Movies based on books rarely ever get translated 100 percent but the upside is that they get made all the same. In the 90s there were some truly interesting stories that made it to the big screen and some that were kind of disturbing but still so well done that we couldn’t help but enjoy what we were seeing. While some of them were based on true stories others were just fanciful tales that entertained the right reader just enough that they decided that a movie was well within the realm of feasibility. It’s always interesting however to note just how long a book has to be on the shelf or how long it is between the publishing of a book and the making of the movie. Some wait years, others are picked up fairly quickly, but how the movies are made is usually a big point of contention between the writer and the filmmaker that wants a shot at bringing a bit of literature to the big screen.
Here are some of the best movies that came from books in the 90s.
5. Mrs. Doubtfire
You can’t really say that this movie caught people off guard since with Robin Williams people eventually came to expect the unexpected, but when he played the role of a man desperate to see his kids after his divorce it was obvious that he was willing to do just about anything. Dressing up as an old woman and becoming the family’s nanny however is something that most men would probably draw the line at since the prostheses and padding would be a humongous pain in the backside to get on all the time. Of course those parents that love their kids would try just about anything, though the risk and the fallout of being discovered seem like they’d be a lot more severe in real life.
4. Forrest Gump
Looking at the life of Forrest Gump would prove to anyone that a person didn’t actively need to seek out the means to have an interesting life, they just need to live. Forrest was a simple boy that turned into a simple man. He never wanted for anything and he never wanted anything other than what he received. In many ways Forrest was a blank slate that never got filled since he was always willing to try something so long as it fit with his idea of right and wrong, and he never judged anyone unfairly. He reacted to the world around him, plain and simple, and as a result he had a remarkable life that many people couldn’t help but marvel at while wondering how he got so lucky at times. Life does happen after all, it’s just a matter of where you’re at when it does.
3. Fight Club
A large number of people had a serious issue with the translation of this book into the movie as they stated that it didn’t follow the book at all. One argument is that the movie did in fact take into account the many different issues and elements that came from the book, but once the fighting started the baser instincts of the audience took over and the blood that followed was the only thing they could focus on. This is the essence of many stories, the moment that the action is introduced, many people simply ignore anything else and move to the more dynamic elements of the tale so as to stop thinking so much and just enjoy themselves.
Henry Hill was a man that always wanted to be a gangster, but upon entering the life he eventually found out just how dangerous it could be. That still didn’t stop him from existing in the same space as Jimmy and Tommy since they were his friends and his business associates. But when Jimmy started getting out of control and the entire mess started to close in on him Henry figured out that getting himself and his family out of harm’s way was the only option left. Had he stayed in there was no doubt that Jimmy would have seen him as a loose end eventually and may very well have disposed of him as he’d done to several others.
1. Jurassic Park
There were several differences from the book to the movie that were noticed, but one very big one was the fact that John Hammond actually died in the book, while in the movie he was allowed to get away alive. It’s not much consolation since the dejected look on his face as they’e leaving says that he knows how much he’s lost and it’s more than just money. But apart from that this movie was something that people were ready for since the dinosaur craze that came right on the heels of this movie was something that lasted for quite a while.
Turning books into movies isn’t a bad thing, but it needs to be somewhat accurate in order to really do either of them justice.
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