Since the creation of the feature film, works of literature have been a popular go-to for movie directors. Why do you think filmmakers have been so drawn to literature for their film ideas? I think it stems back to an earlier time, before movies were created.
In the mid 1800s, books were a primary form of entertainment. That’s why when you read books by authors such as Charles Dickens or Jane Austen they are filled with great descriptions. They used words to paint a picture for the mind. It could not be created in any other way, but through the reader’s own imagination. They never knew that their ideas would one day be used for a visual form of entertainment.
In the early 1900s, when filmmakers began seeking ideas for their movies, many went straight to popular literature. One of the very first feature films created in the United States was an adaptation of Oliver Twist. Titles such as Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz were some of the first movies ever shot in color.
Today, this is still a popular trend. So which is better . . . the book or the movie? This is a common question among people when a piece of literature is brought to the big screen. I say . . . why not both? I love reading a book just before the movie comes out. The popular novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien is due to come out in movie theaters this December. The Harrisonville teen book club chose to read this book just a few months ago and we are anxiously awaiting the film’s release. Movies are not always an exact replica of the book. Directors do not always have the same vision as readers do, but comparing the two always makes me think beyond my original thought while reading the book. I am anxiously awaiting the discussions I am sure will take place after The Hobbit movie is released next month.
When a movie comes out that is based on a popular book, try reading it first. See for yourself how fun it can be to see imagination come to life!
– Davette Dean, Library Assistant, Harrisonville Branch
Can you think of a movie that you think is better than the book it was inspired by? You can comment below.