Friday, December 7, 2007

The Winner of the Movie Adaptation Poll Was a Tie…

Until I broke the tie by voting for The Shawshank Redemption, which was adapted from the book, Different Seasons about an innocent man sentenced to life that spends decades in an unjust penal system before escaping to Mexico. While incarcerated Andy meets and befriends Red another lifer who helps to make life somewhat bearable. As a movie it did not do well in the theaters upon release, but because of favorable reviews from the critics and its outstanding life on cable and DVD it is now considered one of the greatest movies of all time.

The Color Purple was tied with the Shawshank Redemption for most of the poll. I don’t know why I chose Shawshank over The Color Purple, in fact on another day I might well have chosen Alice Walker’s depiction of rural life at the turn of the 19th century when women were considered second class citizens with no rights and no say so over their life circumstances. The film was a testimony to the human spirit and what can be accomplished through sheer fortitude.

The Maltese Falcon and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Next tied for third place. The Maltese Falcon, John Huston’s 1941 noir stars Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, a hard-boiled San Francisco private eye who’s swept into an international murder plot when he makes the acquaintance of the beautiful Miss Wonderly -- who turns out to be a dangerous scoundrel herself. Mayhem and murder abound, and all because of a foot-high, jewel-encrusted statuette.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s is an adaptation of the 1962 novel of the same name by Ken Kesey. The movie was the first to win all five major Academy Award (Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director, and Screenplay) since It Happened One Night in 1934, an accomplishment not repeated until 1991, by The Silence of the Lambs. Jack Nicholson is excellent as McMurphy a recidivist with bizarre behavior who develops a kinship with fellow inmates in a psychiatric ward.

I had expected The Godfather to do better, but it came in last place along with The Outsiders. The Godfather is a 1972 crime film based on the novel of the same name by Mario Puzo and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The story spans ten years from late 1945 to 1955 and chronicles the life of the Corleone crime family. The Godfather was initially ranked as the third greatest film in American cinematic history (behind Citizen Kane and Casablanca) on AFI’s list of the best movies of all time. It has now been re-ranked number two under Citizen Kane, with number three being Casablanca.

The Outsiders is a novel by S. E. Hinton was written when she was 15 and published at the age of 18. The Outsiders is an account of a traumatic time in the life of fourteen-year-old Pony Boy Curtis. Hinton explores the themes of class conflict, brotherly love, friendship, and coming of age by following two rival gangs, the Greasers and the Socs (short for "Socials"), who are separated by socioeconomic status and political beliefs.

Shawshank Redemption 33 %

The Color Purple 25 %

The Maltese Falcon 14 %

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest 14 %

The Godfather 7 %

The Outsiders 7 %


Barbara (aka Layla) said...

Its one of my top favorite movies of all time. All these movies are good ones!

Malcolm: said...

Because I have heard you talk so fondly of "The Color Purple", I am surprised that you broke the tie the way you did. It makes me want to watch "Shawshank" again because it's been awhile.

My guess is that "The Godfather" didn't do better in the poll because you have more female readers on your blog than male. Although I know there are women who like "The Godfather", its fan base is most likely male dominated.

I would love to meet the other person (besides me) who voted for "The Maltese Falcon". I thought for sure I would be the only one to vote for it.

pjazzypar said...

barbara (aka layla),

Each one of these films are excellent and depending on whose voting any of them could have won the poll.


I know, I even surprise myself at times. The key was the word adaptation, meaning which one followed the book and became a great film. If you ever read "The Color Purple" you would know that Spielberg made a big extravaganza out of a very small book, and even then details that were in the book were not included in the film, for instance, Celie and Shug's relationship was much more intense in the book.

I think Morgan Freeman Jr. is the bomb. The on screen chemistry and camaraderie between He and Tim Robbins was exceptional and the movie plot was very close to the the author's conception.

You are probably right about "The Godfather" I know I am really not a fan of this genre of movie; however I cannot deny the acting ability of the performers. Truly an awesome cast.

I don't know who else voted for the "Maltese Falcon". May they will read this and reveal his or her self.