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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Those Inspiring Voiceovers

Like many people, I've anticipated favorite books of mine being made into films. Who of you has ever done the opposite, i.e. watched a film and then been motivated to seek out the book it was based on?

Because books and film are among my favorite leisure activities, this happens to me fairly regularly. I clearly recall my reaction watching "The River Runs Through It" on its release in 1992. I was struck by the script all along, but as the movie drew to a close, the voiceover moved me to tears. I then paid close attention to the credits (I know - I'm a geek) and noted the source material was written by Norman Maclean. Although it took me almost 20 years, last year I finally read Maclean's novella/memoir. Although it had a little too much detail about flyfishing for this landlubber, it was otherwise excellent - an equal to my love of the film.

A few weeks ago, watching "The Shawshank Redemption" for the 2nd time, I decided to put aside my Stephen King snobbery and seek out his short story ("Rita Hayworth And..."). I just have to know if some of the wonderful narration (voiceover by the character named "Red", played by Morgan Freeman) was King's writing or the work of the screenwriter. What has been your experience with this? Did a subsequent reading of a novel live up to your experience of the film? Did you then continue with that author?

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