Suspense, Daphne du Maurier, and Ruining Literature with Film “Adaptations”

I recently judged a writing contest for the Kiss of Death Chapter of Romance Writers of America—which is partial to the suspense writings of Daphne Du Maurier (Rebecca, “The Birds,” etc.)—and the contest coordinator, Donnell Bell, asked me to pen a guest post for Five Scribes, the group blog to which she contributes.

The post went up yesterday; it’s on suspense and how I taught it to my eighth graders using Daphne du Maurier’s “The Birds” and Alfred Hitchcock’s film of the same name.  Check it out!

I'm not a fan of the film, but how awesome is this BIRDS Barbie?

Because I also touch on the idea of books versus movies—specifically calling out Kenneth Branagh’s 1994 abomination, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein—in the comments section, Bell asked me if there are any films I deem better than the books . . . I’m stumped.

Do you know of any?  I’m having trouble here . . .

Remember, in the book, when the Creature decapitates Elizabeth and Dr. Frankenstein attaches her head to another body? No?? Oh yeah - because that doesn't happen.

3 thoughts on “Suspense, Daphne du Maurier, and Ruining Literature with Film “Adaptations”

  1. I prefer reading the book also, but there was a movie that made me want to read the book that I hadn’t read before I saw the movie. It was “Under the Tuscan Sun.” I wanted to read to see what was left out of the movie. Seeing the movie first helped me to better visualize what Frances Mayes was describing in the book.

    • That brings to mind a whole other area – the novel that has been written *after* the movie has been successful. Although I don’t think that’s the case with Under the Tuscan Sun, that *does* happen.

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