Ricochet Movie Fight Club: Question 1

 

What is the best film portrayal of a book character?

The Rules:

  • Post your answer as a comment. Make it clear that this is your official answer, one per member.
  • Defend your answer in the comments and fight it out with other Ricochet member answers for the rest of the week.
  • Whoever gets the most likes on their official answer comment (and only that comment) by Friday night wins the fight.
  • The winner gets the honor of posting the next question on Saturday.

Notes:

  • Only movies will qualify (no TV shows) however films that air on television (BBC films, a stand alone mini-series) will qualify.
  • Your answer can be as off-the-wall or controversial as you’d like. It will be up to you to defend it and win people to your side.
  • Fight it out.

Ding! Ding!

Update:
We have a winner:

Charlotte with 18 likes for Alan Rickman’s portrayal of Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies.

Congratulations, Charlotte, you get to choose question #2.

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There are 174 comments.

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  1. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Vince Guerra: What is the best film portrayal of a book character?

    Not Frodo.

    But maybe Sam.

    • #1
  2. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Vince Guerra: What is the best film portrayal of a book character?

    Not Frodo.

    But maybe Sam.

    If you want to make Samwise Gamgee your official answer I’d do so before someone else steals him. 

    • #2
  3. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Vince, I’m contemplating my own answer, but I’m curious if you get to play too?

    • #3
  4. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Vince Guerra: What is the best film portrayal of a book character?

    Not Frodo.

    But maybe Sam.

    If you want to make Samwise Gamgee your official answer I’d do so before someone else steals him.

    I’m way too tired for answering that clearly. I’m going with maybe.

    • #4
  5. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Hmm, if you hadn’t taken TV series out of the running, I’d go with Chrisjen Avasarala from the series The Expanse, based on the books by James S.A. Corey… She dresses to kill and has balls of steel. I love her.

    • #5
  6. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Or maybe David Suchet’s portrayal of Hercule Poirot, in which the actor went so far as to put things in his pants and shoes to make him walk like Christie describes Poirot walking, with “little, mincing steps.” 

    But that’s a TV series again.

    • #6
  7. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    All right, I’m ready:

    Official Answer
    Charles Ryder, potrayed by Jeremy Irons, in Brideshead Revisited.

    Charles is a remarkably passive character — he almost never speaks, but he does react to things. And people react to him, at least the Marchmains do. As Lord Marchmain says, all his children always seem to be smitten with Charles.

    Irons portrays Charles from age 18 to 40-something, and is convincing at each age.

    As you can see in this clip, the character Anthony Blanche is also played perfectly, by Nickolas Grace:

    • #7
  8. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    Hannibal Lecter as portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Red Dragon.  

    If you have seen Manhunter, it’s the Michael Mann version of Red Dragon from the 80’s, and Brian Cox does a very good job with the Lecter character, but nothing could top Hopkins’ portrayal of Lecter. Silence of the Lambs was perfectly written, filmed, and edited but Hopkins’ delivery of Lecter’s lines is unsurpassed.

    • #8
  9. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Margaret Rutherford as Miss Jane Marple.

    • #9
  10. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    Alec Guinness as George Smiley in the BBC mini-series Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The series was a remarkable adaptation of LeCarre’s novel, and Guinness perfectly embodied the retired British spy.

    • #10
  11. B. W. Wooster Member
    B. W. Wooster
    @HenryV

    Hugh Laurie’s version of Bertie Wooster stands as comic genius.  He is a lovable imbecile who despite his Aunt’s best

    interest is saved by the inestimable Jeeves time and again.  Laurie plays it for all it’s worth with physical humor, dopey expressions and boatloads of British banter that only Wodehouse can produce.  When I’ve had a rough day, there is nothing better than a little escapism with Wooster & Jeeves.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXr4N51RsHA

    • #11
  12. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Alan Rickman as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies. His facial expressions, his gloriously menacing voice, the way he moved, his costume and wig — everything was the perfect embodiment of what had been in my mind’s eye from the books.

    Official answer.

     

    • #12
  13. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Songwriter (View Comment):

    Alec Guinness as George Smiley in the BBC mini-series Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The series was a remarkable adaptation of LeCarre’s novel, and Guinness perfectly embodied the retired British spy.

    I also thought of him in Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana.

    • #13
  14. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    B. W. Wooster (View Comment):

    Hugh Laurie’s version of Bertie Wooster stands as comic genius. He is a lovable imbecile who despite his Aunt’s best

    interest is saved by the inestimable Jeeves time and again. Laurie plays it for all it’s worth with physical humor, dopey expressions and boatloads of British banter that only Wodehouse can produce. When I’ve had a rough day, there is nothing better than a little escapism with Wooster & Jeeves.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXr4N51RsHA

    I agree with you but this is a TV series, not even a miniseries, and so I think according to the rules your answer does not qualify.

    • #14
  15. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Stad (View Comment):

    Margaret Rutherford as Miss Jane Marple.

    I’m going to argue against her.

    Agatha Christie’s book character is soft, filmy, seemingly dreamy. She is so unassuming and sweet in appearance that discovering her flinty distrust of human nature and unerring nose for murder is quite disconcerting.

    Margaret Rutherford was delightful as Marple, but she is not at all as the character is portrayed in the books. She is loud, she is forceful, she is eccentric. 

    • #15
  16. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Also @vinceguerra, nice work on your photo selection.

    If he dies, he dies.

     

    • #16
  17. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Official answer: Sean Connery as Marko Ramius in The Hunt for Red October.

    I’ll explain later.

    Editing:  OK, I’m back and able to explain.

    The Hunt for Red October is a great book by a great writer, Tom Clancy.  This was Clancy’s first book.  It introduced his main character Jack Ryan.  Both this book, and three others in the Ryan series, were made into movies.  There were many other fine books in the series.

    It’s a great movie, too, with a great cast.  I give the nod to Connery as the very best in the film, especially as he was actually the main character, I think.  Ramius was a Soviet submarine commander, who leads his crew to defect.  Alec Baldwin, playing Jack Ryan, is the American CIA analyst who figures out that Ramius is defecting, rather than going rogue.  Baldwin’s performance is pretty good.  In my opinion, there are better performances (than Baldwin, not than Connery) by James Earl Jones (the CIA deputy director James Greer) and Sam Neill (who plays Ramius’s second in command).  And Scott Glenn as the commander of the American sub, the Dallas.  And Richard Jordan — always a special favorite of mine, especially after playing Armistead in Gettysburg — as the national security advisor.

    Oh, and Fred Thompson playing the admiral commanding the American task force (from the Enterprise, I think).  And Tim Curry as the Soviet doctor, and Stellan Skarsgaard as Ramius’s protoge and commander of the Russian attack sub sent to hunt him down, and Joss Ackland as the Soviet ambassador.

    It even had Ned Vaughn as Seaman Beaumont, a relatively small role on the Dallas.  Ned used to be a Ricochet member, though I haven’t seen him here for a while.

    And Connery is a great actor, and I think that this is his best role.

    Come on, Cold Warriors!  This is one of the most pro-American movies of all time.  Ramius isn’t even a Russian — he’s Lithuanian, so he’s from one of the tiny countries conquered and oppressed by Stalin.

    You can vote for someone else’s choice, if you don’t love America.  :)

    • #17
  18. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Vince, I’m contemplating my own answer, but I’m curious if you get to play too?

    Yes, but I posted this at 1:00am AK time and I haven’t settled on my answer yet. Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter was my first thought so kuddos to @tex929rr.

    • #18
  19. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):
    Hmm, if you hadn’t taken TV series out of the running,

    I know, but we must draw the line somewhere. Were it not so I would have gone with Bethany Muir’s portrayal of Nancy in Dickensian (Amazon TV show). 

    The scene with her saying goodbye to Fagin (the last time they ever speak) is one of the best things I’ve watched in years. 

    • #19
  20. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth In Pride and Prejudice.  Playful but not giddy, pretty but not in a distracting film star way. She has an intelligent looking face and a twinkle in her eyes. Colin Firth put in a not too shabby performance opposite her too 

    • #20
  21. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):

    Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth In Pride and Prejudice. Playful but not giddy, pretty but not in a distracting film star way. She has an intelligent looking face and a twinkle in her eyes. Colin Firth put in a not too shabby performance opposite her too

    I was waiting for this. 

    • #21
  22. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):

    Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth In Pride and Prejudice. Playful but not giddy, pretty but not in a distracting film star way. She has an intelligent looking face and a twinkle in her eyes. Colin Firth put in a not too shabby performance opposite her too

    I was waiting for this.

    It’s due a re-watch in this house soon. Timeless.

    • #22
  23. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    The difficulty of this question is that I can’t like an answer involving a well-acted character based on a book I haven’t read. In most cases, I fear, I have only seen the film. 

    • #23
  24. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    The difficulty of this question is that I can’t like an answer involving a well-acted character based on a book I haven’t read. In most cases, I fear, I have only seen the film.

    It’s interesting in that some literary characters are drawn clearly enough that the movie casting seems wrong, even when the actor involved does a good job.  Robert Urich as Spenser, Alex Baldwin as Jack Ryan, or Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump were all well played characters but not at all like the picture in my mind after reading the books.

    • #24
  25. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    Honorable mention:  Russell Crowe as Bud White in L A Confidential.

    • #25
  26. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    I won’t argue for it, but have been told Russell Crowe well represents Captain Jack Aubrey in Master and Commander

    • #26
  27. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    Official Answer: Steven Waddington’s portrayal of Duncan Heyward in The Last of the Mohicans

    Major Heyward is an unimpressive character in the book. You only sort of root for him because he tries to rescue Alice (book version). In the film version he is much more complex. Waddington elevates this character and transforms him into a self-sacrificing hero, and though the screenwriters took heavy liberty with the character (something I despised with  Faramir), with Heyward it’s pure beauty, and still one of my favorite scenes in film history.

    • #27
  28. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    I won’t argue for it, but have been told Russell Crowe well represents Captain Jack Aubrey in Master and Commander.

     As someone who’s read all the books more than 5 times each, I can confirm that he does the predatory naval captain thing perfectly.

    • #28
  29. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    Official Answer: Steven Waddington’s portrayal of Duncan Heyward in The Last of the Mohicans

    Major Heyward is an unimpressive character in the book. You only tacitly root for him because he tries to rescue Alice (book version). In the film version he is much more complex. Waddington elevates this character and transforms him into a self-sacrificing hero, and though the screenwriters took heavy liberty with the character (something I despised with Faramir), with Heyward it’s pure beauty, and still one of my favorite scenes in film history.

    “I know we’ll be the most marvellous  couple in London.”

    • #29
  30. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    I’m going for Edward Petherbridge as Lord Peter Wimsey.  There were a bunch of dramatizations on “Mystery”, by PBS (I think they were originally BBC).  We have all the DVDs.  Petherbridge is simply the consummate Wimsey.  He gets all the mannerisms right, and even resembles what I thought Wimsey might actually look like.  I am a total Wimsey fan, and periodically we break out the DVDs to watch-they never get old.  I read all the Dorothy L. Sayers novels, and couldn’t help thinking of Peter Wimsey as a real person.  WWWD? I found myself asking this numerous times.

    For all you Wimsey fans out there, Jill Paton Walsh has written more Wimsey novels, carrying him through WWII and slightly beyond, and they are up to the Sayers standard.  Highly recommended.

    • #30
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