Baz Lurhman's adaptation of "The Great Gatsby," which opens this Friday, could be the most satisfying version of the novel yet. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 masterwork has been made into a movie four other times -- the last being a 2000 TV production starring Paul Rudd -- and none have adequately met with fan approval. Of course, the first film, a silent picture from 1926, is entirely lost, and the loosely characterized 1949 take is hardly available. Still, neither was received that well anyway, perhaps because "Gatsby" is widely believed to be one of those classic books that's simply unadaptable.

Movies based on classic literature don't always have such an excuse, though. Many are just badly scripted. Others are miscast. A lot of the failures take too many liberties with beloved stories and characters. Below we've selected a number of examples of film adaptations that really disappointed both readers and moviegoers alike. Fortunately, failures like these can't do much damage to such treasured source material.

categories Movies