THE MOVIE VERSION OF A SEPARATE PEACE
IS NOT LIKE THE BOOK by John Knowles
RECOMMENDED MOVIE: A Separate Peace (2004) starring J. Barton, Jacob Pitts, Toby Moore, Danny Swerdlow, and Hume Cronyn. Showtime.
WHAT’S IN THE BOOK THAT’S NOT IN THE MOVIE?
Gene’s trip to Devon as an adult, fight with Quackenbush, trip to Vermont, snowball fight, Maginot Lines, Chet Douglas, Bobby Zane, Mr. Prud’homme, Mr. Ludsbury, Mrs. Lepellier, Mr. Hadley, Phil Latham, Miss Windbag, Mr. and Mrs. Patch-Withers
WHAT’S IN THE MOVIE THAT’S NOT IN THE BOOK?
Opening flashback of the mock trial, the snail house, Leper dressed as Hitler, Finny’s sister Beth, the apple farmer, Leper’s gifts, Mr. and Mrs. Carmichael, Mr. Fitzwinkler, Leper’s hut in the woods, Gene’s academic rivalry with Brinker
WHAT’S THE SAME?
The tree, river, blitzball, pink shirt, school tie belt, bicycle trip to the beach, Finny’s accidents, Gene’s guilt, Leper’s Section 8 discharge, the beaver dam, apple picking, Winter Carnival, the mock trial, army troops on campus, World War II draft
THE MOVIE: SUMMARY
The following is a scene-by-scene comparison of the movie to the corresponding chapters in the book.
THE MOVIE: CHAPTER 1
Opening scene: A camera pans around a dormitory room at a private boys’ school one night in February 1943. (ERROR: The opening scene in the movie occurs in Chapter 11 of the book)
A flashback begins. (ACCURATE) Sixteen-year-old Gene arrives for the summer session at Devon, a private high school for boys in New Hampshire. (ACCRUATE) Gene’s voice is heard in the background saying he can’t believe that he made it to Devon, a school for rich kids. (ERROR: Not in the book) Gene opens the door to his dormitory room and meets his roommate Phineas (Finny) who is doing pushups. (ERROR: Not in the book) Finny asks Gene how tall he is and Gene says five foot nine. (ACCURATE) Finny disputes Gene’s height, saying Gene is five foot eight and a half. (ACCURATE) Finny asks Gene when his birthday is, and the boys discover their birthdays are in October a few days apart. (ERROR: Not in the book) Finny remarks that they are almost twins. (ERROR: Not in the book) Finny notices how neatly Gene has packed his suitcase. (ERROR: Not in the book)