Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Book Adaptations

 

This week's TV theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is about book to show adaptations. In the past I've tried to go with adaptations where I read the source material, but this week I decided to pick three shows where I've never touched the book(s) they are based on. 


1) His Dark Materials -
I had never even heard of this series of books until the Golden Compass was made into a movie and church going folk freaked out. I never bothered with any of that, but the HBO show had a great cast so I gave it a watch and I'm glad I did. I especially loved the second season and am very invested. Sometimes I have a bit of trouble following the "politics" of the show, which likely makes sense to book readers, but I still enjoy it. 


2) The Queen's Gambit -
I don't think I know a single person that didn't watch this on Netflix. Anya Taylor-Joy was wonderful and the costumes are everything. I may or may not have bought a dress specifically because it reminded me of something she wore here. I'm terrible at chess, this show won't make me better, but I loved it. 


3) Unorthodox
- This one is technically based off a biography but this miniseries deserves more attention. It's only 4 episodes long and on Netflix and Shira Haas gives a tremendous performance. I wish I could've given her 10 Emmys for it. 



Comments

  1. I've heard of the first two and I know The Queen's Gambit is both very popular and highly regarded but I don't have either of the services they played on but perhaps I'll be able to catch up with the second some day, the first not so much. The last though new to me sounds interesting but I'm in the same boat as far as being able to see it.

    I've managed a theme within the theme this week; all biographical adaptations (I've read all three source books) starring Lee Remick, a huge favorite of mine. A major film star in the 60’s (The Days of Wine and Roses, Anatomy of a Murder) she moved between film (The Omen, The Europeans) and TV in the 70’s then focused almost exclusively on television in the 80’s becoming one of the queens of the miniseries genre until her 1991 death from cancer at only 55. She was Emmy nominated for this trio.

    Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill (1974)-Seven-part miniseries adaptation of the Ralph G. Martin biography of the same name. Following the life of American heiress Jennie Jerome (Lee) from her first teenage meeting with British aristocrat Randolph Churchill, their often rocky marriage, her rise in political circles both as Randolph’s wife and later the strong influence she exerted over son Winston while living a colorful and complicated life of her own.

    Haywire (1980)-Based on eldest daughter Brooke’s memoir this two-part miniseries details the complex, troubled and dysfunctional marriage and home life of stage and film star Margaret Sullavan (Lee) and super-agent Leland Hayward (Jason Robards Jr.) and their three children. Powerfully told but not a happy tale-between the couple they had 9 marriages (ironically Leland’s last wife (of 5) was the ex-wife of Winston Churchill’s son.) Margaret Sullavan and her two younger children died by their own hand. Henry Fonda was Maggie Sullavan’s first husband and the pair (and their children) remained close throughout her life-actress Bridget Fonda is named in memory of youngest daughter Bridget Hayward who was romantically involved with Peter Fonda at the time of her death.

    Nutcracker: Money, Murder, Madness (1987)-Three-part miniseries adapted from Shana Alexander’s true crime book about Frances Schreuder (Lee), an amoral and rapacious New York socialite who manipulated and dominated her sons, ultimately pushing one into madness and the other to murder her own father, multi-millionaire industrialist Franklin Bradshaw, for financial gain.

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    1. I like your theme within a theme! I haven't seen any of these picks, but Lee Remick was taken far too soon. I liked her work in The Omen.

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    2. Thanks! I've been a fan of hers since I was a kid and saw The Wheeler Dealers (a bright and fizzy comedy with James Garner) on the Saturday Matinee. Over time I found out that she equally expert in both comedy and drama. She made a lot of great films but I think a good starting place for you (outside The Omen) is The Days of Wine and Roses since you enjoy dark cinema and it is pitch black. Both she and Jack Lemmon were nominated for Oscars for their work in the film, a study of a couple destroyed by their addiction to alcohol.

      I'd also recommend Anatomy of a Murder, Wild River, Baby the Rain Must Fall, A Face in the Crowd (this was her screen debut and her role is smaller but it's a great, unfortunately very prescient picture), No Way to Treat a Lady, Experiment in Terror and a personal favorite-The Running Man which was directed by Carol Reed. It's a beautiful looking film (shot in Malaga) and both Lee and Alan Bates are at the peak of their respective attractiveness with a good story. However it was apparently a nightmare to make because of her other costar Laurence Harvey, a notoriously difficult performer. Afterward she would never discuss the film but was quoted as saying refused to discuss the problems but was quoted as saying "The tales I can tell of working with him are too horrendous to repeat."

      She has other good films but those are a good starting point!

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    3. Thanks for the recommendations! I'll make The Days of Wine and Roses my starting place. :)

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  2. I loved The Queen's Gambit but I haven't read the book which is why I didn't pick it.

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    1. I feel like the mini series covered so much, I don't have a desire to read the novel its based on.

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  3. I know of all these shows, but the only one I've seen any of is The Queen's Gambit. Mrs. Dell watched the whole season, but I only saw about half. Not that it wasn't good. I was just more drawn to all the other stuff I was trying to watch.

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    1. I get it. Highly recommend Unorthodox. It's a quick watch since it's only 4 episodes.

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  4. Cool picks! I still need to check out Unorthodox. But you can count me as someone who hasn't watched The Queen's Gambit. Only a couple of minutes of the first episode, and got bored. :/ I may have to try again soon.

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    1. Yes! You should definitely check out Unortodox at least.

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  5. yup...never heard of any of these...hahahaa. I suck at new shows

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  6. I haven't seen any of these yet The Queen's Gambit is the one I'm interested in seeing the most.

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  7. I've never watched The Queen's Gambit (sob) but I do plan on doing it eventually! I've been wanting to watch His Dark Materials as well.

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  8. I still haven't read His Dark Materials and I haven't watched the show yet, although I really liked the movie? From people that read the books though, I heard that the movie was a big miss haha I guess I'm going to watch the new version eventually. The cast seems great!

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    1. I never saw the movie so I can't compare either, but the show is good.

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  9. Yep, I'm yet to find someone who didn't watch The Queen's Gambit! I have to admit, I only watched it to see what the fuss was about because a show about chess sounded DULL. I was so happy to be proved wrong!

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    1. Oh I know, I'm awful at chess so that normally wouldn't grab my attention either, but I'm so glad it did.

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  10. I still need to watch the His Dark Materials adaptation - I'm soooo curious about that one!

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