The Golden Compass: Movie vs Book

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The Golden Compass: Movie vs Book

2008-01-13: Updated: Thanks to the comment from Rach who made me look into the real title of the book. I mentioned earlier that it was change from Northern Lights into The Golden Compass when it became a movie. This I found out is not correct, I went to the authors website (Philip Pullman) and interesting enough, the page for His Darkest Materials does list the first book as “Northern Lights” but when it was released in the US it was under the name “The Golden Compass”.

This is not a review nor does it contain any spoilers.

The Golden Compass (IMDb) (Trailers)

Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Amazon.de

I wanted to see The Golden Compass ever since I saw the very first trailer and I finally got around to watch it yesterday. I had already read the book in December 2007 and have now realized that that was a bad idea. Don’t get me wrong, the movie is good, some might even say great but the book is just so much beyond the movie.

One thing to keep in mind is that the book was rewritten/changed so it fits better to the big screen. This is also reflected in the name change from “Northern Lights” to “The Golden Compass” so maybe it is unfair to expect the movie to follow the book 100%.

This happens to most books that make it to the cinema; even Lord of The Rings had changes but none that I found disturbing. In Golden Compass it sometimes feels a bit like that things just happens without any explanation which is way better described in the book. It even ended earlier than in the book but maybe this makes sense when considering the next 2 movies.

The movie lasts 113 minutes so this would also be a reason that parts weren’t included. Maybe there will be a special Directors Cut on DVD. About getting the movie on DVD, I will consider it, also so the kids can get a chance to watch it but they are too young to understand it now.

So in case you are considering to watching movie then I recommend you do so; BUT do it before you read the book.

Time for me to order the other books and get them read before the movie continues. Oh, yeah, I’m doing the same mistake again but waiting for the movie is just out of the question for me.

6 thoughts on “The Golden Compass: Movie vs Book

  1. Of the 10+ people I know that have seen it, you’re the only one who said it wasn’t complete rubbish. ;)

  2. I got bad reviews from my friends about this movie and I haven’t watched it till now.
    But seeing your post, I’m now tempted to view it on DVD ;)

    – Wakish –

  3. strange.. i had never heard the title “Northern Lights” until just now! I read the books about 7 years ago and the first was called “The Golden Compass” then. Maybe Golden Compass is just the American title or something!

  4. Well I read the 3 books a long time ago and again you didn’t care listening to me when I told you those books where brilliant.

    I was really looking forward to see this movie and I think it was really cool. After I saw the movie I started to re-read the first book but I’ve got such a big problem doing it since I keep remembering the movie. I think I’d better just wait a month or two before I resume reading it.

    But of the three books I don’t think the first one is the best. I liked “The subtle Knife” but “The Amber Spyglass” is bigger and it is a good 3rd book. Can’t wait to see the movie.

    Next book series that I seriusly want to see as a movie is the “Saga of the Exiles” followed up by “The Galactic Milieu” triology.

    After those 6 movies they should be ready to produce some quality Sci-Fi Mechwarrior movies. Oh and sorry for jumping a bit but M$ finally sold the FASA rights they bought a few years back. So now we might see a MMO Mechwarrior game. I’d soooooo love that.

  5. Here in Brasil the book is also the golden compass. i also read about 7 years ago, and i must say, the movie is horrible, nothing like the book, i regret watching it, was better off reading again

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