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When it comes to film adaptations of books, most of the time the book is far better than the film. It goes without saying, right? A good example of this is the second version of Escape to Witch Mountain, or as I like to call it: The Purple Monstrosity. The book was so much better than that film. It made me wonder if the film-makers had even read the book. (The book was better than the first movie, too, but by a much smaller margin. Also, the film was good. Heaven only knows what Race to Witch Mountain will end up looking like.)

Other times, the book and the movie complement each other quite well, each showing their own strengths, in effect making them “as good as” (or nearly as good as) the book. I like to use The Princess Diaries as my example for this sort of thing. The book and the movie had many of the same elements, but they really end up being more like two different versions of a similar story. (Which really worked for me. I like that kind of story.)

Return from Witch Mountain is a good example of a film that was very faithful to the book, and managed to keep the spirit of the book intact, too. That’s actually a very difficult balance to maintain. Of course, the rarest of all is the film that was better than the book. This brings me to today’s question. I’m curious. How many of you out there have encountered a filmed version of a book that you thought was better than the book itself? I can only think of one example off of the top of my head, and that’s Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. Yes, I really didn’t like the book, but I loved the film. (I’m not that big a fan of the mini-series, either.)

What about you?

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