Headline opportunity of the year?

MISSING PRESUMED DEAD’s PRESUMED DEAD is MISSING.

Go read the story.

Books, films, chalk and cheese

Movies better than the books that spawned them is the title of an article at SignOn San Diego, which I picked up via Books, Inq., who in turn picked it up from Dave Lull (who, as Books, Inq.’s blogger, Frank Wilson, once wrote, is probably single-handedly responsible for maintaining the Internet).

But, back to the plot. Here’s the list, with my comments in brackets: The Graduate (film good, can’t recall if I’ve read book, no wish to now); The Birds (film and book (a longish short story, in fact) about the same — good suspense build-up, disappointing end); Shane (book great, a massive early influence on me, not seen film but I know that people acting opposite Alan Ladd had to stand in a trench); Babe (managed to avoid both, thankfully and amazingly, given ages of film and my children); The Godfather (liked the book, found the film bloated and boring); Wizard of Oz (disagree, book (read as a child) was far better than the film);  To Have and Have Not (quite liked the book, can’t remember if I’ve seen the film); From Russia with Love (both are good if light, but different. If I had to choose, I’d say book was better); Carrie (tough one, both excellent of their genre, though too cruel for me in both cases); The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming (avoided both, I am thankful based on the title).

Jeff in Frank’s comments suggests The Natural — I quite liked the film (well, the Robert Redford bits at least), I may well have read the book but it didn’t leave an impression. I’ve thought of a lot of films I’ve seen of books I’ve read, and I can’t think of any examples of films I’ve liked better— though some have been impressively different and hence distinctive in their own way. I am sure there are some, though, so will leave this post here to see if any float into my mind in future. (Children of Men by P D James is one possibility — but it is so long ago that I read the book that I need to read it again to remember it.)

If I can think of any examples, I will log them in the comments. Of course, I can think of lots of books that I found better than films made of them, but that isn’t the point.