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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

From ‘True Grit’ To ‘Dracula’: Book-to-Film Adaptations That Work

(Andrei Z/Flickr)

(Andrei Z/Flickr)

The success of the Coen brother’s new take on Charles Portis’ novel “True Grit” got us thinking: what other book-to-screen adaptations have breathed new life into an older story?

Did you like the Keira Knightly “Pride and Prejudice” or maybe the Greer Garson version? How about “To Kill A Mockingbird“?

We speak to Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr about a few of the favorites listeners sent us, as well as some of his own.  Ty’s gold standard is “To Kill a Mockingbird,” you can see his other picks below.

Book To Film Adaptations, Ty Burr’s Picks

  • “True Grit”
  • “Tristram Shandy”
  • “The Godfather”
  • “Bladerunner”
  • “Fight Club”
  • “Jaws”
  • “Great Expectations” (1948, Lean)
  • “Rebecca”
  • “The Shining”
  • “The World According to Garp”
  • “Slaughterhouse 5”
  • “Pride and Prejudice” (The 2005 Keira Knightly version)
  • “The Age of Innocence”

Ty’s Least Favorite Adaptations

  • “The Scarlet Letter”
  • “Bonfire of the Vanities”
  • “The Human Stain”
  • “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (both versions)
  • “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

Adaptations that Ty Burr calls “Problematic”

  • “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
  • “Lolita”
  • ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley”
  • “The Kite Runner”
  • “Starship Troopers”

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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