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7 Classic Novels We’d Love to See in 3D

For me, the new 3D version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece The Great Gatsby was a lot bigger and shinier than it needed to be. All that whiz-bang technology to show a bunch of shirts floating through the air? Here are some timeless tomes that would actually benefit from the 3D treatment.

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Mary Shelley’s nightmare has been filmed dozens of times, and there’s actually a 3D version of the graphic novel I, Frankenstein scheduled for release in January 2014. But the new film is set in some kind of post-apocalyptic present, so, later for that. What will really draw the fans is a 3D rendering of the classic Frankenstein monster, that green, bolt-necked behemoth, jolted into life by a great stab of lightning, then stomping off on a rampage across the countryside until, finally, he is hunted down by a mob of torch bearing locals who burn him alive in a windmill.

Moby Dick

Call me Ishmael! Thanks to the 1956 version starring Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab, we know how great this story can look on the big screen. But add 3D and suddenly you’re roped to the back of the great beast yourself, right alongside that peg-legged maniac, racing across the ocean to your death, the salt-spray stinging your face.

Lord of the Flies

Proper English school boys, washed up on a deserted island after a plane crash, with no adults to guide them, gradually shed their civilized masks and devolve into warring tribes. First of all, in the 3D version we’ll have to see that plane go down. Other awesome 3D scenes: Hunting boars in the jungle with sharpened sticks; discovering the rotting corpse of the airline pilot dangling from a cliff in his parachute; and the tribe’s climactic, murderous pursuit of Ralph, the last civilized boy on the island.

Tarzan of the Apes

A no-brainer, for sure. Swinging through the jungle on vines? Check. Wrestling lions, crocodiles and other jungle beasts? Check. Diving off impossibly high cliffs into raging rivers? Check. Edgar Rice Burroughs must have dreamed in 3D.

The Call of the Wild

This harrowing tale of Buck, a family dog who is kidnapped from his cozy home, taken to the Klondike and forced to fight for his life in the harsh and heartless world of the far north, cries out for 3D. The story is a rich visual feast, from Buck’s vicious battles with the dogs and men who want to dominate him, to his heroic river rescue of John Thornton, the only human who treats him right, to the raw beauty of the Canadian wilderness.

The Old Man and the Sea

Here, 3D technology would put you right in the boat with Ernest Hemingway’s old Cuban fisherman as he sails alone deep into the Gulf Stream in search of his great fish. And when that giant marlin finally breaks the surface and soars into the air, well, it’ll be a hell of lot more exciting than a bunch of people stumbling around drunk at a party.

The Red Badge of Courage

It’s the battle sequences that will make Stephen Crane’s masterpiece a 3D classic. The true horror of the Civil War, America’s bloodiest conflict, will match and surpass anything in Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” (which was not 3D). And in the midst of all that carnage, the technology will put us side by side with Private Henry Fleming, Crane’s 18-year-old protagonist. He will run in fear from his first battle, but will return and redeem himself when he grabs the Union flag from a falling comrade and leads the charge.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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