“Lord of the Rings” Tops “Harry Potter” in New Book to Film Poll

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Dec 05, 2007

Posted by SueTLC
Uncategorized

There was yet another poll released in the UK asking people to vote for their favorite film adaptation of a beloved book series. The winner of the poll was Peter Jackson’s adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, with the “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling coming in second place. This poll was sponsored by Lovefilm.com who asked 1,000 members to vote, with the website noting “It’s hard to recreate the magic of the page on the big screen but every title listed here has managed to do just that.Whether it’s escapism, adventure or romance – all the children’s book adaptations in this poll have a timeless appeal for kids and big kids.” The top ten films were:

  • 1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001 onwards) by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • 2. Harry Potter series (2001 onwards) by J.K. Rowling
  • 3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1971/2005) by Roald Dahl
  • 4. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (2005) by C.S.Lewis
  • 5. The Wizard of Oz (1939) by L. Frank Baum
  • 6. Mary Poppins (1964) by P.L. Travers
  • 7. The Railway Children (1970) by Edith Nesbit
  • 7. The Snowman (1982) by Raymond Briggs
  • 9. Matilda (1996) by Roald Dahl
  • 10. Alice in Wonderland (1951) by Lewis Carroll
  • Thanks Karen!





    64 Responses to “Lord of the Rings” Tops “Harry Potter” in New Book to Film Poll

    Avatar Image says:

    As much of a HP fan as I am, I agree that LOTR is a better book to film adaptation. I read the HP books more frequently than I do LOTR, but LOTR is a better movie.

    Avatar Image says:

    I completely agree with this, of course I am a hugehuge HP fan and have never read the LotR books, but the HP films are appalling and deserved to be beaten by the LotR movies.

    In HP’s case “Never judge a book by its movie”

    In LotR’s case, if the books are as good as the movies then theymust be great.

    Avatar Image says:

    “In LotR’s case, if the books are as good as the movies then theymust be great.”

    ACtually, much better. Though a more diffucult novel to read, LOTR is incredible.

    Overall, I agree with this list.

    Avatar Image says:

    I’ve never read 1 LOTR book, so I don’t know how faithful they are, but I found the movies to be absolutely boring.

    Avatar Image says:

    I don’t think people can argue against this really. I love HP but but we all know the films could be better.

    Avatar Image says:

    Of course. ;) Even though I personally am a humongous HP fan, I have to give it to LOTR for the movie category. I agree with LisaMarie- if the movies are that good, the books must be amazing (I’ve never read the books). ‘Ear ‘ear, Frodo!

    Avatar Image says:

    I’m ok with that. It tops MY poll! lol

    Avatar Image says:

    yeah, i’d agree. i do think the potter films are great, but i think the fact that lotr was filmed in one long stretch, and that they knew the ending of the story before even starting probably helped out a lot!

    Avatar Image says:

    This is a good topic to discuss, and yet to compare this two books and film is hard to come up with the right choice, but let not forget that HP is related with many kids so for the film are more weak, meanwhile LOR has more adult. Anyways I am sticking with HP I am a huge fan and It will stay that way.

    Avatar Image says:

    I’ve got no problems with the relative rankings of LOTR and Harry Potter, though I question LOTR’s inclusion as “children’s books”.

    I am surprised that Mary Poppins and Wizard of Oz scored as high as they did. They’re great movies, I love them both, but any resemblence to the books is purely accidental.

    Avatar Image says:

    Exactly, if it was a poll on the books I would DEFIANTLY argue that HP is better, but I couldn’t actually sit through OotP for the 2nd time and the LotR movies are great.

    Bravo LotR… maybe I should get around to reading the novels.

    Avatar Image says:

    I too agree and it seems unanimous that Lord of the Rings deserve that accolade. But it is delightful to see that most people also agree that the Harry Potter series are the second best book adapt ions. Of course there have been many terrific book adaptions many many decades ago such as Gone with the Wind, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations etc, but the older a film is, the more forgotten it will be. The Lord of The rings was phenomenal and has been the most breathtaking cinema experience I have ever had. The Harry Potters films are different – brilliant adaptations in their own right, but they already have my love from the books before I even go see the movies anyway which is like going to see my family fleshed out on screen.

    Avatar Image says:

    I think that the HP films are very good we all know that they are very elaborate as far as detail- I dont think that LOTR went into as many detour stories as HP does- so that is a consideration. But I think both franchises are equally good and Im happy LOTR did well and HP got 2nd. Besides the HP movies get better with every one they make!

    Avatar Image says:

    Well, absolutely, I think Gone with the Wind was the best book to movie. However, it’s not a children’s book and wasn’t on the list.

    I’ve said all along that LOTR movies are better than the HP ones. But as books go, I’d rank HP much higher than LOTR.

    I do have to agree with GadgetDon, though. I question LOTR being included on a list of children’s books. Most children I’ve talked to haven’t been able to read them on their own or relate to the characters. The movies weren’t really for children either.

    Avatar Image says:

    Hate to admit it but the LOTR films are better, mainly because of a much bigger budget. But for those who think Peter Jackson didn’t take liberties with the book to film adaptation HE DID. I’ve read LOTR and he left out huge chunks, and added things that were never in the books. He also cut out the last battle (of the Shire) at the end of ROTK. So although the films are better, the purists still hated it.

    Avatar Image says:

    Looks we’re in a love fest of agreement. LOTR was indeed a better adaptation of the books.

    The problem with adapting HP has been the number of subplots and characters vs the reasonable length of the movie. Too much cutting necessary to get it short enough. Especially with the length of all the books since POA. LOTR was three books of more or less equal length and a very linear plot. Almost like the books were written to made into movies, whereas Jo just let her imagination run. And I love it, but it doesn’t make for easy adaptation.

    I read “The Hobbit” and LOTR 40 odd years ago. I have always loved the story, and have re-read them a few times. OTOH, I’ve re-read HP many more times, looking for that “Oh! That’s what it was about!” moment. I still find them. Jo does that to you.

    Wish I had the cash to bid on “Beedle the Bard”...

    OMT

    Avatar Image says:

    LOTR are my favorite films of all time (equally good as the books in their own way, IMO). I think the Harry Potter movies have been going down hill after the first 2 (not that 3-5 are bad).

    Avatar Image says:

    This is too easy!

    I love the HP and LOTR books. But for me, the LOTR films were WONDERFUL; truly good films on many levels. I just don’t think the HP films are in the same class.

    BTW, thank you to those who mentioned Philip Pullman’s “Dark Materials” trilogy in previous threads. I just started reading “The Golden Compass”. WOW.

    Avatar Image says:

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Harry Potter is definitely the REAL winner!!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Avatar Image says:

    Peter Jackson took on this project (LOTR movies) in a way that most directors don’t. He took it on as a fan of the books, aiming to make this a great series of movies. Then he went back and added stuff to the last one, to make it even better. I agree, he did a better job with his movies than the HP movies have been, overall. I also think the Narnia movie was better than the HP movies.

    In general, plot changes were made in all of them, but I thought the choices they made of what to change and how to change it were more logical for LOTR and Narnia than for the HP books. Not explaining the Marauders is a big gaping hole, as was the Priori Incantatum in GOF. Can’t wait for Prince Caspian.

    Avatar Image says:

    I’m sure neither, particularly HP, would be up so high if they too this poll a decade or so from now, but LOTR is the stronger adaptation, especially of the first book. With the LOTR you really felt like they knew and loved the material. Warner Bros just treats HP like a cash machine. The scriptwriters for them have hardly been top-notch have they….

    Avatar Image says:

    LotR deservedly won in my opinion. They are my favourite films, and did a much better job with putting books into films than WB did with potter. I can watch the lotr films loads and loads of times, but HP i get bored. Lotr managed to keep in most of the important parts, but harry potter gets butchered in films.

    Avatar Image says:

    Also, I didn’t feel the LOTR left out exposition for the sake of trying not to be too long. HP just couldn’t be bothered with the details…. Hence, why LOTR has been nominated for Best Adaptation at Oscars and Baftas, and HP hasn’t…

    Avatar Image says:

    I agree with people who are saying that with HP it’s more about making money, and also that LOTR wasn’t afraid to make long films. Lotr had better acting as well as a sane scriptwriter.

    Avatar Image says:

    I wouldn’t say this anywhere else, but I think Peter Jackson’s movies are BETTER than the original books. An author whose name I forgot once said that the only fully fleshed out character in LOTR is Middle Earth itself. Peter Jackson went way beyond that. As for HP movies – it’s pretty standard. The movies can’t possibly be as good as the book!

    Avatar Image says:

    Both are really good, but they are opposites in this sense.

    Harry Potter: never judge a book by its movie. LOTR: never judge a movie by its book.

    I’m not saying that the book Lord of the Rings is bad, but it is rather clumsily written. Reading the battle scenes, for instance, was like reading a textbook. The Frodo-Gollum-Sam parts were the most interesting to read.

    I’m not saying that the Harry Potter movies are bad, but they could be better.

    So, in short, the Harry Potter books are better than the movies, and the Lord of the Rings movies are better than the books.

    Avatar Image says:

    Well, at least HP is second. It’s not really the writer’s/director’s faults that the films aren’t too good though. They can’t really fit everything from the books into the movies. And I suppose the films are more for children? [HP, I mean] Whereas LOTR is for all. My mum and my brother [aged 9] are obsessed with it, so that jsut proves how the age differs for LOTR.

    But if it was a case of which book, we’d all know which would win. ;]

    Avatar Image says:

    Oh absolutely. Was there ever a question?? Where LoTR positively had to be changed due to time constraints, the writers and Jackson knew the material SO well (having actually read the books, multiple times even!) that the changes were seamless. It shows what an adaptation can truly be when it’s not just cranked out assembly line style as fast as possible to capitalize on a popular book.

    Avatar Image says:

    I was 16 when I read LotR the first time which was 33 years ago. The LOTR stood the test of time as well. However, the HP series could do well to reinvent itself for the next two movies. While at times, the movie adaptation of LOTR was above phenomenal, it was also quite long and sometimes boring. I think it is time to go back to the beginning with HP and do the same thing with the last two books. It is so important to leave everyone with the enduring images of Harry, Hermione, Ron, the Weasley’s and Hagrid among so many others. I hope WB doesn’t forget that once this movie is done there is no second chance. These actors are the characters for millions. I hope they give them a chance to do an epic version of the last two books. Then, the comparison of the two will get closer.

    Avatar Image says:

    LotR wins that contest by a mile, never have there been such a well done book to movie, most of the time they just slap a book title on the movie and shove it in our face letting the book carry it. LotR is an epic, and it was put up on the screen in epic fashion, HP is a story, and they butcher it when it goes on the big screen.

    Avatar Image says:

    The lord of the rings-movies were actually better than the books, so yeah, it’s would be hard for Harry potter to top that.

    Avatar Image says:

    no kidding, but, why are these all children’s/young adult books? there are plenty of good beloved “grown-up” adaptations…

    Avatar Image says:

    Whuut? How are the Potter films on the #2 spot? That’s insane! Especially when it comes to the 1971 version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mary Poppins, and Matilda. That’s just nuts.

    Avatar Image says:

    No doubt the LOTR films are better; they had the best director. The only HP director in Peter Jackson’s league is Alfonso Cuaron.

    Avatar Image says:

    Harry Potter is good and all… but the films don’t hold a candle to the LOTR trilogy. The books are way better, of course, but the LOTR films are actually amazing.

    LOTR totally deserved that one :)

    Avatar Image says:

    Well, just for balance, I should say that I have not read LOTR and was sufficiently bored by the LOTR-1 movie to walk out on it somewhere past the halfway point. When I saw HP-1 I had not yet read the book and I found the film very engrossing although, starting about half-way through, it became very hard to follow.

    Avatar Image says:

    Well it all comes down to the lova and care that PJ had for the Lord of the Rings. He wanted to make BOTH the film and the DVDs (extended and cinema) the best they could be.

    If only Warners cared as much about the fans, the source material and the films as did PJ and New Line.

    It would have made them more money and the fans much happier.

    Avatar Image says:

    I agree about Lord of the Rings, simply because the care of the details in those movies is fabulous, but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ranks number 3, above Narnia?! I find that hard to accept.

    Avatar Image says:

    If they’d waited a bit, I have a feeling Golden Compass would be up there too. It looks like ‘new’ and ‘big budget’ were major factors here. So far I think Golden Compass is going to be a very good movie, but that’s just from the cast and seeing a flashy trailer. So the “oooh shiny” factor is pretty high; sounds like it’d place on this poll.

    Avatar Image says:

    “I think that the HP films are very good we all know that they are very elaborate as far as detail- I dont think that LOTR went into as many detour stories as HP does- so that is a consideration.” -Bellasnape

    I completely disagree with almost every part of this statement. I agree that the HP films are good, but I don’t know how it could be said that the HP films are “elaborate as far as detail” if anything that’s their biggest flaw! In the LOTR it was all about Frodo and the ring, but I can think of about 5 other sub-plots that the LOTR films go into with tons of detail. I’ve read both and watched both and am an obsessive fan of both and I think that the HP books are better than the LOTR books, but that the LOTR movies blow the HP movies out of the water.

    Avatar Image says:

    Well, I’d vote for LOTR. I’m surprise so many people here agree, I forgot I was reading Leaky and was expecting something like “zomg no wayyy u guysss, HaRrY PoTtEr FTW!!11”. Here’s to the amazing people of TLC.

    Avatar Image says:

    LOTR is so incredibly boring, I don’t see how people can follow the movies, especially the books.

    Avatar Image says:

    I too agree that LOTR is a better adaptation than HP. I don’t know the original book, but “The Snowman” (#8)is one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen.

    Avatar Image says:

    Possibly off topic now (I’ve already given my views on LOTR in previous comments, twice, so won’t repeat them), but as we’re talking book adaptations…

    I just wondered if anyone had seen the Golden Compass film yet? I’m wondering whether to risk it. Very mixed reviews but maybe the film just reflects the books rather than being a bad film as such? I have hated every Pullman novel I tried to read with a vengeance. They have all left me feeling exactly as some reviewers of this new film have felt; poor storytelling, poor characterisation, coldness and superficiality, lack of suspense, problems and mysteries too easily solved etc. But I haven’t read His Dark Materials.

    Has anyone who’s read the books and liked them seen the film and liked/not liked it?

    Has anyone who’s read the books and NOT liked them liked the film?

    Avatar Image says:

    I kinda agree. The LOTR films are a wonderful adaptation; they’re better than the books (well, to me they are well-balanced in great acting and entertainment and astonishing effects). Whereas with HP, the films aren’t as good as the books, but arguably they do bring the vision of the story to life and the basics are understood.

    Avatar Image says:

    Well, everyone else has said it, and I totally agree that the LotR movies are better than the HP ones. In fact, I’ve often said that 20-30 years from now I would love to see HP get “the LotR treatment”. (Of course, I’m also a complete heretic and think that the LotR books are better too ::runs to bomb shelter::) In my defense, I think JKR is better at characterization, but I just love the way LotR feels like it is the quintessential epic story of some long-lost society translated from an ancient text.

    As for “The Golden Compass”, I liked the books (although I agree that sometimes problems are wrapped up a bit too neatly), and I just saw the movie this afternoon and liked it as well. All weakness of the film were more weaknesses of adaptation than anything (especially since it seems they decided to push the last 3 chapters to the next film :/) I haven’t read any of Pullman’s non-HDM books, so I can’t really compare to your experience, although, I can say it did take me two years to get past the first chapter of The Golden Compass.

    Avatar Image says:

    I agree. The HP films may be more succesful, but I feel that the Lord Of The Rings isn’t afraid to take that huge a book and put it into a 3 hour movie- they trust that the material will attract the veiwers, whereas Harry Potter made a 800 page book hardly 2 hours. LOTR took time to develope characters and plots while Harry Potter is like a public bus. Pick it up and move on, no looking back.

    Avatar Image says:

    I’ll agree that it is quite apparent that the director of the Lord of the Rings movies was a fan and that the HP movies somewhat suffered from changing directors. I hope for that reason Yates stays on through the end. Anyway, I still have to say that I prefer the HP series in both book and movie format. I slept through the second lotr movie and never read through the lotr triology as quickly as the HP series and there are seven books!

    Avatar Image says:

    I a very surprised on this, I would say both are equal, but considering HP is the here and now and LotR is a yesterday Movie, I would think it would take the top spot. I would like to see a Poll done on this with just a random sampling of the population, rather than just a 1000 Members of Lovefilm.com.

    John B.

    Avatar Image says:

    Gotta agree with this- LOTR is an amazing film adaptation. It’s probably one of the best I’ve EVER seen. Harry Potter would be much further down the list as a film adaptation, for me, but that isn’t to say I don’t enjoy the HP movies also.

    Avatar Image says:

    As much as I enjoy the Potter films, the LotR movie trilogy represents a better adaptation of the books. Jackson is a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world and that love and respect is evident in every frame of his films. While I’ve no doubt that those behind the Potter films respect the source material, it is for them, ultimately, a money making proposition. For Jackson it was a labor of love.

    Avatar Image says:

    I’ve tried to read LOTR a few times and never been able to get past the first few pages! Consequently I haven’t bothered with the films either but I might give them a whirl on the back of the comments here. If I enjoy them then I’ll give the books another try! I’m really excited that my email about this poll was picked up by Sue though!!

    Avatar Image says:

    Got to agree about the adaptations of LOTR being better than HP, but I’ve always thought that it’s largely because Peter Jackson has such a great love and understanding of what’s important in the source material.

    Also – loving that The Railway Children makes this list!

    Avatar Image says:

    I add my hat to the ring of those who agree on LotR’s 1st place position. However, I’ve anticipated the HP adaptions just as much and repeat-watched them at least as much as LotR. I do think that the material in Harry Potter could support much better story lines in the movies than writer/directors took advantage of. I think one factor that helped LotR adaptors is that they did not have to focus on it being a “kid-friendly” movie in the first ones at least. As an aside, if HP DVDs could even approach the wonderful-ness of LotR 4-disc extended versions with multiple commentaries, we fans would be eternally grateful!

    Avatar Image says:

    LOTR may have a better book to movie adaptation, but I agree with celia, HP IS WAY BETTER!!!!!

    Avatar Image says:

    I thought people would want my head for saying that while the films done for LOTR trilogy were better film adaptations I feel the Harry Potter series of books are better literature. I didn’t think so until I read the 5th book, but I would say that JKR got the balance between detail, movement, and realism (that balance is one of the most important things when writing fantasy, sci-fi, or any other post-modern genre) better than JRR.

    It seems that most of you feel that way too. And I don’t necessarily think that things would’ve been much better if they got Peter Jackson to do the HP movies. They might have been long enough to actually tell the whole story properly or at least to see through plot points that were already started but he still couldn’t include everything. Because of the integration of plot points and themes through the whole series (whereas LOTR was a bit more of a linear journey), it’s a hard adaptation for anyone to handle. I still wish Terry Gilliam could’ve made the movies. He could definitely handle the first person perspective (as well as playing with time) better than any other filmmaker.

    Avatar Image says:

    thanks for your Golden Compass opinions Alexa. I’ll have to try and read a few chapters sometime just to see. His Dark Materials trilogy is meant to be Pullman’s best work, and maybe they work better because they are complete fantasy so he can get away without too much research (though JK’s research for her HP world is superb).

    The three Pullman books I have read before are adventures set in the real world; two of a series set in Victorian times and one present day, so that is where they needed, and showed their lack of, research.

    One was adapted by the BBC and featured Julie Walters and Billie Piper. It was called Ruby in the Smoke. Good acting and a good adaptation, but rubbish storytelling and characterisation, exactly as it was like in the book.

    Avatar Image says:

    I agree with the poll and nearly everyone here that Lord of the Rings is the better film adaptation. Peter Jackson took a series that for decades was thought to be impossible to adapt to film… and made three brilliant masterpieces! I’ve never had so much fun picking apart each individual scene for information as I have with Lord of the Rings. It’s emotionally draining to watch, but I think it’s fantastic that a movie has the ability to evoke that much emotion in the first place. LOTR is the very definition of “epic.”

    Harry Potter is wonderful to watch as well, and Hogwarts is GORGEOUS, but it never seems to completely capture the brilliance and magic of the books. The first movie came the closest (for me, anyway), but since then I’ve continuously felt like something is getting lost in the translation. Not that I can’t watch them countless times anyway. ;)

    Avatar Image says:

    I’ve read LOTR, Harry Potter (of course), and Matilda. I agree with LOTR being #1. I would give Matilda #2. It’s one of my favorite movies. I watch it whenever it comes on.

    I’ve been disappointed in the HP movies… Especially POA.

    Avatar Image says:

    I hated the Lord of the Rings Book and Movie. I hated the book because it described every little molecule of the place. I hated the Movie becuase a very tragic event happened during the first time I was watching it. I DISAGREE with this stupid pole more then Voldemort wanted Harry Potter dead. Down with Lord of the Ring UP with Harry Potter!

    Avatar Image says:

    I never liked Tolkien until I saw the LotR movies. Although I normally love fantasy books, the LotR series was just too dense and full of boring descriptions of races and locations. As a film, the movie makers were able to show all of that instead of describe it for pages on end. Although I like the HP movies, LotR is MUCH better as a movie. Hopefully, in the future, the Harry Potter books will be re-done with the love and length of the LotR films.

    BTW, I saw Golden Compass last week and I enjoyed it, but I don’t think it was a very good adaptation. Aside from making it more “religion friendly” to appease a wider audience, the plot moved along much too quickly. If I hadn’t read the series before, I think I would have been lost. Also, the cutting off of the ending made it a lot less powerful than it could have been. I highly recommend the books however. They are my favorite, right behind HP of course ;)

    Avatar Image says:

    I stick with what I said before, HP is a much better piece of literature than LOTR!

    Avatar Image says:

    I don’t blame them—

    the Movies aren’t very good at all.

    Avatar Image says: I agree with the poll 100%.I adore lord of the rings! books and movies.sure the books are a little harder to read but I love them.harry poter was okay but not all the rage.

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