I’m Your Number One Fan: The Five Best Adaptations of Stephen King Novels

Sadism has a new name... Percy Wetmore.

I have always been a fan of Stephen King. Always. I’ve loved his books and everything he’s ever written. And thus, once a new film adaptation of one of his books is announced, I have nothing but excitement and caution for what I will see. Usually I like them, they’re often okay, sometimes mediocre and occasionally crap. So… I’ve decided to count down the my Top Five favourite King book big-screen adaptations.

Take a big guess at number one!

FIVE: Misery

When I think Kathy Bates, I think Annie Wilkes, don’t you? Well, I’m glad you didn’t say that when you think of her, you think of The Blind Side. That would’ve been sad. Nevertheless, her performance in Misery alongside James Caan is excellent and helps to make it a chilling thriller.

FOUR: Carrie

Brian De Palma succeeds triumphantly in bringing King’s first ever novel to the screen. Sissy Spacek stars strikingly as the lead, in a terrifyingly silent performance that nonetheless chills (particularly her frightening glare). Excellent.

THREE: The Shining

Visually stunning and almost completely flawless in skilful storytelling, Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s third novel is amazing and beautiful, like oh so many of both Kubrick and King’s (who have the same initials) work. I’m a sucker for films about gradual descents into madness due to alcoholism (wink-wink, The Lost Weekend) and this is certainly no exception.

TWO: The Green Mile

Frank Darabont’s hugely successful follow-up to 1994′s video-rental phenomenon The Shawshank Redemption almost matches it in greatness. This time, he uses the second greatest actor-narrator after Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks. Though there’s not a whole lot of narration in this, we can really feel that it’s Hanks’s character’s movie. A triumph in filmmaking and a simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking classic.

ONE: The Shawshank Redemption

Yes, we all knew this was coming. But let’s face it, it is the best. Freeman’s timeless narration (much more notable in March of the Penguins) never ceases to amaze, just as the great friendship chemistry between the two friends does. From the amazing helicopter shot of the prison to the unforgettable shot as the Warden rips the poster off the wall, the film is filled with spectacular moments. Easily the best prison film ever made, and a testament to the power of hope.

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About Tyler

Patient observer of all things film and music, from Béla Tarr to Boards of Canada. Foul mouthed and clinging to the edge of sanity.

Posted on February 13, 2011, in Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Great post, there is a film i’ve heard of called Dolores Clairbone based on a Stephen King book. If you’ve seen it what is your view?

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