Grumpy at Hollywood

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Why can’t Hollywood use a good classic book and turn it into a movie without butchering the actual story of the novel?

I finally have my husband reading “The Classics.” Well, listening to them as audio books. It works for us. He’s becoming “cultured” and seems to be really enjoying it. He started out reading books that I had read and recommended and then he started branching out on his own. I’m so proud of him. And not only is he reading well written books, but I find we have more to talk about as he tells me the plots and describes characters. It’s been great!

I’m the type of person that I don’t want to see the movie if I haven’t read the book. So I read all of the Lord of the Ring series, and Harry Potter, Jane Austen, etc. before seeing the movies. So I had the thought that as my husband finished reading his books, I would find the videos (all versions) at the library and we could compare and contrast the movie with the books.

After he read The Three Musketeers I found the old silent, black and white version of the movie. I also found Disney’s version with Kiefer Sullivan and Charlie Sheen. The older version was much more true to the book than the Disney version. But what a lot of people don’t realize, or at least I didn’t, is that The Three Musketeers is a trilogy and each part of the trilogy is made up of “books.” One of the last books in the third part of the trilogy is called The Man in the Iron Mask. I was not aware of this, nor had I seen the movie back when it first came out with Leonardo DiCario. So I was all excited after my husband finished this part of the book so we could get the movie.

So back to the original grumpiness about Hollywood…

In my husband’s words, “This movie is such a terrible telling of the story. At least they got the setting of France right.”

We would watch the movie, then he’d pause it and explain to me why “Porthos would NEVER do that!” or why “That is SO wrong!” It made for quite an interesting evening of movie watching.

And my husband got such a look of disgust on his face when he saw I had started crying at the end when D’Artagnan dies. He said, “Don’t cry! He doesn’t die! He dies fighting in Holland!!”

After he calmed down I said, “What was that other movie that disgusted you so much when I cried at the end?”
“Oh yeah. But that was so sad!”
“It was BAD SCIENCE!! This movie was bad history, but that one was BAD SCIENCE!!” (He was so grumpy!)

So now I see that there is a remake of The Three Musketeers that came out in 2011. I’ll have to find it.
Maybe we can have a date night???


Grumpy at Hollywood — 25 Comments

  1. Armageddon was an incredibly sad movie! But I agree that movies rarely stick to the books. The 2011 Three Musketeers is quite different (and there’s a lot of steampunk action there) but I enjoyed it! I also really enjoyed The Man in the Iron Mask. I cried too when D’Artagnan died, even though I was mostly hoping Aramis wouldn’t get hurt, haha.

  2. I get my free audio books from
    The Three Musketeers series is historical fiction. D’Artagnan was a real person. He died in his later 50’s or 60’s, I believe from a cannon ball to the chest while leading troops against the Dutch.
    The man in the iron mask is a mysterious piece of history that the author, Dumas, tried to play off of. No one knows who the man was. He was kept from other prisoners and he was required to wear an iron mask or a velvet face covering. Very few people could have any contact with him. He was someone important, and it was a scandal to have him in the Bastille or else his identity wouldn’t be a secret. Furthermore, he was too important to execute. Very intriguing!
    The queen was much older than D’Artagnan and she seemed to have a hard time remembering the name of the man who kept saving her life and throne. She was not his lover. He is of no relation to the king. (Now I’m grumpy again…) :^)

  3. The only movies I’ve liked better than the books are How to Train Your Dragon (the original is dumb compared to the movie) and The Princess Bride (which was written after the movie!). Other than that, the only good thing about movies is getting to see the settings.
    Ink Heart wasn’t bad, although they wrapped it up too tidily for there to be a following trilogy.

  4. On the other hand…my son (16 yrs old) loves the movie, The Counte of Monte Cristo. I told him to read the book because books are always better than the movie. It took him about 6 months but he got through that book. Slow at first, but when he got into it he just went on and on about what he read everyday. I’m not sure he would have tackled that book if he hadn’t been intrigued by the movie πŸ™‚

      • Keep in mind, I don’t like to recommend movies. It’s hard (near impossible) to find movies that are entirely clean. You and your husband would want to preview it before letting the whole family watch it. Same for the book. I did find that my son was more interested in discussing the immoral aspects of the book with us than he did the movie. It was such an encouragement to hear his opinion on the mistakes others make. The book describes the faults of the characters but also shows the consequences of their actions. There was quite a bit of violence, revenge, adultery. Just wanted to give you a heads up!

        • Yes. I don’t recommend Man the Iron Mask for those reasons. Which is another reason to be grumpy at Hollywood. Why do they stick such yucky things like that into movies when they have nothing to do with the plot? (Talking in general, not movies based off of books…although I don’t read smut books either…) πŸ™‚ Yes, one does have to be cautious. We have walked out of movies before. πŸ™‚

          • Have you read Jane Eyre? I watched the movie and thought it was pretty good. Shortly after I saw the movie I found an old copy of the book so I decided to read it. The book is so fantastic! I shouldn’t have been surprised but Hollyweird (as we like to call it) took out EVERY bit of spirituality that was so prevalent in the book.

  5. I was never one for the classics-not sure why, I just assumed I would not like them or understand them, well thankfully I was wrong. Since then I have Jane Eyre and others and now I have become a fan of Jane Austin – I have not read Pride and Prejudice, yet, but have read Sense and Sensibility and Emma. Both terrific. Looks like it will be Pride and Prejudice on my vacation – my Pastors wife said the same thing, it is her all time favorite too!! ~Patty

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