Movies That Surpass Their Source Material

This morning, Nerdist News announced their list of five films that surpass their source material. I agree with one of them. Planet of the Apes is an amazing movie that takes author Pierre Boulle’s basic story to another level. Here are three others, that didn’t make Nerdist’s list:

The Time Machine (1960) – H.G. Wells’ novel wouldn’t translate well to the screen as he presented it. Written and first published in installments, the story jumps around a lot and much of it is what’s going on in the Time Traveler’s head. The George Pal movie makes the story interesting and dramatic and adds social commentary about war and peace.

John Carter of Mars (2012) – I haven’t read all of A Princess of Mars, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ adventure novel that inspired the film. The basic idea – a combat veteran goes to battle again to save a princess – has been brought beautifully to the screen, with enhancements that both give the characters more motivation and make Burroughs’ 100-year-old action story new relevance for today’s audiences.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) – The ride was always one of my favorites at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, but I was skeptical that a theme park attraction could make a good feature film. Disney did it, though. The first Pirates movie pays tribute to the ride’s most memorable moments, while bringing in just the right mix of action, comedy, romance, and mystery to make a great film.

About Taminar

When I grow up, I want to make movies and write books. Now in my 50s, I wonder if I'll ever really accomplish the dreams of my youth. I have made two short films, one for a college film-making class, the other for an MTV-sponsored contest. I have written short plays that have been produced, and a few short stories and reviews that have been published. I also perform and direct for community theatre. My working life has included stints in local TV news, public relations, retail management and cashier, and for a couple of years, I made the rides go at Walt Disney World. I have two cats and a husband.
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