This week the foxes and hound have been charged with a question: Do you ever go to see movies because you read the books they were based on? Why did you like or dislike them?
I’m at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to discussing movies, because I don’t watch them very often. I find it difficult to sit and watch the television for more than ten minutes, so if I’m watching a movie, chances are I’m sitting in a movie theater. And that happens once every two to three years. My husband won’t go (waste of money), and I don’t take the time to go by myself, so my visits to the theater happen only when my kids take pity and invite me to go with them. I did actually join in a movie-watching party last week (three of us watched the same movie at the same time) but since I had it playing on my laptop I managed to grade papers and fold a load of laundry at the same time.
So it was with a bit of mumbling that I sat down to write today’s post. First, I had to remember the last movie I saw in a theater – I think it was Silver Linings Playbook. IMDB says it came out in 2012. I’m pretty sure that screenplay wasn’t based on a book. Before that I saw The Blind Side in 2009. That didn’t come from a book, either. So I decided to write down every movie I could remember watching from beginning to end (there aren’t many). And from there I found one that came from a book I’d read.
Gone With the Wind.
I read GWTW while I was in high school. I saw the movie a bit later, at a party in college. I liked the movie because I could re-live the important parts of the book in a lot less time than it took to read it. And other than Scarlett I thought the characters looked and sounded like I’d imagined. I loved the scenery in the movie, too—exactly as I’d imagined, although I recently discovered that NONE of the GWTW scenes were actually shot in Georgia! So all in all, the movie was a good experience for me. It was over thirty-five years ago, but I remember it fondly. Or maybe it was the good company.
Now, if we’re allowed to include TV movies, I can add another one: The Winds of War. I read the book in the late 70s, when I was a young teacher and had something called free time. I watched the movie later on when I was a young mom walking her colicky baby in the wee hours of the morning. I loved Robert Mitchum in this. It’s been a long time, but I remember setting a timer so I wouldn’t forget to watch the next segment. I loved the way it showed how historical events affected people. Jan-Michael Vincent was yummy back then, but recent pictures of him are scary.
I can add one more title if I’m allowed to stretch the parameters of our question a bit to include television series. The show Cedar Cove is based on a book series by Debbie Macomber. She’s one of my favorite romance authors and I’ve read most of the books in that series. I’m a huge fan of Judge Olivia Lockhart, and I think Andie MacDowell was an excellent choice to play her. Her friend Grace Sherman was a bit of a surprise; I hadn’t imagined her so young-looking and perky. But Teryl Rothery makes it work. I love the small-town feel, although I’m sure it’s filmed in a studio somewhere. And I love the stories. Some of the conflicts in the series have been glossed over, and some were taken out altogether, but the basic premise is the same: the solidarity of a community can trump any evil that might threaten its residents.
So that’s it for this week! Are you a movie watcher? What are your thoughts on books-to-movie efforts?