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At The Morning News, Robert Birnbaum comes up with a list of great books made into great films. Check it out. While I'll preface my comments by saying that neither my book-reading or film-viewing careers are particularly comprehensive, here are the books-to-film on Birnbaum's list that I've either read or seen, or both.

Read and Seen: Grapes of Wrath, The Maltese Falcon, To Kill a Mockingbird

Read Only: The Scarlet Letter, The Long Goodbye, Catch-22, The 25th Hour

Seen Only: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Random thoughts:
+ Wow - I had no idea about Catch-22. And I've always been a fan of Alan Arkin. I'll have to search this one out.
+ I just so happen to be reading The Long Goodbye at the moment, and I'm having a very hard time picturing Elliott Gould as Marlowe.
+ To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely my top book/film pairing. The film still gives me goosebumps.
+ Ed Norton is one of my favorite actors, but I thought so little of the book of The 25th Hour that I doubt I'll ever bother with the film.
+ Birnbaum must not be a fan of Ian McEwan, because Atonement is one of the best books I've ever read, and a pretty damned good film, too.

August 14, 2008 in Books, Film | Permalink


I liked "Man on Fire," though I felt the second half didn't live up to the build-up in the first. It didn't make me want to read the book, though.

I must be the only person on the planet who has zero appreciation for "The English Patient." I've seen the movie and read the book, and neither did anything for me. (Admittedly, I was only fifteen or sixteen when it was all the rage, so I wasn't as discerning as I might be nowadays. Back then, I thought King practically invented culture.) It's probably my mom's favorite movie, though.

Posted by: Brandon at Aug 21, 2008 5:14:48 AM

Make that two people - you and Elaine on "Seinfeld." The sight of her pulling her hair out while J. Peterman and the rest of the theater audience get all weepy over "The English Patient" is one of my favorite moments from the show.

Posted by: Pete at Aug 21, 2008 11:03:15 AM