Don Quixote of Paris, or Inverted Adaptations
I'm trying to think of adaptations (page to screen, page to stage, or any other) in which the adaptations does not merely alter some fundamental aspect of the original story, but indeed entirely inverts it.
Where this started: So Sunday Mrs. Prophet and I went to see the opera Don Quixote down here in Buenos Aires. We had a wonderful time marveling at the opera house and those within it, and by the fourth act really enjoyed the production as well.
But for the first twenty minutes, we both were simply shocked and dismayed. Because, as you probably remember, much of the action and humor of the book revolves around the fact that Quixote proclaims as his `beautiful beloved' a plain, coarse, peasant girl. Everyone else knows perfectly well that this woman is ugly, loose, ill-mannered and entirely undeserving of his title Dulcinea of Toboso. Yet Quixote composes endless love poems exalting her beauty, her refinement, and chasteness, while promising Sancho that he will share some part in her vast riches when Quixote has won her heart.
So we both a little, uh, surprised when the opera begins with Dulcinea, who is, in fact: rich, beautiful, chaste, and refined (though a bit mischievous). Apparently Jules-Émile-Frédéric Massenet, the silly Frenchmen who wrote the opera, had a favorite mezzo-soprano in mind for the part of Dulcinea, and it wouldn't do well to launch her career playing an ugly wench, would it? So he tidied up the part by inverting it.
Now there are plenty of lousy adaptations out there. But what others can you think of pull this kind of inversion?