Gone to the Movies? Probably Not.

This weekMichigan_Theater_Tickets 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.

Watching_the_ShowSo 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.

Gone_With_The_Wind_1967_re-releaseI 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.

Winds_of_warNow, 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.

Cedar CoveI 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?

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About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
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19 Responses to Gone to the Movies? Probably Not.

  1. I like both. I don’t expect movie adaptations to be “like the book”. If they work as movies, on their own, I’m satisfied.

    Are you seriously telling me you didn’t see “To Kill a Mockingbird” after having to read it in school? I feel so old…

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    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Mikey, I didn’t even read TKAM – for some reason it wasn’t part of my school’s curriculum! So no, I didn’t watch the movie, either. I guess you’re right, I shouldn’t expect the movie to be exactly like the book, as long as the main ideas and motivations remain the same. Thanks so much for visiting!

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  2. pjharjo says:

    I enjoyed your post, Patricia 🙂 Believe it or not, I’ve never read or watched GWTW. I’ve got an old edition of the book that belonged to my momma way back when. I imagine it’s one of the original publications of the book. I’ve tried to read it, but it’s so dull and boring and SLOW I couldn’t get into it. So it sits here on my buffet with a couple of other old books I have, just because.

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    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I’ve got several books that I’ve been told by someone or another that I should read but haven’t – because I couldn’t get into them. And GWTW is a LOOOOONG book, so I can understand. If it belonged to your momma, then it’s a wonderful keepsake. Thanks for commenting!

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  3. jeff7salter says:

    I love movies and I love books — so this question (though I forgot who posed it — is wonderful for me. Just can’t decide which to cover on Hound Day.
    Funny thing about Winds of War — though I’ve watched hundreds of war movies, I don’t think I’ve ever seen W of W. Prob. because it was a mini-series and came out (I believe) around the time that we only got two of three major networks. I prob. should track down a DVD set and view it. I know the author of the book is highly regarded.

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  4. Ann Kilter says:

    I often say to my husband, “I don’t remember this scenevin this movie! ” to which he replies, “that’s because you’re always doing something else while watching movies at home…reading the paper or a book…or commenting on WordPress posts! “

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  5. I’ve seen Gone With the Wind but never did read it. It is one of those books that I want to read but never get around to it. I think I will read it this summer then watch the movie again.

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  6. Whoa…I’m in the doghouse over topics again! Sorry.
    I made a list a couple of weeks ago of books-then-films/films-then-books but seem to have misplaced it.
    I never read GWTW, but my mother said that the movie did not do Scarlett justice.
    I enjoyed the Winds of War mini-series, but I never read the book.
    I’m off to go re-do my list for Friday.

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    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Haha! No, not in the doghouse. I just watch fewer movies than most people, so I really have very little to contribute to a discussion about them! Hope you find your list before you have to re-do! I agree with your mother, the movie made Scarlett more hardened than I imagined her.

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      • My mother thought that Scarlett (in the book), was perhaps a little ruthless for her family’s sake, whereas in the movie, she just seemed selfish. I may just read that book yet!

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