Grumpy is as Grumpy Does

More research activity turned up an interesting article at Mental_Floss written by Stacy Conradt titled; 11 Authors Who Hated the Movie Versions of Their Books. I thought it interesting since there are listed some pretty good movies and some surprising reasons why the authors of the original story hated them.  Here is a recap of the article’s substance and you will see what I mean:

Mary Poppins – P.L. Travers loathed the movie’s animated sequences and was perturbed that Mary Poppins’ strict side was downplayed.

The Shining – Stephen King felt the director Stanley Kubrick couldn’t grasp the sheer inhuman evil of The Overlook Hotel. So he looked, instead, for evil in the characters and made the film into a domestic tragedy with only vaguely supernatural overtones.

Interview with the VampireAnne Rice thought the casting was “so bizarre,” she said, “It’s almost impossible to imagine how it’s going to work.” When she saw the movie, however, she actually loved Cruise’s portrayal and told him what an impressive job he had done. She still hasn’t come around to liking Queen of the Damned, though, telling her Facebook fans to avoid seeing the film that “mutilated” her books.

Forrest Gump – Winston Groom did not like omission of plot points and sanitizing some of the language and sex.  He also felt he was not paid what he was owed.  He started the Gump sequel with the lines, “Don’t never let nobody make a movie of your life’s story,” and “Whether they get it right or wrong, it don’t matter.”

Sahara – Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt tales have a cult following. Dirk Pitt movies don’t, especially Sahara which was a certified flop: the $145 million production made just $68 million at the box office. Cussler said it was because the producer failed to give him total script control as agreed upon and sued for $38 million. He lost. In fact, Cussler was ordered to pay $13.9 million for legal fees incurred by the Sahara production company. Though that order was overturned in 2010, it’s safe to say that Cussler probably won’t be pursuing that relationship again.

Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger consented to have his short story Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut made into a movie retitled My Foolish Heart. He was so mortified by the swooning love story that he swore his works would never be butchered again and there has not been a movie made of Catcher in the Rye.

A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess disliked the movie based on his novella A Clockwork Orange, he later regretted writing any of it in the first place. “The book I am best known for, or only known for, is a novel I am prepared to repudiate: written a quarter of a century ago, a jeu d’esprit knocked off for money in three weeks, it became known as the raw material for a film which seemed to glorify sex and violence. The film made it easy for readers of the book to misunderstand what it was about, and the misunderstanding will pursue me till I die. I should not have written the book because of this danger of misinterpretation.”

The Informers – Bret Easton Ellis says, “That movie doesn’t work for a lot reasons but I don’t think any of those reasons are my fault.”

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl felt the movie version of his book was “crummy,” found Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka to be “pretentious” and “bouncy,” and thought the director had “no talent or flair.” He vowed that film producers would never get their hands on the sequel to similarly ruin it, at least not in his lifetime.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey was not impressed. He was originally slated to help with the production, but left two weeks into the process. Though he claimed for a long time that he didn’t even watch it and was especially upset that they didn’t keep the viewpoint of Chief Bromden, his wife later said that he was glad the movie was made.

 I Am Legend – Richard Matheson has been annoyed with the adaptations of his book since 1964. The first one, The Last Man on Earth, starred Vincent Price. “I was disappointed in The Last Man on Earth, even though they more or less followed my story. I think Vincent Price, whom I love in every one of his pictures that I wrote, was miscast. I also felt the direction was kind of poor.” Another version, The Omega Man, starred Charlton Heston. “The Omega Man was so removed from my book that it didn’t even bother me,” Matheson said. And when I Am Legend starring Will Smith was announced, the author commented, “I don’t know why Hollywood is fascinated by my book when they never care to film it as I wrote it.” The most recent adaptation, by the way, completely changed Matheson’s ending because it didn’t test well with audiences.

Read the full text here:
–brought to you by mental_floss!


  1. I know lots of Lee Childs fans who *wish* he would repudiate the Jack Reacher movie…


    1. I agree with all those who would like to stick with the way Jack was written. Thanks for the visit and comment. – John


  2. I often like the book and movie versions for different reasons. Forcing directors and actors to follow a book to the letter would inhibit creative interpretation. Hey, John, I nominated you for the Very Inspirational Blog Award. Check it out here:


    1. Many thanks for the nomination. It is always an honor to be recognized by a fellow blogger. This is very true when the fellow blogger is as interesting as you. Since I already have the award I am not sure what to do. Also I like your point of view on creative interpretation. – John


  3. Thanks, John. 🙂 I wouldn’t worry about writing another blog post for the same award. It won’t bother me if you don’t. I’m just happy to share your website with the people who visit my blog.


  4. Very interesting article. I think Garcia Marquez didn’t like Love In Times of Cholera movie, but I don’t remember why. I didn’t like it either. In fact, I never liked a movie if I had read the book first.


    1. I agree. The beauty of books is the character development that is hard to match in a movie. Usually the actor personna gets in the way. Thanks for stopping by and the comment. – John


      1. It is my pleasure:)


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