Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Books That Need to Be Made into Movies - Right Now

I remember when movies were important, when they made the viewer think, when actors generally kept their mouths shut and concentrated on the roles they were offered. I remember enjoying movies and watching at least half a dozen good ones a month. Now I'll admit that my disdain for today's movies, directors and actors might have a lot to do with my age and that I may very well have turned into my father. But, and that's a huge "but," I don't think that's the main reason I pay so little attention to movies these days.

Keeping all that in mind, here is a list of books I've read this year that are just crying out to be turned into the kind of quality movies that used to be produced in this country so regularly:

Finding Nouf
- Just imagine a murder mystery set in Saudi Arabia that can only be solved by a Saudi man and a Saudi woman working closely together despite all the religious regulations in that country that work so hard to keep male and female strangers separated.

Sweetsmoke - In a similar vein, how about a Civil War movie in which a freed slave woman is murdered and the only person caring enough to seek justice is himself still a slave. Imagine the tension, the battle scenes, and all the great characters of this book being transferred to film.

Live Fast, Die Young: The Faron Young Story - There have been numerous very successful biopics about country music singers due to the fascinating stories that are often associated with them. Think: Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc. Well, as this book so aptly showed, Faron Young's life story is just about as wild and wooly as they come and would make a great movie.

The Wolfman - This is an amazing thing: the wolfman horror legend turned into a morality tale. This modern wolfman hates what happens to him every month but there's no way he can stop his transformation from happening. So he does the next best thing; he identifies and targets criminals, often sexual predators, to serve as his monthly kill. Can you picture that movie in your mind?

Resistance - This WWII alternate history would be a fascinating film. In this version of the war, Germany successfully invades the U.K. and occupies it for much of the war. What happens when a small group of German soldiers moves into an isolated farming community in Wales and gets stranded there for a harsh winter, a community in which all of the men have left to join the Resistance, is full of suspense and tension and great opportunities to develop several really memorable characters.

My Soul to Keep - High quality movies that scare your pants off are really rare but I think that this book offers a nice opportunity for someone to produce the next one. This is only one book in the Melanie Wells series and perhaps two of the books could be combined into one very fine movie. Being stalked by a demon capable of taking on human form is spooky stuff but this demon may have just chosen the wrong woman to stalk.

There's my half-dozen suggestions, Mr. Hollywood producer. Now please get busy.

Why is it so hard to make a movie that someone over 20 might enjoy? I'm just saying...


  1. My Soul to Keep is the only one of those I've read! But you're right...it would be pretty spooky, and as I recall the main character was interesting as well.

  2. I have read three of these books (Wolfman, Nouf, Resistance) on your recommendation and liked all of them. Yes, they would make excellent movies.

  3. PS You might like "The World's Fastest Indian." It's definitely a movie for the over-20s.

  4. I'd be first in line for the Faron Young movie.

    If a film version of We Have Always Lived In The Castle were possible, I'd be all over that, too -- not sure it's filmable.

    It has long been my dream to see Endless Love done correctly -- even if they had to start out with a new title and rename the characters.

    I made my students watch Casablanca this week in English Village. I think it went over well...

  5. I haven't read Wolfman, but it sounds rather like Dexter, a tv show I do enjoy.

  6. Wouldn't it be great to see movies like these, even if not from these exact books, being made again on a regular basis? I'm so tired of all that trash hitting the screens these days...'

  7. I like this list--there are some books that just scream to be filmed, aren't there! I still need to read Finding Nouf and Resistance (especially the second one as I bought it in hardover).

  8. I'd probably agree, Sam, except some books I felt would make great movies were made into movies and they STUNK! My theory - and I know I'm being negative here, sorry - but Hollywood dumbs everything down because the average Joe in this country demands it. When I worked in a movie theater during my high school years, I would always be frustrated because the movies I wanted to see never came to our house...instead we got what I refer to as "idiot comedy" because that was what sold. If I wanted to see my choices, I had to drive 40 miles to the only "art" movie house in the vicinity.

  9. Danielle, I can't tell you how much I crave seeing a movie made for adults. We have HBO and I wonder why because it's mostly junk these days.

  10. I hear you, Jen. I've been disappointed several times by the movies that were made from pretty good books. Hollywood has a unique talent for destroying good lit, no doubt about it.

    We don't go to the theater much anymore because the dumbing down of America includes a tendency for people to be ruder than ever in public. I don't torture myself anymore by trying to watch a film with an audience of cell phone junkies who behave as if they are in their own living rooms.