Which came first the movie or the book?

Published 1:22 pm Thursday, January 5, 2006

By Staff
Throughout the winter, each Monday evening the library will be showing a movie in the rotunda. During January we will be featuring movies which are based on books.
Almost since the beginning of motion pictures, Hollywood has been turning great books into movies- sometimes great movies, sometimes not.
Some movies retain the book's title; sometimes Hollywood thinks it has a better one. Some movies are based on recent bestsellers, others are based on books or short stories that got little attention in print. Some movies follow the book's storyline closely; others are barely recognizable when the producers finish with them.
In all these variations, the tradition continues with many of the movies currently in theatres, including the following.
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth
The book tells the story of Frank B. Gilbreth and his eleven siblings. Their father, a famous efficiency expert, believes that families should be run like factories. How they all survive such escapades as forgetting Frank, Jr., in a roadside restaurant or going on a first date with Dad in the back seat or having their tonsils removed en masse provide dozens of laughs.
The movie currently in theatres is the Cheaper by the Dozen 2, a modern re-telling which little resembles the charm of the original book.
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The novel provides fascinating details of a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love, always elusive, is scorned as illusion.
The story spans more than 20 years and is told in the startling beautiful language and immediate voice of the main character, Nitta Sayuri. Many of the reviews of the movie note that although the storyline follows the book closely, the historical details and nuances of the book cannot be replicated onscreen.
Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
The limited-release movie, starring Richard Gere, received less than rave reviews, receiving an overall C+ according to Yahoo!Movies. The book, on the other hand, has been heaped with praise since its release in 2000. Eliza Naumann, a seemingly unremarkable nine-year-old, expects never to fit into her gifted family: her autodidact father, Saul, absorbed in his study of Jewish mysticism; her brother, Aaron, the vessel of his father's spiritual ambitions; and her brilliant but distant lawyer-mom, Miriam. But when Eliza sweeps her school and district spelling bees in quick succession, Saul takes it as a sign that she is destined for greatness.
Constant Gardener by John Le Carre
The book and movie both open with the brutal murder of Tessa Quayle in Northern Kenya and the close parallels continue throughout with Tessa's much older husband, Justin, a career diplomat at the British High Commission in Nairobi, setting out on a personal odyssey in pursuit of the killers and their motive. Le Carre's action packed novels, including The Tailor of Panama and The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, are well suited to movie adaptation. The parallels continue, with glowing reviews for both book and movie.