Books Magazine

When The Movie’s Better Than The Book

By Robert Bruce @robertbruce76

I don’t watch a lot of movies.

I don’t dislike movies. But when I have a few free hours, I like to spend it in other ways. Unless it’s a movie I really want to see, like The Great Gatsby a few months ago, I tend to get bored too easily. That’s just me.

So I’m not one of those guys who watches the Academy Awards every year. In fact, I’m not sure I could give you more than two or three films that have won the Oscars off the top of my head. I just don’t keep up with it.

So it’s not surprising that I didn’t even know A Passage To India was a movie—and it’s even less surprising that I don’t remotely pretend to know that said movie won an Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director in 1984.

The film starred Judy Davis, and it was director David Lean’s final film. As you might expect from an Oscar winning film, the reviews are pretty good. Rotten Tomatoes gives it 85%. Roger Ebert had this to say: “Forster’s novel is one of the literary landmarks of this century, and now David Lean has made it into one of the greatest screen adaptations I have ever seen.”

All that said, I doubt I watch it. To start, the story in the novel isn’t pulling me at the moment, so I’m doubting I would find the film any more interesting.

Both have a high praise, but the story isn’t really jumping off the pages right now. This might be one of the rare cases when a book nerd like me might think the movie could be better than the book. Maybe a Godfather situation here? That’s the polar opposite of great books that became horrible movies. There are plenty of examples of those.

If you’ve read A Passage To India and seen the movie, what do you think?

Or what are some other movies that are better than the books they originated from?

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