight.
  • Clym recognizes Eustacia in the costume and the whole bucket in the well thing is skipped.
  • All attend Thomasin and Wildeve’s wedding.  At the wedding Susan Nunsuch stabs Eustacia with a pin during the service.  The wax figure of E is skipped, instead Susan burns a ribbon (we assume it’s E’s).
  • There is no gambling scene between Christian Cantle and Wildeve.  Or between Wildeve and Diggory Venn.
  • There is no snake.  Mrs. Yeobright keels over on the walk back to her home.
  • Eustacia immediately confesses to Clym that she did not open the door for her MIL because she thought he had.
  • The movie gave me the impression that Eustacia jumped into the water.  Thomasin, Clym. Wildeve, and the Reddleman were all there watching.  First she’s on the bridge, then she’s not.
  • The Reddleman’s love for Thomasin is downplayed.  The movie does end with their marriage.  Thomasin does not have a child.
  • The heath is not out to get everyone.

It was not my favorite rendition of the story.  I missed the force of the heath.  Sure the book was dark and depressing with the heath killing off folks left and right, but if you are going to make a movie version of a classic–do it right!  Stay true to the story!


Posted by on February 5, 2013 in The Return of the Native


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Thumbs Up and Down

Anna Karenina movie imageCCOM went on a field trip!  It was all in the name of literature of course.  We (and our classy friend Norma) went to the theater and saw Anna Karenina.  Yes, we were prepared to blush and flush at the R rated adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic.  As we waited for the film to start Christina asked who was going to write the blog post about the movie.  She looked at Jeannette who then turned to look at me.  I may have pouted and whined a little about being the one that would have to describe the movie to all of you.  How could one little post convey the experience of watching Anna on the big screen?  Christina solved my dilemma when she suggested that we each list our three favorite and least favorite parts of the film.

So for the next few days each of us will take our turn as Roger Ebert and do a little movie reviewing.

Christine’s thumbs up

1. The artistry:  Oh, the eye candy!  the costumes, the scenery, the dancing,  the close-ups.  Everything was beautiful.

2. Scenes with Oblonsky: I think we were the only people in the theater who laughed at the “roll” references, but that was okay.  Oblonsky added needed comic relief.

3. Clever staging: Having the actors on-stage, off-stage, backstage, in the catwalks… It was a fascinating way of telling the tale.  Just try to imagine how the director pulled off the horse racing scene with the horses and riders on stage!  A few times the director lingered in one location for a longer period, but I still appreciated the creative perspective.  The movie is 130 minutes long, and I never looked at my watch.

Christine’s thumbs down

1. Condensation:  Attention college students: do not think you can watch this movie and pass your Anna Karenina final exam.  As with any 900 page book, things must be left out for the sake of time.  Anna and Vronsky never went to Italy.  Kitty never spent time at the spa.  Levin’s brother was terribly sick, but we didn’t see him die.  These and other omitted scenes added to Tolstoy’s character development in the book.  I know they can’t make a five-hour long movie, but perhaps there were other ways to give the audience deeper insight into the characters.

2. Angst:  I didn’t believe from the movie that Anna was disturbed enough to end her own life.  A few shots of her drinking morphine were not enough for me to believe that she was in enough despair to dive onto the rails.  And was Levin troubled by anything after his marriage to Kitty?  Not that I could tell from the film.

3.  Anna’s death:  After Anna’s death there is a brief scene with Levin and a shot of Karenin with the two children in a field.  The audience does not get to see how Anna’s death affected Vronsky.  In fact the scenes leading up to Anna’s suicide are not nearly as frantic as in the book.

Have you gone to see the movie?  What did you think about the adaptation?
Stay tuned for Christina and Jeannette’s reviews.


Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Anna Karenina


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Anna’s Fashion

We’ve had cinematic celebrations of other novels, but I have to say I’m really looking forward to the release of the new Anna Karenina movie. Talk about eye candy!  The costumes are amazing, and I’m not the only one who thinks so.  Banana Republic was inspired by the movie’s costumes and developed a collection based on Tolstoy’s book.  This link will take you to the Anna Karenina Boutique.

Lace, fur, sparkle: Do you think the fashion designers read the end of the novel?


Posted by on November 4, 2012 in Anna Karenina


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Reward for Madame

The madame in the title is me.  I need a reward, a carrot, to keep me reading this book.  I’m still in part one, but to quote Jeannette,

“Madame Emma Bovary is getting on my nerves.”

I totally agree with you, Jeannette.

I did some searching, looking for a movie version of Flaubert’s work.  See, I didn’t watch Moby-Dick and the only Uncle Tom’s Cabin I plan on watching is the clip from “The King and I” that includes a horribly botched rendition of the story. (That musical is waiting for me at the library.)  It’s time to see how another novel was translated to the big screen.

I’m looking for a movie reward: something that I can watch while eating croissants and pretending that I remember even a little of the French I took in high school.

Oh, the choices!

This is the BBC’s version.This one was made as a tv miniseries.I even found a trailer for this one.  If you’d like a sneak peek into the story, click on the image.

I spied additional adaptations as well.  This could be almost as much fun as when I watched Jane Eyre.  Now if I could just finish the book.

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Posted by on June 19, 2012 in Madame Bovary


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Which Jane Should I Choose?

The reading has been completed.  The questions have been answered.  The cake has been eaten.  Now, I want to watch a movie version of Jane Eyre.

But which one?

I started to make a library hold but was overwhelmed with the choices.

There’s this 2011 version.

And this one is from Masterpiece Theater.

This one has Timothy Dalton (James Bond).  I bet he makes a great Rochester.

Orson Wells?  I’m intrigued.

George C Scott?

And a BBC version!  One can’t go wrong with the BBC.

My quick search on amazon showed even more film versions of the classic novel.

Help me out readers.  Which movie version of Jane Eyre is the one I should watch?


Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Jane Eyre


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Please, sir! I want another movie review.

Both Jeannette and Christina have reviewed versions of Oliver Twist. I decided to do what all the cool kids are doing and check out my own movie version of the classic. I went old-school with David Lean’s 1948 version of Oliver Twist.  The back of the DVD says:

Expressionistic noir photography suffuses David Lean’s Oliver Twist with a nightmarish quality, fitting its bleak, industrial setting. In Dickens’ classic tale, an orphan wends his way from cruel apprenticeship to den of thieves in search of a true home.

My take?  I liked the black and white version.  Oliver is pitiful.  The workhouse seems horrific.  The Sowerberrys are there as are Noah and Charlotte.  Mr. Bumble marries Mrs. Corney.  Fagin’s gang is just as scruffy as it should be, and Fagin is truly wretched.  Fagin’s makeup and false nose keep the viewer from recognizing actor Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi).  Nancy takes the initiative to write to Brownlow about Oliver.  There is only a brief mention of house-breaking.  Sikes kills Nancy the way Dickens would have wanted.  I was impressed with Bulls-eye’s trembling and cowering.  Mr. Brownlow is a doting Grandfather.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Agnes was Brownlow’s daughter, making Oliver his grandson.  This eliminates the need for the Maylies.  Monks is in Lean’s adaptation.  He’s out to get Oliver, but it’s a little unclear as to what his relationship to the orphan is.  The story ends with Sikes being shot then hung as he falls from the rooftop where he has Oliver.  The credits roll as Brownlow and Oliver walk hand-in-hand home. 

I missed all the connections between characters.  For that matter, I missed characters. Verdict?  Entertaining, but like other movie versions of Oliver Twist, it was unfaithful to the novel.

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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in Oliver Twist


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