This is one of my all-time favorite movies. It is one of the few favorite films that I list off of the top of my head when asked. Most people assume that it is based on a book, and that the book is what the grandfather reads in the film. A little bit of research and you’ll find that those people are only half right. It is based on a book of the same name, but the author, S. Morgenstern, doesn’t really exist. William Goldman wrote the book, which was published in 1973.
This is probably the first in a series of articles on the times that a movie has either been as good as the book, acted as a great complement to the book, or bested the book. This is the result of being tired of hearing the misconception that “the book is always better.” The truth is, it’s not. Sometimes the movie far exceeds the book in execution of the same story.
It could be that the filmmaker had a better vision for the story. It could be that the filmmaker is simply a better storyteller. It could be that the book just lends itself to also be great on film.
When I do my comparative analysis, I’m going to let you know whether I’ve read the book that the film is based on, and whether I read it before or after seeing the film, as all of these things have an effect on the results.