Thursday, 2 July 2015

Thursday Movie Picks #51: Adaptations of Classic Literature (No Poems or Plays)




It's Thursday so that means it's time for Thursday Movie Picks. This week it is movie adaptations of classic Literature but poems and plays can't be picked. 




Directed by David Lean and adapted from the novel of the same name by Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago is an epic love story that takes place during Russia's tumultuous era between the 1905 Russian Revolution the Russian Civil War. David Lean is a director of epic cinema and Doctor Zhivago contains spectacular sights, great performances and a gripping story.

No matter how good any adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front is it'll never match the emotional weight of the 1929 novel by Erich Maria Remarque. The book was sold in 22 languages and burnt by the Nazis. It was also made into an Oscar winning film (winning in the Best Picture and Best Director category) which even at 85 years of age remains a harrowing war film.


A list like this is perhaps incomplete without a Charles Dickens adaptation, in this case it is the 1946 version of Great Expectations that gets the nod. It is no coincidence that David Lean was selected twice, a director of epic films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, A Passage to India and Bridge Over the River Kwai. Lean also excelled at the beginning of his career with great adaptations of Dickens' works which included Great Expectations and Oliver.

18 comments:

  1. I just finished watching Great Expectations. It's good, but I feel Pip's darkness doesn't show much. But I haven't read the book, so...

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    1. I haven't read the book either and don't know too much about it either, but the film is good.

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  2. I've only seen/read Great Expectations out of these. I haven't heard of the other two, but All Quiet on the Western Front has me intrigued.

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    1. Quite surprised you haven't heard of Doctor Zhivago, quite a popular film.

      I do recommended the novel of All Quiet on the Western Front, it's superb.

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  3. Love that we both went with different versions of Great Expectations!

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  4. I haven't seen any of them. I did see the 1998 remake of GREAT EXPECTATIONS when I was a kid, though. I don't remember if I liked it or not.

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  5. Despite HATING Great Expectations I do quite like the film version. David Lean knew what he was doing!

    All Quiet on the Western Front is SUPERB - both the book and the film. Haven't read or seen Doctor Zhivago, but I want to.

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    1. I recommend Doctor Zhivago - David Lean knows what he's doing as you said.

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  6. Great choices! Doctor Zhivago is a real commitment of time and I don't fully love it but it's got amazing visuals among them the ice palace and Julie Christie. I selected another classic starring her, Far From the Madding Crowd, in my picks this week.

    All Quiet is a profoundly moving film. Such masterful film making especially considering it was made during the transitional time just as film was beginning to talk. I have the novel on my Goodreads list to catch up with.

    I liked but didn't love Great Expectations but this is about the best version possible of the novel.

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    1. Yeah. It's a very long film, clocks in at just under 200 minutes.

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  7. Sadly, all three of these are still on my to watch list. Great picks.

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    1. I hate it when that happens, haha.

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  8. Love all your picks here! Funny-my mom and her brother's favourite film is Dr. Zhivago. They both survived the war (German) and they could relate to this especially since they had to deal with the Russians when they marched in. All Quiet On The Western Front is one of the best war films ever and I love that version of Great Expectations

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    1. Yes. I recall you telling me a little bit about your mum's very interesting life. Thanks for the comment.

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  9. I have to see Dr. Zhivago. It was brought up in a movie discussion I was having the other day. Then, I ran past the book at a used bookstore yesterday. Great picks!

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  10. I have Doctor Zhivago on my Blindspot then I realise it's a 3hour plus epic...now I'm not sure when I'll get to it.

    The 1946 Great Expectations movie is one of a few Great Expectations adaptations I've seen. Not saying all the others are great, they are all flawed, but I don't really get why this version is considered to be so great? It's been close to a decade since I've seen it but I do remember feeling underwhelmed. I think it falls into one of those black and white films that bore me with it's stageyness and overacting. Is it one of those it was a great cinematic achievement of it's time but really just of it's time?

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