Thursday, November 17, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks-Book Adaptations


Wandering Through The Shelves has chosen this before and with good’s a great theme. I have been quite busy with my friend, from Vancouver, visiting, going to a Blues concert this eve and Friday, Christmas Office Party in Toronto. It’s also nuts at work so this is nice to write here....


This film is from the famous book by John Steinbeck that takes place during the Great Depression with 2 itinerant workers, one who is large, gentle but mentally disabled and the other, his best friend, who watches out for him. They are working on a farm for a sadistic owner with a horny wife wanting to save up enough money for their own farm but things never go as planned. This film is so well done and Lon Chaney Jnr, who played the big guy, Lenny, got rave reviews and rightly so. Burgess Meredith plays his protector and it is a good retelling of this book. I find it quite funny that my mom chose this book as the first book to learn English. This book is full of slang so...not the best book to learn the English language.


This is a fun film starring Bogie and Bacall when they came clean about their relationship and were going to marry. Raymond Chandler wrote the book but he couldn't even figure out the plot. Basically, Bogie is hired by a millionaire to find out what is going on with his one daughter. She is an alcoholic nympho who gets involved with the wrong type of people. You find out she is bring blackmailed for photos taken of her. Along for the ride is a dead body found with her and Bogie tries to figure everything out. Bacall plays the older sister who is involved in this whole mess up and messes up Bogie as well. I just watched the original 1944 version that made more sense...somewhat but it doesn't have that famous horse riding conversation  which is so great. This version also has BVall in a horrible hat with netting which makes her look like she just visited some bees. I will be rewatching the more famous '46 version soon.


This is my favourite version of this famous book by Charles Dickens with John Howard Davies as the Young boy who ends up in an orphanage and dares to ask for more gruel. He ends up on the streets and is taken in by this gang of pickpockets led by Fagin  played so well by Alec Guiness. You wish this young boy will find out where he actually comes from and can escape the clutches of the denizens of the underworld in London.  A great picture. 

Which 3 can you come up with?


  1. Hi, Birgit!

    How's my bowwow buddy Harley today? Munching a skunk at this very moment, I'll bet.

    I need to watch this 1939 release of Mice And Men starring two of my favorites, Burgess ("Rocky") Meredith and Lon Chaney Jr., the latter a fine character actor who followed in his father's footsteps and is best known to me as a horror icon. Mrs. Shady and I have watched the 1992 remake starring Gary Sinise and John Malkovich, but not the earlier film. It looks gripping.

    I also need to see the film noir The Big Sleep directed by Howard Hawks who, a few years later, produced and ghost directed one of my favorite sci-fi horror movies, The Thing from Another World. Bogie and Bacall brought their genuine chemistry to the big screen.

    Vivian Sternwood Rutledge: "I liked that. I'd like more." AOK, Lauren. Smooch monster Shady is happy to comply.

    Just listen to the refined speech of the British announcer narrating the Oliver Twist trailer. That's what I'm talkin' about! I haven't seen this picture either, but having developed a craving for all things English in recent years, I will add to my watch list this film retelling of Dickens' classic novel. By the way, the latest season of The Crown is now available and Mrs. Shady and I are ready to binge.

    All I can think of in the predawn darkness are three movies I probably mentioned before: Color Purple (Oprah), Age Of Innocence (DD Lewis) and Cuckoo's Nest (Jack).

    Enjoy the rest of your week and have a safe and happy weekend, dear friend BB!

  2. I've seen Oliver Twist of your picks! I have Of Mice and Men on my reading list, I'll have to knock that one out this winter.

  3. I haven't seen any of these. This is a good topic, but one that could be narrowed down easily and still you'd have so man movies to choose from.

  4. Well that is a theme that could fill a book of its own.

  5. Hi Birgit, not only have I seen all three films, I've read the books too. Excellent choices, Kate x

  6. Hi Birgit!

    I LOVE Of Mice and Men!! Both the book and the various film versions. Lon Chaney is ideal as Lenny. I've also seen the Gary Sinise take on the material which is excellent as well.

    The Big Sleep is sort of a mess but an enjoyable one and I adore Martha Vickers as the hot to trot Carmen.

    This is a fine version of Oliver Twist, though I do like the musicalized version Oliver!-it didn't deserve the Best Picture Oscar but still a decent film. But this is a true take on the material.

    I went with three adaptations of classic literature. The 1935 version of Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities with Ronald Colman ideal in the lead. One of my favorite books is Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel which has had two excellent adaptations. My favorite is the 1982 take with Jane Seymour and Anthony Andrews but that was made for TV so I'd pick the 1934 English version with Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon. One of the intriguing aspects of the book vs. movie versions is that the book is told from the major female character's perspective but by necessity the film is from the Pimpernel's. Normally that would bother me but cinematically it makes sense. My last would be the 2002 version of The Count of Monte Cristo with Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce and a near baby Henry Cavill. There are many versions of the novel and several decent ones but this one is the most action packed and lavish.

  7. Hi Birgit - hope you're having loads of fun with your friend from Vancouver ... sounds a good girls' time together. I've never seen these - so perhaps I should catch them sometime and your commenters' suggestions - cheers Hilary

  8. BIRGIT ~

    I completely applaud your choice of 'OF MICE AND MEN'. That's a terrific one!

    Even though I dig the B&B combo (Bogie & Bacall -- that hot thang!) I've just never been able to really embrace 'THE BIG SLEEP'. Tried it twice and have now officially given up on it.

    I've probably seen that version of 'OLIVER TWIST', but so long ago that it's barely a blip in my memory bank now.

    I'd stick with a John Steinbeck theme and add 'EAST OF EDEN' (1955) and 'TORTILLA FLAT' (1942) to the mix.

    It's odd that even though I think Steinbeck was a great writer, his stuffs, for me, is always the opposite of the norm (i.e., I usually prefer the movies to the books).

    ~ D-FensDogG

  9. John Steinbeck’s grandparents lived in our town once upon a time. They owned a dairy, I believe. Salinas, where Steinbeck was born and raised, is over the hill from us. The townspeople didn’t like Steinbeck’s books until he became famous. Silly people. Cheers, Birgit!

  10. I haven’t seen any of your picks. The only adaptation of Oliver Twist I’ve seen is the 2005 one and I don’t remember much of it.

  11. Classic choices. Always enjoy the tidbits you put in about the films.Glad you are having fun with the bud. Be healthy. Hugs

  12. Birgit,

    I don't believe I've seen any of these. I think I did see parts of Oliver Twist but no doubt it's a newer version of the film. That one I would most definitely like to see. :) Thanksgiving is coming up in the US on Thursday, so let me just say a thank you for being such a good friend. :) Have a wonderful week, my dear!

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