Books that become movies in any decade are subject to a lot of changes, a great deal of difference between the book and the movie, and of course are bound to be heavily scrutinized by fans that want to see everything being taken down word for word. In the 80s there were books that translated just fine into the movies but then there were others that didn’t fare so well yet became greatly admired movies. The difference here is just how people tend to take the finished product and how critical they’re going to be. In some cases the authors of the books didn’t even fully approve of the end result despite not being able to do anything. A book to movie transition is rarely ever perfect but it’s the idea that the story has been translated into another medium that makes it worth looking at, especially if you’ve read the book first.
Here are some of the best movies that came from books in the 80s.
This is one fantasy story that has just about everything you could possibly want from swashbuckling to a giant to revenge and true love. The entire story is being told to a young boy that’s home sick in bed by his grandfather, but to the audience it’s an epic tale of a young man that is seeking his true love and gladly goes through many a trial to finally find her. The evil monarch that wants to take her for his own and then kill her to further his own ends is something of an afterthought since Wesley and his opponents, who soon turn into companions, are those that take over the story eventually.
4. Field of Dreams
It’s funny since books actually had something to do with a part of the movie since Ray’s wife was entirely adamant about not banning books at one point in one scene when Ray was trying to figure out what he had to do next in order to answer the whispers from the cornfield. But all in all this movie was a kick since you would likely think a guy that takes a good chunk of his field and turns it into a baseball diamond would be quite insane. But at the same time if you suddenly found out that a bunch of guys were just showing up to play what amounts to a real fantasy game it seems like a lot of people would be highly interested.
3. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Out of the many times when cartoons and live action have been used together this is one of the best since it integrated so many different beloved animated figures and introduced a few new ones that people really got into. Even today Roger Rabbit is still easily remembered and the movie is something that lives on in cinematic history. So it wasn’t the best movie in the world according to some people, but it was still something that a lot of audiences really cared about when it was first released. In fact the cast helped to make it what it was since Bob Hoskins was actually kind of funny in his gruff way.
High school movies are usually as wild and crazy as they can be from a certain standpoint since let’s face it, high school is a crazy time in a lot of peoples’ lives and isn’t meant to be downplayed. There are definite stereotypes in this movie that are pointed out and even easy to spot since there’s no hiding them from the audience, but it’s also interesting to know that Sean Penn stayed in character the whole time, even when he was off set. Can you imagine someone acting liking Spicoli the entire time while filming this thing? A person might be on surfer-overload by the time it was finished.
1. The Shining
It’s intriguing that Stephen King never really cared for what Kubrick did to the book by way of this movie. A lot of people found the book absolutely chilling and some couldn’t even get through reading it without having to put it down once or twice. But for a few the movie was even scarier since it actually showed the horror. That’s the big difference between the book and the movie however, the book allows an individual’s imagination to run wild as they get to see what their mind tells them is going on rather than the director that creates the movie. In essence, both the movie and the book were great, but some folks tend to prefer one or the other.
Books are a wonderful medium in that they can allow a reader to decide for themselves what they’re seeing in their minds eye, but when they’re translated into movies something does tend to get lost every so often.