jimdempsey at 2009-10-27 02:18:22:
Actually, Scott, what strikes me about this list of undoubtedly great movies is how many of them are books or short story adaptations - A Clockwork Orange, Forrest Gump, The Shawshank Redemption, Fight Club, Apocalypse Now, Double Indemnity, Trainspotting, Stand By Me, To Kill A Mockingbird, Lolita, Babe, A Christmas Story.
Maybe this also reflects how difficult it is to pack all the information from a book into a movie. A narrator really helps with that.
But as you point out they all make great use of the narrator; that voice has to add something extra to the story. And that's difficult to do too. So even if it is an adaptation, it's definitely not lazy writing, at least in these examples.