Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Ideal Novel Adaptations


Recommended Posts


The movies have adapted lots of novels, usually not very well and not very imaginatively. There are some exceptions, like David Lean's Great Expectations, The Leopard, or A Diary of a Country Priest. What I would like to do in this thread would be for people to put down their ideal novel adaptations. There is one rule: the director and actors have to be at a period when it could be chronologically possible for them to be altogether. You can't have F.W. Murnau directing Dustin Hoffmann, or Judy Garland or Reese Witherspoon in the same movie. But if you want to have Yasujiro Ozu or Kenji Mizoguchi directing Hollywood stars in 1943, or erotic novels filmed at the height of the Code, knock yourself out.


Anyway, here's my first one:


The Brothers Karamazov.

In two parts. Part 1: Crime and Part 2: And Punishment


Fyodor Karamazov: Gene Hackman

Dimitri Karamazov: Tom Cruise

Ivan Karamazov: Ralph Fiennes

Alyosha Karamazov: Johnny Depp

Smerdyakov: Steve Buscemi

Father Zosima: Paul Scofield

The Grand Inquisitor: Clint Eastwood


Director: Quientin Tarantino



Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I've said before, I think David Lean's Great Expectations is an overrated adaptation. I think David Lean's A Passage to India is one of the most perfect adaptations of a novel ever filmed -- it captures the spirit in image even when it can't be true to the words. I also found The Leopard to be kind of ponderous -- went to what seemed like an endless screening of it at MOMA many years ago. But Diary of a Country Priest -- now there's a great film! I also think the film of Tom Jones is one of the greats.


Of novels not yet been filmed, I would recommend my favorite all-time novel, The White Peacock by D.H. Lawrence. And also The Longest Journey, the only novel by E.M. Forster that has not been filmed. These novels would be challenges to film, but I think it could be done by a sensitive director. I think a few of the gothic novels of the early 19th century would make good movies (as Frankenstein has already shown) -- Melmoth the Wanderer, The Monk, The Castle of Otranto, and The Mysteries of Udolpho. And Beckford's Vathek, one of the oddest books ever written, would make a great film, as would Beerbohm's Zuleika Dobson.


Of American novels, the works of Sherwood Anderson, particularly any of the parts of Winesburg, Ohio; and of course any of the three stories in Gertrude Stein's Three Lives would be great on screen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Les Miserables.

Each book a separate film 90-105 minutes.


Jean Valjean---Burt Lancaster

Javert---Jose Ferrer

Fantine--Natalie Wood

Cosete--Catherine Deneuve

Thenardier--John Carradine

Madame Thenardier--Agnes Moorehead

Eponine--Geraldine Chaplin

Marius--David Hemmings


Directed by Michael Powell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Waiting For Godot:


Director - Ed Wood


Vladimir - Gary Busey


Estragon - Timothy Carey


Pozzo - Lucky - The Boy


A combonation of members of The Little Rascals and The Three Stooges.


I'm not sure which ones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I grew up watching *The Robe* every Christmas and Easter. Finally, I got around to reading the book. My first thought was, "DANG! THIS would make a GREAT MOVIE!"



Same with *The Silver Chalice*. I don't have any idea who I would cast in them, or who to direct, but in the right hands they could be phenominal.



I also don't know who I'd put in a film adaptation of one of my favorite books, *Winterdance*, by Gary Paulsen, about a man's attempt to at least complete the Iditarod, but it too, would make a marvelous film.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Skimpole, I didn't get your *Brothers Karamzov* cast at all until I saw that it was to be a Tarantino film, which explains some of the campy choices, like Gene Hackman playing someone other than an American.


How about a British New Wave Karamazov, directed by Forbes, Reisz, Clayton, or Richardson? I'm not sure who the best Smerdyakov would be.


Father Karamazov - Donald Wolfit

Dimitri - Richard Burton (pre-Liz)

Ivan - Laurence Harvey

Alyosha - Tom Courtenay

Grushenka - Rita Tushingham

Lise - Mary Ure or Rachel Roberts


Remember that when Marilyn Monroe was married to Arthur Miller, she talked about wanting to play Grushenka? Maybe the cast would have looked like this, directed by Kazan of course:


Grushenka - Marilyn Monroe

Ivan - Marlon Brando

Dimitri - Anthony Quinn

Lise - Jean Peters

Alyosha - Anthony Perkins

Father Karamazov - Burl Ives

Smerdyakov - Albert Dekker (who was good in the not very good Brooks version)


The Actors' Studio would probably have cast Kim Stanley as Lise, but Kazan wasn't a fan of her work, and Jean Peters acted in *Viva Zapata* for him.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tarantino directing BROTHERS KARAMAZOV? Personally, I like the idea of Tarantino directing CRIME AND PUNSISHMENT. Just picture it: Michael Madsen, playing Raskolnikov, goes up to the old lady's apartment to kill her. But before he does he straps her to a chair & cuts off her ear while a balalaika plays Russian folk music in the background. Might work.


Or how bout Tarantino directing MOBY DICK: Harvey Keitel as Ahab. Samuel L. Jackson as Ishmael.


AHAB: Avast! Swab the deck, matey!!

ISHMAEL: Can you say please, mother#%$*?

AHAB: If I seem curt then I apologize. It's just that time is of the essence. So if it'll get you to swab the f#*^ing deck, then pretty please with sugar on top.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nadja (1952ish)

novel by Andr? Breton

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Gowns by: Margaret Furse

Cinematography: Daniel L. Fapp


Andr?: Barry Fitzgerald

not-Andr?: Claude Rains

Nadja real: Audrey Hepburn

Nadja as housewife: Margaret Rutherford

Nadja in wedding dress: Natalie Wood

Second ghost: Billie Burke

Penguin: Simone Simon

Ant: self

Tree: Jack Elam

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=MontyC wrote:}{quote}

> Good one, Sansfin! Not much of a stretch for the ant though.


I thank you for your kind words.


I had thought also to have Betty Hutton as a nun. I did not include it because I believe viewers would not understand it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
  • Create New...