Top Ten Tuesday: The Worst Movie Adaptations

Posted July 9, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Adaptations, Top Ten Tuesday / 0 Comments

I had so much fun doing Top Ten Tuesday last week that I thought I would join in again. Top Ten Tuesday is a book blogger meme that is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week the theme is: Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations. I want to look at ten books that should have never been made into movies because they never work and never will work in this particular format. These are mainly books that have a strong internal monologue, the emotions and inner turmoil is vital to the book and/or they are too many narrators to really work.

10. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
There was a mini-series that wasn’t too bad but the latest attempt at adapting this movie was so bad. I’m a fan of Zooey Deschanel, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Stephen Fry and John Malkovich but no one could save this movie.

9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I’m sorry but the 2005 film just doesn’t work for me, there is none of Austen’s wit and only really covers the basic story. I only recently read Pride and Prejudice and adored it but most of the things I love about this book don’t translate to film.

8. Dune by Frank Herbert
David Lynch was faced with the impossible task of turning this seminal sci-fi classic into a movie and he failed, hard.

7. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
One of those movies, I wish I could unsee. The book was so great, why would they destroy that with a film adaption?

6. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The most recent adaptation was a horrible, horrible adaptation of such a wonderful book. It was weird how they did the movie and they left so much out. I’m not a fan of Keira Knightley so I was looking forward to the end. I’ve not seen any of the other adaptations of this classic and I never want to see them.

5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I keep meaning to write about the Baz Luhrmann version but keep putting it off. This is a book about unlikeable characters and symbolism, and that never worked. To be honest I don’t think Baz read the book and just tried to remake the old Robert Redford movie.

4. Dracula by Bram Stoker
I’ve never seen a Dracula movie that actually works, it’s hard to be faithful to Bram Stoker’s seminal piece of literature and still try to adapt it.

3. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
I’m looking at you Demi Moore, Gary Oldman, and Robert Duvall. It doesn’t work and it shouldn’t be tried again. Try something like a modern retelling like Easy A, it’s not The Scarlet Letter but at least it works.

2. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Most of this novel plays out in the mind of Rodion Raskolnikov; mental anguish and moral dilemmas don’t translate on the screen, I never have watched a Crime and Punishment adaptation and I don’t think I ever will.

1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
No, just stop it, you will never get it right in a movie, you can’t tell both Victor and Monster Frankenstein’s story at the same time and explore their thoughts and emotion on the screen. Stop trying to ruin my favourite book.

0 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: The Worst Movie Adaptations

  1. Kaylee E

    Look for the stage adaptation of Frankenstein that starred Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, it was filmed and was shown at cinemas at some point last year. It’s not perfect but I think it was a pretty respectable adaptation. They’d swap roles each show, so even if you don’t like the adaptation, the character study is amazing.

    The BBC Pride and Prejudice series is also the be all and end all of P&P adaptations. It’s also 1000000x better than the book, but then I really hate Jane Austen so I’m not to be completely trusted on that point.

  2. missbonnie13

    I’ve heard a lot of fabulous things about the Pride and Prejudice mini-series on BBC… I’m going to have to check that out, definitely. And oh my gosh, yes. Dune was one of the worst adaptations, ever.

  3. Chrissi Reads

    I haven’t watched any of these on your list. I think I’ll be staying clear of these though!

  4. frellathon

    I try not to watch movie adaptions because I don’t want them to ruin things for me. Not always bad sometimes fantastic but as you can never tell ahead of time I prefer an original movie. Hollywood doesn’t comply with that wish frequently however.

  5. Tiffany

    I seriously could not agree more with your list. I am avoiding The Great Gatsby like the plague.

  6. Ryan

    To be fair to David Lynch, I’m not sure Dune is adaptable for the screen. The book explores too many issues to be shrunken down to accomadate most movie goers.

    I’m glad someone finally tried to adapt Atlas Shrugged, but when the entire cast changes for the second instalment, you know something went horribly wrong.

    Out of three attempts, they still have not pulled off I Am Legend yet. The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price came the closest, but still not sure THE movie has been done yet.

    I feel the same way about most movie adaptations for And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Every single one of them changes the ending, and while I do enjoy one, of them, I would like to see a movie that kees to her plot.

    I like the Bela Lugosi Dracula, though it does change a lot of the book.

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