Monday, August 1, 2011

MADELEINE'S NOVEL FILMS BLOGFEST ...

Madeleine Maddocks of Scribble and Edit is hosting the Novel Films Blogfest. How many novels and their film counterparts have you read/seen? This blogfest gives us the opportunity to let our blog friends know our favorites.

In my many years of reading and watching films, more than 90 percent of the time I enjoy the books more. Mainly because we envision stories, sets, characters, etc, differently than Hollywood.

HOWEVER, I do have a few novel/films that I just love. AND what is more interesting these three films are from the 1930's and '40's.

My all time favorite has to be Jane Erye. Charlotte Bronte's masterpiece. As for the novel.... A fantastic historical overview of society in 1840's Britain, about an orphaned girl's survival.

In the  1944 film, no other actor could play Rochester better than the immortal Orson Wells. His torment and power reflects every syllable he utters throughout the film. Joan Fontaine's performance as plain, mild-manered governess only accented Well's temperament. Their chemistry blended beautifully together.  

We also get a glimpse of child star Elizabeth Taylor. Even then her beauty was strikingly evident.





My next selection is also written by a Bronte ... this time Emily, Charlotte's sister. Unnerving depiction of torment by the main character, Heathcliff: a gypsy boy raised by his cruel and abusive stepfather and his son. Only in the daughter, Cathy, did Heathcliff have any sense of kindness... that is until she matured and set her sights on their rich and socially acceptable neighbor's son. Tormented by his love for her did he leave and return as a wealthy man trying to win her back.... but life is never that easy.

The 1939 film was as wonderful as the novel. Oliver was THE perfect brooding and cruel Heathcliff. Merle Oberon played Catherine Earnshaw with such vulnerability and cruelty. You can feel her torment between her love for Heathcliff and her desire for raising her social status.



I've chose classics because vintage films portray their novel counterparts more accurately. They deal with more emotion than special effects. My final selection is another classic. Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind.

Of course there are many differences between the film and the novel. In the novel, Scarlett had a child with her first husband, Charles. Which had different scenarios than the movie.

The 1939 film did capture the novel perfectly in tone, society, costume, and DRAMA. Gable and Leigh set the screen on fire ... you could actually feel the heat. Not only did Atlanta burn ....  If you ever get the chance to see it on the BIG screen do it. I was fortunate to view it in one of the vintage single screen theaters still standing back in my home town.



So these are my top three. I do have others, but these are truly my favorite couplings.

Don't forget to drop by Madeleine's blog for the other entries....









27 comments:

  1. Hi Michael, thanks for taking part. Interesting choices. Very romantic classics.I've seen those films and I've just realised I could add Wuthering Heights to my list too. :O)

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  2. Great choices! I agree completely with your comments on Wuthering Heights and Gone with the Wind (two of my favorite movies). Though I never could quite get into Jane Eyre in book or movie form. Olivier is just... amazing. There's no other Heathcliff for me. And no other Scarlett than Vivien. She was perfect.

    And I feel the same way about old movies. They were more about story than flashy visuals. I pine for those days. Sigh.

    I feel and urge to go watch these now...

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  3. Thank you for pointing out the classic film versions of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (two of my absolute favorite books, by the way). I haven't seen either of these, but I definitely will.

    Gone With The Wind is a staple in our home and we watch it at least once a year.

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  4. I must say that I am not a fan of Wuthering Heights. Hated hated hated Catherine.

    Really want to see and read Gone with the Wind. :-)

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  5. I love that you went for the classics! I haven't seen some of these and will have to check them out. What a fun blogfest!

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  6. I feel guilty for having to say that of all these novels/films I have read none and only watched one! (the newest Jane Eyre). I've tried, but I'm just not a Classics junkie!

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  7. I've never seen any of those films or read the books. I know, someone who's never seen Gone with the Wind is as shocking as someone who's never seen Star Wars!

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  8. Can't agree or disagree. I haven't read any of these books and have only seen the film version of Gone With the Wind. In fact, on Friday my post will be concerning a story about that film.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  9. My vintage film favorites usually tend to be musicals... :) However, I do love Gone with the Wind, such an iconic film!

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  10. I have not seen any of these movies, and I have not yet read Gone with the Wind (though it is sitting on my bookshelf). Does that count?

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  11. My classic movie would be CASABLANCA - great dialogue, haunted tragic hero, Nazis, friendship, lost love -- it had it all, Roland

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  12. Such classic choices! Though I'm mortified to admit that I haven't read or seen any of them. Yikes, what does that say about me...?

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  13. I haven't read either Bronte book yet. i know! For shame! But Gone with the Wind will always remain one of my faves. I read the book just out of high school and have been in love with the characters ever since. Seeing the film years later was reliving it again. I watch it every few years and you're so right... who couldve ever picked better actors? It will be a classic forever.

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  14. I love that you went old school! This was fabulous Michael! Seeing all the others I've been like "Yea! Oh gosh I love that one" here I'm day dreaming and remember the actual movie! Oh what's not to love!

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  15. And they are truly wonderful films. I have enjoyed them.

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  16. What a fun blogfest! Love your classic picks, Michael. My current pick has to be the movie The Ghostwriter, based on Robert Harris's book The Ghost, because it's the "comparable" for my own suspense novel that I'm querying.

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  17. I haven't seen any of those - so embarrassed here! :)

    I think my 2 favourite movies from books are Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter :)

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  18. I haven't seen any of those - so embarrassed here! :)

    I think my 2 favourite movies from books are Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter :)

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  19. Some great ones Michael, I am a huge fan of classic movies. Gone with the wind is one of my all time favorites. I also Love the original Little Women. Now you have me wanting to watch some good old movies :) Audrey Hepburn---My fair lady, to die for! Oh there are so many I could go on forever.

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  20. Those sound like good recommendations, especially Jane Eyre and Withering Tights. I haven't seen a good adaptation of the latter yet, was always disappointed.

    I agree that the older films do a better job in general of dealing with classics.

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  21. They certainly don't make films like they used to. I particularly love the old classics that are set in one room only. It becomes about great characters and great dialogue and amazing dilemmas.

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  22. I haven't seen that version of Jane Erye. But who could pass up Elizabeth Taylor? I'll have to go watch :)

    And I love Gone with the Wind. I agree that they captured the tone and everything about the drama just right!

    Thanks for sharing.

    It was good to hear from you...it's great to be back!

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  23. Hey, Rhett and Scarlett again. :) All three of these novels are fabulous. But I've only seen one in film, and as I reported I didn't like it nearly so well as the book. :/ I may have seen it too soon after. And, um, I'm not a huge fan of older films.

    Hmm, I didn't join this fest, but one book/movie that would've made my list is Goodfellas---that's one case where the movie was even better than the book (in my opinion).

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  24. ooo... three excellent picks. I remember being in HS and seeing that version of Wuthering Heights and absolutely falling in LOVE. But I was a big Merle Oberon fan for a while then... I LOVE the Divorce of Lady X. It's impossible to find now...

    sad. :o\ <3

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  25. Thanks for sharing and taking part in the blogfest. I haven't seen many classics like that.

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  26. OMG, how did I miss this?! You've listed 3 of my fave films, with GWTW being my top fave of faves!

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