When I mentioned this on Twitter, Raych tweeted back saying, "I know, right? It's like the reverse of plagiarism, where they keep the content but change the title." I couldn't agree more! It's like there were two different plots, one for the book and one for the movie.
Here are a few of the things that happened in the movie, with my recollections of the book following:
- Moll is put out of her first home because she encourages the young ladies of the house to visit the poor neighborhoods, and while there they are assaulted and raped. (In the book, she has an affair with the young man of the family and I think she gets pregnant, and must leave the house.)
- She steps into the life of a prostitute willingly, is rescued by a man who falls in love with her, and eventually on her own again once he dies. (I don't remember for sure how it happened but she DID meet a man who loved her and they were happy together until his death.)
- The very first time she steals something it is almost an accident and she is captured right away. (Moll actually had a very successful career as a thief which lasted many years.)
- Her former evil Madame "rescues" her only to force her back into service as a whore and bring her to the Caribbean with her. (Moll had a pretty good relationship with her Madame and thought of her almost as a mother; and if I remember correctly, she moves to America of her own free will.)
- Moll has only one child, with the man she loved, and has promised never to abandon her. (Moll has LOTS of children and abandons just about all of them through the years.)
- When she is shipped off to the Caribbean, she is unable to get to her baby before the ship sails, and she is heartbroken. When the ship sinks, the Madame dies and she takes over her identity, living the high life in the Caribbean. Later she sends a friend to find her child and he does, although it takes years. They are reunited and live happily ever after. (I honestly don't remember how the book ends, but it is NOTHING like this ... nothing at all.)