We all know that the movie is never as good as the book. Ever. Right? Hold on a sec. That ain't necessarily so.
Recent case in point: Angels and Demons. Now this is your basic summer action flick. Nothing too deep and meaningful here. But it is a fun watch. Tom Hanks is good, as always. And the movie is made just a tad bit more watchable because of the presence of Ewan McGregor, who makes everything a tad bit (or a lot) more watchable. But I digress. Most of the people I know who have read both books think that Angels and Demons was much better than The DaVinci Code. But there were still some problems with A&D. Time lines didn't always make sense. Laws of physics were broken. Etc. The movie drops a ridiculous bit near the end of the book that had me screaming "I call no way!" So, movie better than book.
On Twitter last week, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy of MST3K and now Riff Trax fame were compiling a list of movies that were as good as the books they were based on. My own imperfect list follows. The movies may not all be better than the books, but they are good movies, IMHO.
--The Lord of the Rings
--To Kill A Mockingbird
--The Godfather (in which the movie dropped an icky unnecessary storyline about a bridesmaid and her. . .uhm. . .attribute)
--The General's Daughter (read and then seen because of Jenny's shortlived Book/Movie group)
--The Secret Life of Bees
--Black Hawk Down
--The Bone Collector
--Pride and Prejudice
--The World According To Garp
--The French Lieutenant's Woman
--The Hunt For Red October
--The Harry Potter movies, especially the more recent ones
I know I'm forgetting some. There are also movies that I really liked, but didn't read the book so those aren't on the list.
Anyone have some to add?