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Stephen King Movies and TV anthologies

Updated on February 11, 2014

Here is an incomplete list of my assessment of Stephen King ideas brought to film. A few of them have worked very well, but most fall into the "crap" bucket. This isn't necessarily a reflection on King. The author often has little control over his work once it has been sold to a studio. By and large, I think King is a hack pulp fiction writer. But, that's by no means a terrible thing. There is a huge audience for this kind of writing. Somehow, his horror writings do not work as well as, say, "Misery."

I prefer the poetical fiction writing of Ray Bradbury or the spot-on technical accuracy demonstrated in stories by Arthur C. Clark. But, King does what he does -- and sometimes it all works out with a feeling of real craftsmanship -- but his efforts are very uneven.

I think Stephen King would agree with me that he's not in the league with Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.P. Lovecraft, H.G. Wells, or Jules Verne -- and certainly nowhere in the neighborhood of the classic writers such as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekov, William Faulkner, Earnest Hemmingway, James Joyce, Mary Shelley, Henry James, Henry Melville, or any of the other masters of literature.

This is said without any intention of putting my thumb down on King. I'm not a fan of his fiction, but I don't have to be. He has a zillion fans and is a multi-millionaire. People enjoy reading his work, and that's just fine with me. Heck, I read comic books, so I'm not about to castigate an author who can sell a million hard-bound copies. It's all a matter of taste, I suppose. In any event, I took a few moments to list some of the King films that I have seen and left my general impression. I was struck by the sheer number of King films that I'd watched (and this is not a complete list.) Secondly, I was surprised by the disparity of his output.

You have to admire the author's output (although I suspect he has a staff of ghost writers). If this is not true, he's one of the most prolific writers of the 20th-21st century.

Graveyard Shift (1990) -- crap

Misery (1990) -- good

Pet Cemetery (1989) -- crap

Stephen King's Thinner (1996) -- crap

The Langoliers (1995) -- crap

The Shining (1980) -- terrific

Sleepwalkers (1992) -- crap

Dolores Claiborn (1995) -- good

Needful Things (1993) -- crap

Stephen King's It (1990) -- fair

Kingdom Hospital (1994) -- crap

Salem's Lot (1994) -- crap

The Shining (1997) -- crap

The Storm of the Century (1999) -- crap

The Tommyknockers (1993) -- crap

The Stand (1994) -- crap

Carrie (213) -- crap

Children of the Corn (2009) -- crap

1408 (2007) -- good

The Mist (2007) -- fair

Secret Window (2004) -- crap

Rose Red (2002) -- fair/good

Carrie (2002) -- crap

Hearts in Atlantis -- (2001) very good

The Green Mile (1999) -- good

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) -- very good

The Lawnmower Man (1992) -- crap

The Graveyard Shift (1990) -- fair

The Running Man (1987) -- fair

Firestarter (1984) -- crap

Christine (1983) -- crap

Carrie (1976) -- good


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