Stephen King - on the Screen

Salem's Lot (1979)
Salem's Lot (1979)
Stephen King
Stephen King

“Good books don't give up all their secrets at once.”, "If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” (Stephen King)

Some quick facts: Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947. His first horror novel, Carrie, was published in 1974 and was a bestseller. King's next novel was Salem's Lot (1975) followed by The Shining (1977) all bestsellers.

Hollywood was soon knocking on his door, the first movie based on his work was Carrie (1976) directed by Brian de Palma, it was a hit and nominated for two Oscars. Many more novels and movie adaptations followed.

One of the most popular writers of all time Stephen King has won more than 50 literary awards, sold more than 350 million books worldwide and his estimated net worth is $400 million.

The following is a chronology of 40 of the best movie and TV adaptations with facts, ratings and poster art.

Carrie (1976) poster
Carrie (1976) poster

Carrie (1976) directed by Brian De Palma and starring Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt, Nancy Allen and John Travolta.

Both Spacek and Laurie were nominated for Oscar Awards.

Based on Stephen King's first novel published in 1974.

Tagline - If You've Got A Taste For Terror... Take Carrie To The Prom.

US Box Office - $33.8m

IMDB Rating 7.4

Salem's Lot (1979)
Salem's Lot (1979)
David Soul and James Mason in Salem's Lot (1979)
David Soul and James Mason in Salem's Lot (1979)
Reggie Nalder as Kurt Barlow in Salem's Lot (1979)
Reggie Nalder as Kurt Barlow in Salem's Lot (1979)


David Soul and James Mason in Salem's Lot (1979) directed by Tobe Hooper and also starring Bonnie Bedelia, Lance Kerwin, Lew Ayres and Reggie Nalder as Kurt Barlow. 184 mins.

Made for TV and a personal favourite of mine Salem's Lot was cut down to two hours and released in cinemas in Europe with some extra nastiness thrown in for good measure.

Kurt Barlow (Reggie Nalder) may well be the ugliest vampire ever to appear on screen, the stuff that nightmares are made of.

Nalder was previously best known as the assassin in Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956).

A sequel A Return to Salem's Lot was released in 1987 and was directed by Larry Cohen

IMDB rating 6.5.


The Shining (1980)
The Shining (1980)
The Shining (1980) poster
The Shining (1980) poster


"Wendy, darling, light of my life. I'm not gonna hurt ya. You didn't let me finish my sentence. I said, I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just going to bash your brains in."

The Shining (1980) directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Long, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson, Philip Stone and Joe Turkel. 146mins (119mins)

Hated by Stephen King and slammed by critics on it's release Kubrick's film is now regarded as a masterpiece of horror. Based on his 1977 novel.

US Box Office - $44m

IMDB rating - 8.5

Creepshow (1982) poster
Creepshow (1982) poster


Creepshow (1982) directed by George Romero and starring Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Fritz Weaver, Leslie Nielsen, E.G. Marshall, Ed Harris, Viveca Lindfors, Ted Danson and Stephen King as Jordy Verrill.

Screenplay by King, five tales of horror - Father's Day, The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill, Something to Tide You Over, The Crate and They're Creeping Up on You.

Inspired by the old E.C. Horror Comics of the 1950s.

US Box Office - $21m

IMDB rating - 6.6

Cujo (1983) poster
Cujo (1983) poster


Cujo (1983) directed by Lewis Teague and starring Dee Wallace, Christopher Stone and Ed Lauter. 93mins.

Who let the dog out?

Based on Stephen Kings 1981 novel.

US Box Office - $21.1m

IMDB rating - 5.8

The Dead Zone (1983)
The Dead Zone (1983)
The Dead Zone (1983) poster
The Dead Zone (1983) poster


The Dead Zone (1983) directed by David Cronenberg and starring Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, Anthony Zerbe and Martin Sheen. 103mins.

The movie takes place in the fictional town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of Stephen King's stories. Based on his 1979 novel.

US Box Office - $20.7m

IMDB rating - 7.3

Christine (1983)
Christine (1983)
Christine (1983) poster
Christine (1983) poster


Christine (1983) directed by John Carpenter and starring Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Robert Prosky and Harry Dean Stanton. 110mins.

John Carpenter's turn to direct a King story this one was about an evil 1958 Plymouth Fury named Christine.

Stephen King's novel was published earlier that year, 1983.

US Box Office - $21m

IMDB rating - 6.4

Children of the Corn (1984) poster
Children of the Corn (1984) poster


Children of the Corn (1984) directed by Fritz Kiersch and starring Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R.G. Armstrong, John Franklin and Courtney Gains. 92mins.

A cult of evil children terrorise a young couple.

Followed by seven sequels and a made-for-tv remake.

Based on Stephen King's short story included in the collection, Night Shift (1978)

US Box Office - $14.5m

IMDB rating - 5.3


Firestarter (1984) poster
Firestarter (1984) poster


Firestarter (1984) directed by Mark L. Lester and starring David Keith, Drew Barrymore, Freddie Jones, Heather Locklear, Martin Sheen, George C. Scott, Art Carney and Louise Fletcher. 114mins.

8 year old Charlene 'Charlie' McGee has pyrokinetic powers, where's Professor Xavier when you need him?

Based on Stephen King's novel first published in 1980.

US Box Office - $17m

IMDB rating - 5.8

Cat's Eye (1985) poster
Cat's Eye (1985) poster


Cat's Eye (1985) directed by Lewis Teague and starring Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Alan King, Kenneth McMillan, Robert Hays and Candy Clark. 94mins.

Screenplay by Stephen King based on his short stories Quitter's Inc, The Ledge and The General.

Christine the evil Plymouth Fury has a cameo nearly running over the cat, the cat is than chased by Cujo or a dog that looks like him and James Woods is watching The Dead Zone on TV, he remarks "Who writes this crap?"

US Box Office - $13m

IMDB rating - 6.0

Silver Bullet (1985) poster
Silver Bullet (1985) poster


Silver Bullet (1985) diirected by Daniel Attias and starring Gary Busey, Corey Haim, Everett McGill, Megan Follows and Terry O'Quinn. 95mins.

Based on the Stephen King novel Cycle of the Werewolf (1983)

An underrated horror mystery, one of the town folk is a murderous werewolf but who can it be?

US Box Office - $12.3m

IMDB rating - 6.0

Maximum Overdrive (1986) poster
Maximum Overdrive (1986) poster


Maximum Overdrive (1986) directed by Stephen King and starring Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith and John Short. 97mins.

Stephen King has a go at directing and makes a hash of it.

Based on his short story Trucks which is included in the collection Night Shift (1978).

The Earth passes through the tail of a comet and machines all over the world become homicidal.

US Box Office - $7.4m

IMDB rating - 4.9

Stand By Me (1986)
Stand By Me (1986)
Stand By Me (1986) poster
Stand By Me (1986) poster

Stand By Me (1986) directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton. River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O' Connell, Keifer Sutherland and Richard Dreyfuss. 89mins.

One of the highest rated Stephen King adaptations and based on his short story The Body included in the collection Different Seasons (1982).

The first of the Stephen King movies not to feature a supernatural setting. Shawshank prison gets a mention, the story "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" is among the loosely connected stories in the collection.

The screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award.

US Box Office - $52.2m

IMDB rating - 8.1

Creepshow 2 (1987) poster
Creepshow 2 (1987) poster



Creepshow 2 (1987) directed by Michael Gornick and starring Tom Savini, George Kennedy, Lois Chiles and Dorothy Lamour. 92mins.

Three horror tales by Stephen King - Old Chief Wood'nhead, The Raft and The Hitchhiker.

Tagline - When The Curtain Goes Up, The Terror Begins!

US Box Office - $14m

IMDB rating - 5.5

The Running Man (1987)
The Running Man (1987)
The Running Man (1987) poster
The Running Man (1987) poster


The Running Man (1987) directed by Paul Michael Glaser and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura and Richard Dawson. 101mins.

Stephen King wrote the novel in 1982 under the pseudonym Richard Bachman.

Set in the year 2019, a familiar year for sci-fi fans the year of Akira, Blade Runner, The Island, and Daybreakers. Convicted criminals run and fight for their lives on Live TV.

US Box Office - $38.1m

IMDB rating - 6.5

Stephen King cameos as a minister in Pet Sematary (1989)
Stephen King cameos as a minister in Pet Sematary (1989)
Pet Sematary (1989) poster
Pet Sematary (1989) poster


Pet Sematary (1989) directed by Mary Lambert and starring Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, Fred Gwynne, Brad Greenquist and Miko Hughes. 103mins.

Based on Stephen King's novel published in 1983. Nominated for a Saturn Award - Best Horror Film.

Miko Hughes may be the big screen's youngest horror star at just 27 months of age.

US Box Office - $57.4m

IMDB rating - 6.3

Graveyard Shift (1990) poster
Graveyard Shift (1990) poster


Graveyard Shift (1990) directed by Ralph Singleton and starring David Andrews, Kelly Wolf, Stephen Macht, Andrew Divoff and Brad Dourif. 89mins.

Workers at an old mill are attacked by vicious mutant rats.

Based on Stephen King's short story included in the collection, Nightshift (1978).

US Box Office - $11.5m

IMDB rating - 4.2

Stephen King's It (1990)
Stephen King's It (1990)

Stephen King's It (1990) directed by Tommy Lee Wallace and starring Tim Curry, Harry Anderson, Dennis Christopher, Richard Masur, Annette O' Toole, John Ritter and Richard Thomas. 192mins.

A two part made for TV movie based on King's 1100 page novel published in 1986.

People with a phobia of clowns should probably stay away from this one.

IMDB rating - 6.8.

Misery (1990) poster
Misery (1990) poster


Misery (1990) directed by Rob Reiner and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen and Lauren Bacall. 107mins.

Kathy Bates won a Best Actress Oscar for her role as Annie Wilkes the deranged fan of author Paul Sheldon expertly played by James Caan.

Based on Stephen King's 1987 novel which was also adapted as a play.

US Box Office - $61.2m

IMDB rating - 7.8

Sometimes They Come Back (1991) poster
Sometimes They Come Back (1991) poster


Sometimes They Come Back (1991) directed by Tom McLoughlin and starring Tim Matheson, Brooke Adams, Robert Rusler, Chris Demetral and William Sanderson. 97mins.

Made for TV movie based on Stephen King's short story which is included in the collection, Night Shift (1978).

A man and his family return to his hometown and is terrorised by a gang of youths who it turns out had died in a car accident while attacking him when he was a kid.

IMDB rating - 5.4

The Lawnmower Man (1992)
The Lawnmower Man (1992)
The Lawnmower Man (1992) poster
The Lawnmower Man (1992) poster


The Lawnmower Man (1992) directed by Brett Leonard and starring Jeff Fahey, Pierce Brosnan, Jenny Wright and Geoffrey Lewis. 107m

The script had so little in common with Stephen King's 1975 short story he sued to get his name off the credits.

The directors cut is 140mins long.

The now dated CGI effects in the virtual world were cutting edge at the time, they took eight months to complete and cost $500,000 for about 10 minutes worth of CG.

US Box office - $32m

IMDB rating - 5.1


Alice Krige in Sleepwalkers (1992)
Alice Krige in Sleepwalkers (1992)
Brian Krause in Sleepwalkers (1992)
Brian Krause in Sleepwalkers (1992)


Sleepwalkers (1992) directed by Mick Garris and starring Brian Krause, Madchen Amick, Alice Krige and Ron Perlman. 91mins.

Krige and Krause play mother and son shapeshifting creatures with a fear of cats. Star Trek fans will remember Krige as the Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Contact (1996).

An original screenplay by Stephen King based on an unpublished story.

The film features cameos from Mark Hamill, Joe Dante, John Landis, Tobe Hooper and Stephen King.

US Box Office - $30.5m

IMDB rating - 4.7


The Dark Half (1993) poster
The Dark Half (1993) poster


The Dark Half (1993) directed by George Romero and starring Timothy Hutton, Amy Madigan, Michael Rooker, Julie Harris and Robert Joy. 122mins.

A writer's alter ego turns psycho and goes on a killing spree. Hitchcock would have enjoyed the scene where thousands of sparrows attack (the sparrows were played by finches).

Screenplay by Romero based on Stephen King's 1989 novel.

US Box Office - $10.6m

IMDB rating - 5.8

Needful Things (1993) poster
Needful Things (1993) poster


Needful Things (1993) directed by Fraser Clarke Heston and starring Max Von Sydow, Ed Harris, Bonnie Bedelia, Amanda Plummer and J.T. Walsh. 120mins.

Based on Stephen King's 1991 novel. A mysterious old gentleman, Leland Gaunt (Sydow) opens a shop called Needful Things in the town of Castle Rock. The shop seems to stock everything a person desires but there is a price to pay.

Fraser Clarke Heston is the son of Charlton Heston.

US Box Office - $15.1m

IMDB rating - 6.0

The Tommyknockers (1993) poster
The Tommyknockers (1993) poster


The Tommyknockers (1993) directed by John Power and starring Jimmy Smits, Marg Helgenberger, John Ashton, Robert Carradine, Joanna Cassidy, E.G. Marshall and Traci Lords. 181mins.

A TV miniseries based on Stephen King's 1987 novel.

An alien spaceship is found buried in the woods near a small town, when it's excavated something strange starts happening to the inhabitants of the town.

IMDB rating - 5.2

The Stand (1994) poster
The Stand (1994) poster


The Stand (1994) directed by Mick Garris and starring Gary Sinise, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Jamey Sheridan, Ruby Dee, Miguel Ferrer, Corin Nemec and Matt Frewer. 366mins.

A miniseries shown in 4 parts and costing $28m, based on Stephen King's hefty 1344 page novel first published in 1978.

A deadly virus wipes out most of the population of the Earth, a demon in the shape of Randall Flagg (Sheridan) takes advantage of the devastation and wreaks havoc. Flagg has appeared in six other King novels.

IMDB rating - 7.2

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) poster
The Shawshank Redemption (1994) poster
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, Clancy Brown and James Whitmore. 142mins.

Nominated for 7 Oscars - Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Morgan Freeman), Best Cinematography, Best Music (Thomas Newman), Best Sound and Best Editing.

Based on the novella "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" included in Stephen King's collection, Different Seasons (1982)

The film wasn't successful on release but has been very popular on video and DVD, it's now listed as one of the greatest films of all time.

US Box Office - $28.3m

IMDB rating - 9.2

The Langoliers (1995) poster
The Langoliers (1995) poster


The Langoliers (1995) directed by Tom Holland and starring Patricia Wettig, Dean Stockwell, David Morse, Mark Lindsay Chapman, Frankie Faison and Bronson Pinchot. 180mins.

A miniseries in 2 parts based on Stephen King's novella included in the collection, Four Past Midnight (1990).

Passengers and crew on a flight from Los Angeles to Boston mysteriously vanish after it passes through a strange aurora, only 10 remain on board to land the plane.

IMDB rating - 5.9

Thinner (1996) poster
Thinner (1996) poster


Thinner (1996) directed by Tom Holland and starring Robert Burke, Joe Mantegna, Lucinda Jenney, Michael Constantine and Kari Wuhrer. 92mins.

Based on Stephen King's 1984 novel published under his pseudonym Richard Bachman.

An arrogant obese lawyer is cursed by a gypsy and starts to lose weight, getting thinner and thinner...

US Box Office - $15.3m

IMDB rating - 5.4

The Night Flier (1997) poster
The Night Flier (1997) poster


The Night Flier (1997) directed by Mark Pavia and starring Miguel Ferrer, Julia Entwistle, Dan Monahan, Michael Moss and John Bennes. 93mins.

Based on the Stephen King short story included in the collection, Nightmares & Dreamscapes (1993).

A reporter on the trail of a serial killer dubbed "The Night Flier" begins to suspect his quarry might be a vampire.

US Box Office - $0.1m

IMDB rating - 5.7

The Shining (1997) poster
The Shining (1997) poster


The Shining (1997) directed by Mick Garris and starring Steven Weber, Rebecca De Mornay, Courtland Mead, Will Horneff and Melvin Van Peebles. 273mins.

A three part miniseries based on Stephen King's 1977 horror novel.

King wrote the screenplay, he wanted to make sure the series was a truer adaptation than the Stanley Kubrick movie which he disliked.

Steven Weber won a Saturn Award for his role as Jack Torrance.

IMDB rating - 6.0

Apt Pupil (1998)
Apt Pupil (1998)
Apt Pupil (1998) poster
Apt Pupil (1998) poster

Apt Pupil (1998) directed by Bryan Singer and starring Brad Renfro, Ian McKellen, Joshua Jackson, Bruce Davison, James Karen. David Schwimmer and Elias Koteas. 111mins.

Based on Stephen King's novella included in the collection, Different Seasons (1982).

Todd Bowden (Renfro) discovers that the old man living nearby is a Nazi war criminal, he tells him that he won't turn him over to authorities if he tells him stories about Nazi atrocities during the holocaust.

Ian McKellen won a Best Supporting Actor Saturn Award for his role and the film won Best Horror Film.

US Box Office - $8.8m

IMDB rating - 6.6

The Green Mile (1999)
The Green Mile (1999)
The Green Mile (1999) poster
The Green Mile (1999) poster


The Green Mile (1999) directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell, Michael Jeter, Graham Greene, Doug Hutchison, Sam Rockwell and Barry Pepper. 189mins.

Based on Stephen King's novel first published as a 6-part paperback series in 1996.

Nominated for 4 Oscars - Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Best Sound.

US Box Office - $136.8m

IMDB rating - 8.4

Hearts in Atlantis (2001) poster
Hearts in Atlantis (2001) poster


Hearts in Atlantis (2001) directed by Scott Hicks and starring Anthony Hopkins, Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis, Mika Boorem, David Morse and Alan Tudyk. 101mins.

Loosely adapted from Stephen King's novella "Low Men in Yellow Coats", included in the collection, Hearts in Atlantis (1999).

A mysterious old man arrives in town and befriends a young boy who discovers the man has psychic powers and is being pursued by strange people called the "low men".

US Box Office - $24.1m

IMDB rating - 6.8

Rose Red (2002) poster
Rose Red (2002) poster


Rose Red (2002) directed by Craig Baxley and starring Nancy Travis, Matt Keesler, Kimberley Brown, David Dukes, Judith Ivey, Melanie Lynskey, Matt Ross and Julian Sands. 254mins.

A four part miniseries written by Stephen King and not based on any of his stories.

Rose Red is the name of a mansion which is reported to be haunted and 23 people have disappeared or died there. A team with psychic powers decide to spend a night in the haunted mansion.

IMDB rating - 6.4.

The Dead Zone (2002) poster
The Dead Zone (2002) poster


The Dead Zone (2002) a TV series starring Anthony Michael Hall, Nicole de Boer, Chris Bruno, John L. Adams and David Ogden Stiers.

80 x 60mins episodes running for six seasons from 2002 to 2007.

Based on characters from Stephen King's 1979 novel of the same name.

IMDB rating - 7.5

Dreamcatcher (2003)
Dreamcatcher (2003)
Dreamcatcher (2003) poster
Dreamcatcher (2003) poster

Dreamcatcher (2003) directed by Lawrence Kasdan and starring Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis, Timothy Olyphant, Tom Sizemore and Donnie Wahlberg. 136mins.

Screenplay by Kasdan and William Goldman, based on Stephen King's novel published in 2001. King wrote this story while he was recovering from a near fatal accident when a car hit him while he was out walking.

Four friends with strange psychic powers go on a camping trip and get caught up in an alien invasion. The parasitic invaders, known as sh!t weasels, are being hunted by a military unit led by an insane Colonel.

US Box Office - $33.7m

IMDB rating - 5.3

Salem's Lot (2004) poster
Salem's Lot (2004) poster



Salem's Lot (2004) directed by Mikael Salomon and starring Rob Lowe, Andre Braugher, Donald Sutherland, Samantha Mathis, James Cromwell and Rutger Hauer as Kurt Barlow. 181mins.

A two part miniseries based on Stephen King's 1975 vampire novel, which was also adapted as a miniseries in 1979.

Ben Mears (Lowe) returns to his old home town only to discover the place is plagued by vampires.

IMDB rating - 6.1

1408 (2007)
1408 (2007)
1408 (2007) poster
1408 (2007) poster

1408 (2007) directed by Mikael Hafstrom and starring John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack and Tony Shalhoub. 104mins (112mins directors cut)

Based on Stephen King's novella first included in the audiobook anthology Blood and Smoke (1999) before appearing in written form in the collection Everything's Eventual (2002).

Mike Enslin (Cusack) specialises in debunking haunted houses, he decides to spend the night at the infamous room 1408 at the Dolphin hotel. He is warned by the hotel manager (Jackson) that over a span of 68 years 42 people have died in the room, 12 were suicides.

US Box Office - $71.9m

IMDB rating - 6.8

The Mist (2007)
The Mist (2007)
The Mist (2007) poster
The Mist (2007) poster

The Mist (2007) directed by Frank Darabont and starring Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher, Toby Jones and William Sadler. 126mins.

Based on Stephen King's novella which was first published in the horror anthology Dark Forces (1980).

After a violent thunderstorm, strange, bizarre creatures start emerging from another dimension attacking and killing the people of a small town.

A black and white edition of the film is included on the DVD.

US Box Office - $25.5m

IMDB rating - 7.3

Bag of Bones (2011)
Bag of Bones (2011)
Bag of Bones (2011) poster
Bag of Bones (2011) poster

Bag of Bones (2011) directed by Mick Garris and starring Pierce Brosnan, Melissa George, Annabeth Gish, Anika Noni Rose, Matt Frewer and Jason Priestley. 234mins.

A miniseries in two parts based on Stephen King's novel published in 1998.

A best selling novelist, grieving over the loss of his wife and unborn child, returns to his summer home in Maine. He starts to have disturbing dreams and strange visions, he discovers ghosts are haunting the house.

IMDB rating - 5.8.

Top 25 Stephen King Movies

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31 comments

miloskc profile image

miloskc 4 years ago

Amazing hub! My fav are Green Mile, Art Pupil, The Stand and Shawshank Redemption. Had no idea that Running Man was based on a book, especially not on Stephen King's book... The guy is crazy... Is there any kind of stories he didn't write!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I love Stephen King movies! Green Mile, Cujo and Carrie are my favorites. Yet I still love them all! He creates movies that I could watch over and over and still go back for more. I'm reading his book "On Writing" now. I'm 1/2 way through and WOW. I had no idea about so much about him. Each page is another interesting fact. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. Great tribute hub!!!


icountthetimes 4 years ago

Somewhere along the line I'd told myself that there have been a whole host of bad Stephen King movies. Looking through this list though, there are some crackers! Apt Pupil, The Dead Zone, Misery. So many great movies to choose from! Great hub!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

miloskc, Sunshine 625, icountthetimes, thanks for commenting, always appreciated.

Yep King adaptations were up and down, lots of favourites and some real stinkers here, and a couple I'd never heard of before researching this hub.

At 3,500 words its by far my biggest hub to date, my magnum opus. It started off as a quickie hub of the 20 best Stephen King movies with posters and ratings and as usual I got carried away and I added more and more to it until it became a monster of a hub.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Steve, his book explains the stinkers which was a shocker for me maybe not others. Still a great read.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Wow 60 photos...is that a record for your hubs? I used to love reading his books but then he started forgetting how to an end a book(Pet Cementary, TommyKnockers) so I stopped reading his books altogether. Although I am not a huge horror fan I have seen 21 of the movies released in theaters....for some reason I have always refused to watch tv movies/mini-series. Awesome detail, awesome photos and awesome research...thumbs up as Siskel and Ebert used to say...a fun hub to read.

I would say my favorite King novel turned into movies would be: Stand By Me, The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, Misery and The Shining. My least favorites would be Maximum Overdrive(probably one of the worst movies I have ever seen), Creepshow 2 and Firestarter(why did George C. Scott agree to appear in that movie?).

Another favorite of mine would be the Quitter's Inc portion of Cat's Eye....for some reason I think about that movie a lot, especially when I am trying to quit something. IMDB has Shawshank Redemption as it's highest rated movie of all-time...not bad for a movie that failed at the box office.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Yes, unfortunate that one of the few King films I have seen is one of the worst films made of his movies. Oh, well. Not the best film Emilo made, for sure.

I understand that King writes books under several names because his output is so large that the market would be flooded with his books and that would be bad for business. Are they all horror books as well (such as teen's Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine being the same person writing horror stories) or are they different genres entirely?

King's books have more gore in them than I care for-tried to read them. But I do read horror stories by authors from earlier eras (like the woman who wrote The Lodger).

I can't understand why Shawshank Redemption failed at the box office. It was well made and had big stars. It's not as if it were an art movie like a foreign film that only a handful of people are interested in seeing. Certainly big stars would bring in the box office I would have thought.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Steve, another great hub! I am not a bit fan of gore now but used to love it when I was but a slip of a girl! I have seen Carrie, Salem's Lot, Christine (many times, "shut yer pie hole, shitter!" brilliant put down by Robert Prosky and one I still us:) but my favourites of his are his non horrors, Shawshank Redemption and Green Mile. I also have a soft spot for Stand By Me. Voted up and shared.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Flora, Sunshine, Bruce, Jools, thanks for entering The Dark Hub, your comments, anecdotes, info, observations, ponderings, reflections, votes and kind words are all very much appreciated.

Hi Flora, The Lawnmower Man was sci-fi, though I don't think that angle was in King's original short story which was why he wanted his name off the credits.

The Running Man was sci-fi too, he wrote that book under a pseudonym.

Reggie Nalder also appeared as an alien in a classic episode of Star Trek - Journey to Babel. He has a distinctive face.

I'd recommend The Dead Zone if you're a big Martin Sheen fan, one of my favourites, and Christopher Walken is excellent in it.

Sunshine, that King book sounds interesting, I'll keep it in mind. I only have his fiction on my shelves.

Bruce, I think my Tarzan hub had 60 images too but not as many words, it's the first time I passed 3,000 words.

Lets see... I've seen 29 film and TV adaptations out of the 41 I've listed here.

My favourites are the first three - Carrie, Salem's Lot and The Shining with Kubrick's film topping the lot.

Shawshank Redemption highest rated at IMDB? Wow that's impressive, a bit like Citizen Kane when it came it out they treated it pretty much like any other film and over the years its reputation grew until it became the highest rated film of all time.

Quitters Inc from Cat's Eye is great, James Woods is brilliant in it as a guy who wants to quit smoking but can't. There was a time I would watch any film if Woods was in it.

Flora, King's books aren't as gory as other authors I've read, like Clive Barker or Brian Lumley.

I think Shawshank failed because it didn't have a big star in the lead, has Tim Robbins ever been the lead in a big hit? I don't know. But if Tom Hanks was the star of Shawshank especially at that time, it would have gone through the roof. The Green Mile is the biggest grossing King adaptation to date, guess who's the star? :)

Jools, its ironic that two of the highest rated aren't horror films at all, Shawshank and Stand By Me, though The Green Mile does have a supernatural angle.

Christine was a fun film, looks great in widescreen on DVD, John Carpenter loves letterbox images. :)

Thanks all for posting!


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

I was thinking of Morgan Freeman-I think of him as a big star. But, well, that is just me.

I'll keep your recommendations in mind.

I'll have to watch Journey to Babel again.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Have to repost an earlier comment I made after an edit.

Steve has already replied to it so the comments will be out of order, but that's okay.

Here it is:

"Well, I already discussed which movies based on King's books I've already seen on your The Shining hub.

I've never been a fan of gore, of course you know me:) But when actors/directors who interest me are involved in a film or if I am with a group of people who are watching a film, I end up watching films I normally would not want to watch, at least once to cross it off of my to-see list. (The Omen starring Gregory Peck comes immediately to mind as well as those two Hitchcock classics. Once for The Omen was enough for me, but I've seen the Hitchcock films multiple times.)

Ah, yes. Father and son involved in the world of Stephen King horror-Martin Sheen in The Dead Zone and Emilio Estevez in Maximum Overdrive.

Despite being a fan of Pierce Brosnan, I can't see me sitting through The Lawnmower Man.

King should stick to writing, not directing (re: Maximum Overdrive)

3,500 words is quite impressive.

Speaking of Hitchcock, I see you included Hitchcock in the credits section. Nalder is unrecognizable in this picture to me. I would not have guessed what he looked like without that makeup-I have not seen the film despite loving James Mason and him being it it.

That's a great portrait of King at the beginning of this hub. Black and white portraits are beautiful.

My favourite poster is the one for Maximum Overdrive. It's colourful, no goriness, and a great photo of the oldest son of one of my all-time favourite actors. Cheesy film.

Well done Steve. A great topic choice for a hub after you did The Shining."


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Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks for the comments Flora, always appreciated.

Morgan Freeman is a popular and respected actor but I'm not sure if his name alone is enough to get people queuing up. Even Tom Hanks has lost some of his spark now, his last film was a major flop. But the thing is a good movie will still find it's audience, on TV or DVD.

Watched another Stephen King film tonight - Carrie - tomorrow Salem's Lot, writing this hub has got me in the mood to revisit some of these films.

Don't tell Bruce but I even own Maximum Overdrive on DVD, I'll buy anything. :)


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FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

He never reads your hubs. :)


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

Hi Steven; I'm not a fan of the early Steven King adaptations. I never thought they did justice to his work. I felt that it was his particular style of writing that made his novels so good, rather than the content. While I enjoyed "Running Man" and "Stand by Me" I never saw a great Steven King film until Darbont came along. "Shawshank Redemption" and "Green mile" are bother amazing films. He really knows how to capture the spirit of Steven King. "Green Mile" is my favorite.

Fun hub, great photos.

Rob


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Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Darabont did do very well with Shawshank and Green Mile, though I enjoyed Darabonts bleak and nasty The Mist more than those two.

I'm having a season of King movies here, Creepshow is next. I just hate the last story with all the cockroaches, ugh! I might have to skip that one.

Thanks for posting Rob.


Dee42 profile image

Dee42 4 years ago from Beautiful Arkansas

Gosh, this is great stuff!! My fav, besides Dean Koontz. Wonderful.


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Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks Dee42, I'm happy you liked my Stephen King hub, I enjoyed writing it. Cheers.


thatmovieguy71 4 years ago

A great hub! I am a huge Stephen King fan - books and movies. My favorite King book - The Stand. My favorite King movie - Stand By Me. Best translation from page to screen - Misery. King work I am looking forward to seeing as a movie - Under the Dome. King remake I am most leery about - It.


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Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks thatmovieguy71, appreciate the opinions of a King reader. I never read 'It', one of his biggest books. The miniseries was popular. I'm surprised they haven't filmed King's The Dark Tower series yet. They have a bit of a cult following.


rabbit75 profile image

rabbit75 4 years ago

Stephen King is an amazing writer. I remember the first movie I ever saw adapted from King's novel was Salem's Lot. That scene where the brother, turned Vampire, scratches at the window completely freaked me out.

The first book I ever read from King was Cujo. There have been quite a few movies I didn't really care for that was adapted from Stephen King's books and short stories...one of them being Sleepwalkers.

However, Shawshank Redemption and the Green Mile were awesome! Stand By Me is a classic. I do believe Dolan's Cadillac from the collection of short stories Nightmares and Dreamscapes was made into a film, starring Christian Slater as Dolan.

Once again a masterful hub Mr. Steve Lensman, and well worthy for the Master of Horror! Voted up, awesome and sharing!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks for commenting, voting and sharing my Stephen King hub rabbit75, it is appreciated.

I did skip a few minor King adaptations because the hub was already running too long. I can't remember seeing the film you mentioned when I was preparing the hub.

I love that first picture at the top, the vampire Barlow welcoming the reader to my hub. Imagine turning round and seeing that face staring at you, brrr. :)

Thanks for posting.


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

I will go for the Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption!

A great hub steve!... Very well crafted.. Love your work!


Dee42 profile image

Dee42 4 years ago from Beautiful Arkansas

You guys got me to thinking of great king books, Rose Madder, this book was fantastic! And let's not forget The Eyes of the Dragon 1987? I think. I think it's the first SK book I ever read, of course I was 'hooked' after that. Ha


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Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Rahul, Dee, thanks for visiting my King of Horror hub, it is appreciated.

Rahul, good choices, good stories, well acted films.

Dee, there are still so many King books that haven't been filmed, The Dark Tower series for instance.


smithed profile image

smithed 4 years ago

It's frustrating to see a Stephen King book get turned into a movie because with a few exceptions, most of the films are terrible And just not terrible, but god awful.I don't know if it's a matter of just hiring bad screenwriters and bad directors who don't understand King's vision, but it's a lot more hit than miss.


Domenick Dicce 4 years ago

Stephen King has written a lot of great stories and has many successful crossovers. Shining has always been my favorite horror.

Oddly enough Stand By Me and The Shawshank redemption are in my all time favorite movie list and they were not from his well known Horror Genre.

Great Hub!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks for commenting on my Stephen King hub Domenick, it is appreciated.

Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile and Stand By Me are highly rated and very well made Stephen King adaptations but I much prefer his horror output, The Shining is probably my favourite.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Stopping by to wish Stephen King a Happy 65th Birthday! (9/21)

I hope he stops by also:)


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Me too! And to you Steve, an awesome tribute to one of my favorite authors!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Happy Birthday Stephen King!

Hi Sunshine, many thanks for the comment and info.

midget38, I'm happy you liked my tribute to King and thank you for commenting.


Lybrah 4 years ago

Stephen King's earlier works are best. My main problem with him is that he is horrible at ending stories. The Stand and Rose Red were both anti-climatic, in my opinion.

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