DEBORAH CROMBIE: It's THRILLER WEEK here at Jungle Red! We have some great thriller writers coming up--Jeff Abbott, James Rollins, and Jon Land, so stay tuned.
And since we're talking thrillers, and all these authors' books are certainly candidates for movies, I thought it would be fun to think about what thrillers HAVE made the best translation into film.
Although I write very talky books with only the occasional action scene, I freely admit to being an action movie junkie. I love spies and suspense and chase scenes and, honestly, things blowing up. All these things seem so much easier to do on film than on the page, so my hat is off to those of you who write them well.
My fave books-to-movies choice is easy. BOURNE, BOURNE, AND BOURNE. I think I'm cheating a bit, because I haven't read the Robert Ludlum books in years, so I can't honestly make a comparison as to how well the stories translated from medium to medium. (I suspect that the movies are considerably better than the books...) But I'm so geeky about these movies that I've not only watched them multiple times, I've seen all the extras, AND I love the director's commentaries. I think this is my frustrated film-maker persona coming out. (Of course it has nothing to do with Matt Damon....)
And you can bet I'll be in the theater in August to see THE BOURNE LEGACY. I do like Jeremy Renner, so am trying to keep an open mind about Damon's absence.
What about you, REDS? What are your picks for thriller
movies based on books? And are there any must-sees on your list this
HALLIE EPHRON: Tip top of my list: SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, based on Thomas Harris's novel by the same name. It's brilliantly structured, you can't look away; it's got humor and soul and a brilliant title that resonates throughout. Could there be a more memorable villain than the charming Hannibal Lecter? Or a more vulnerable hero than Jodie Foster's as the flinty former farm girl, bent on proving herself, Clarice Starling. Could Harris name characters of what?
Based on a Philip K Dick novel, I love-love-loved TOTAL RECALL. Made me a permanent Arnold fan until, well, you know. I see a remake with Colin Farrell is coming out in August. Definitely a must-see on the big screen.
RHYS BOWEN: I'm not a big action-movie fan, but I still remember THE DAY OF THE CONDOR, (the book was called Three Days of the Condor, but one has to compress things for movies). Also THE IPCRESS FILE with a young Michael Caine. Maybe I just like gorgeous blond men!
LUCY BURDETTE: I admit, I'm a wuss--much much more likely to go see a romantic comedy than a thriller. I really don't enjoy being scared. (I suppose that's strange for a mystery writer!) Could not go to see SILENCE OF THE LAMBS...I did think the adaptation of Harlan Coben's TELL NO ONE made an excellent movie--though the French probably helped! And Hallie, I think they did an excellent job of making AND BABY WILL FALL from your NEVER TELL A LIE. Obviously, as a movie they couldn't replicate the nuances from the book, but the concept was well done, don't you think?
HANK PHILLIPI RYAN: Oh, if you haven't seen it, go back and find DAY OF THE JACKAL. The real one, with Edward Fox, not the doepy one with Tom Cruise. It is--fantastic, perfectly done, and the suspense is incredible. You KNOW that the assassin WILL not succeed. You know it from moment one. And yet you STILL think--Maaayyybeeeee this time it'll work. And you are rooting for the bad guy! The whole way! I've seen it a million times and I am still mesmerized.
Runners up--THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR. (Which is based on the iconic James Grady's Six Days of the Condor. That they cut it to three always makes me laugh.) Robert Redford as the original "everyman" whose jb is to read books for the CIA to see if there are any plots the spooks could use...and is literally out ot lunch when the bad guys come. Faye Dunaway has one of the best lines ever--anyone remember? And it ends brilliantly ambiguously.
I love thrillers. Oh--EYE OF THE NEEDLE. And does A FEW GOOD MEN count? Oh, and THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE. (The old one.) And AIR FORCE ONE. DIEHARD! The one in National airport. Oh, my favorite kind of movie. Okay, I'm stopping now.
DEBS: Okay, I'm making my summer (um, make that post manuscript) movie list. Some of these I haven't seen, some I'd forgotten and would love to watch again. Hallie, I actually like MANHUNTER, the adaptation of Thomas Harris's novel Red Dragon, better than Silence of the Lambs. But neither Harris nor William Peterson were famous when it was released, so it didn't get much notice then. A cult classic now, just brilliant.
Loved THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, but never read the novel on which it was based. Books to add to the list, too.
Ooh, and Hank, now I have to watch THE DAY OF THE JACKAL again! And THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR because I don't remember Faye Dunaway's line!!!!
What about you, readers? Did we leave out any of your faves?
And what are you going to see this summer?