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MY TOP TEN FAVORITE FILMS BASED ON STEPHEN KING STORIES

itWith news this week that Warner Bros will turn the 1985 Stephen King 1138 page novel IT (In 1985 it was turned into a pretty good miniseries which starred Tim Curry as the evil clown Penny Wise) into a feature film I thought I would list my top ten favorite movies based on King material.

running_man_poster10. THE RUNNING MAN-  This was masterful casting with Richard Dawson ( famous for the very popular Family Feud game show at the time) as the film’s villain, Damon Killian, as the host of future TV’s most popular show “The Running Man.” The show featured convicted criminals being hunted down by professional killers in the year 2017. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Ben Richards) stars as a wrongly accused man who wins over the blood thirsty TV crowd with his heroic exploits. Highly enjoyable action romp loosely based on a King story.

needful_things_move_poster9. NEEDFUL THINGS 1993- An underrated film starring Ed Harris as a sheriff in a small Maine town whose community becomes unhinged when the devil opens a storefront shop catering to revenge. Max von Sydow (Leland Gaunt) is highly effective as the human version of Satan. Unforgettable last twenty minutes as all the story threads come to a head.

shining-kubrik8. THE SHINING 1980- Perhaps Jack Nicholson’s tormented writer Jack Torrance goes off the deep end a little too quickly in this film, but the Stanley Kubrick vision has some serious atmosphere. While far from a blockbuster at the box-office when first released the film has built an immense fan base over time. The famous line “here’s Johnny” was improvised by Nicholson during shooting. The 1997 ABC mini-series starring Steven Weber is also worth a look. It fleshed out the Torrance character’s descent into madness miseryposterand has more of a slow burn affect.

7. MISERY 1990- Rob Reiner’s terrific adaption of King’s novel about a writer (James Caan) abducted by his number one fan. Kathy Bates became a major player in the business after her terrific turn as the deranged Annie Wilkes.

stormcentury6. STORM OF THE CENTURY 1999- King wrote the original screenplay directly for this absorbing ABC miniseries and then later turned it into a novel. A small town in Maine gets more than a snow storm when a mysterious man shows up during the worst blizzard in 100 years. Actor Colm Feore is terrific as the film’s villain, Andre Linoge. His tag line, “Give me what I want the_mist_posterand I’ll go away” is totally creepy. A great original miniseries!

5. THE MIST 2007- Frank Darabont directs this highly effective tail about a small Maine town that gets engulf with a mysterious fog like mist. The story centers in on a group of people who try and ride it out at a local supermarket. Beside the scare of what’s exactly in the mist, this is a fascinating study of human nature which plays out like a two green_milehour episode of The Twilight Zone. Its ending is a shocker that left  me stunned when the credits rolled. 

4. THE GREEN MILE 1999- This prison drama with supernatural overtones stars Tom Hanks as a prison guard, and features a totally likeable supporting turn by Michael Clarke Duncan ( John Coffey) as a death row inmate with some very standdvdcoverspecial abilities. An absorbing and totally winning film. Frank Darabont directs.

3. THE STAND 1994- A landmark television achievement. King’s post apocalyptic tale works on many levels, but ultimately a good versus evil story. Gary Sinese is a terrific as Stu Redman, one of the survivors of a man made super flu virus that wipes out most of mankind. Ruby Dee, playing Mother Abigail, a mysterious old woman who might be a servant of God, is nothing short of sensational in the best work of her career, and Jamey Sheridan as the villainous Randall Flagg is incredible. A really great piece of work.shawshankdvdcap

2. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION 1994- Easily one of the top 100 best movies of all time. Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins give inspired performances in this life affirming prison drama that has grown into a classic. Amazingly the film wasn’t a big hit at the box-office but has emerged a huge fan favorite on DVD and Television. Director- Frank Darabont.

the_dead_zone1. THE DEAD ZONE 1983- After the tragic death of Natalie Wood, Christopher Walken threw himself into the role of Johnny Smith, a man who wakes up from a five year coma with the ability to see the future of anyone he comes in contact with. Director David Cronenberg does a skillfull job, keeping the story simple yet absorbing, in this terrific character study of a man gifted and cursed at the same time. Martin Sheen also stands out in the supporting role of the insane politician Greg Stillson.

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March 16, 2009 - Posted by | Reviews | ,

2 Comments »

  1. […] this point, that’s yesterday’s news. Put the DVD your mama made under the bed MY TOP TEN FAVORITE FILMS BASED ON STEPHEN KING STORIES – chuckcurry.wordpress.com 03/16/2009 With news this week that Warner Bros will turn the 1985 […]

    Pingback by Posts about DVD News as of March 16, 2009 » DVD Newsroom | March 16, 2009 | Reply

  2. I admit, I have never read (to my recollection) any Stephen King novel. That being said, I have seen several of his books adapted to film. Shawshank is the pinaccle, a trmendous feat in filmmmaking, and among my top 5 films EVER. Misery is also outstanding. One I can watch over and over. I think The Green Mile is a bit overblown, though enjoyable and Mist was flat out bad. I was shocked at how awful that turned out (though if it matters, I saw the black/white version of that film…though I suspect it doesnt matter).
    The Rake
    http://thefilmnest.com

    Comment by thebsk | March 19, 2009 | Reply


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