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From 'The Shining' To 'The Shawshank Redemption' These Are The 10 Best Stephen King Screen Adaptations

With over 50 movie and TV adaptations of his novels and short stories, it is now clear that Stephen King is the only living author whose works have been adapted for the screen more times than others. 


His list of film credits is only increasing with each year! This year too he has got two major film adaptations for release including the highly awaited 'It: Chapter Two' and 'Pet Sematary'. 

After going through the list of the best films that have ever been adapted from his novels, we bet you will not be able to hold yourself but watch these films. Check out the list below:

1. The Shining (1980)

Though Stephen King has always hated this adapted version of his novel, 'The Shining' has remained a classic that can't be missed. Stanley Kubrick succeeded in creating a spine-chilling tale inside a ghostly hotel. 


In the film, Jack Nicholson (Jack Torrence) is on a mission to write a book during his stay in an isolated hotel in the snow-covered mountains. As his family members Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd) and Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duvall) spend days in the hotel having a good time, Jack leads to insanity and tries to kill his kid and wife. 


Danny and Wendy make attempts to save themselves from getting killed at the hands of Jack ultimately leaving him to die in a snow maze. 


The film is deeply involving and leaves one terrified. Out of all films Stanley Kubrick has ever directed, 'The Shining' remains the only one with no Academy nominations to its name. This film holds the top spot on our list.

2. Misery (1990)

When it comes to deciding the top spots for films based on Stephen King's adaptations, 'Misery' is one film that definitely fits in. 


Directed by Rob Reiner, the film revolves around the story of a famous novelist (Paul Sheldon played by James Caan), who finds himself captured by one of his biggest fans (Annie Wilkes played by Kathy Bates) on suffering an accident. 


Annie's obsession with Paul's novel 'Misery', puts both of their lives in danger, ultimately leading to Annie's death at the hands of Paul. Though the entire film is mostly shot inside a room, as Paul tries to escape the madness of his die-hard psychopath fan, the thrill and suspense make this film one of its kind. Kathy Bates went on to win an Academy Award for Best Actress for this career-defining role.

3. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

For several years now, 'The Shawshank Redemption' has maintained its place as the number one film on IMDb top 250. However, the glory of this film didn't come easily to it. 


Starring Tim Robbins (Andy Dufresne) and Morgan Freeman (Red) in lead roles, the film outlines how prisoners Andy and Red spend days inside the Shawshank State Penitentiary leading to Andy's ultimate escape. 


Directed by Frank Darabont, the film went on to become a cult classic and has remained a top choice amongst movie buffs. Much has been said and written about the film and it is one story by Stephen King that has been beautifully adapted into a screenplay.

4. Green Mile (1999)

Adapted from Stephen King's 1996 novel of the same name, 'Green Mile' is another masterpiece created under the direction of Frank Darabont. 


Starring Tom Hanks (Paul Edgecomb) and Michael Clarke Duncan (John Coffey), the film revolves around Paul's life who plays a death row corrections officer at the time of the Great Depression in the United States. 


His life starts to change as he gets to know about John's special gifts. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards and received positive reviews from the critics.

5. Carrie (1976)

Stephen King is the king of horror novels. Out of the many gifts he has given to the world of horror fiction, his 1974 epistolary novel 'Carrie' has inspired two generations of film-makers. 


The first film based on the novel was made in 1976, starring Sissy Spacek as Carrie White. The film revolves around the life of a teenage girl who discovers her supernatural powers and eventually turns into a fatal and destructive force after being mocked at her school's party. 


Directed by Brian De Palma, the supernatural film was highly criticized but went on to get nominated in two categories at the 49th Academy Awards. It has been said to be the best ever adaptation of Stephen King's wide range of works. 'Carrie' is one great horror film of its time and can't be skipped by Stephen King fans.

6. Stand By Me (1986)

Directed by Rob Reiner, this adaptation of Stephen King's novel 'The Body', became a family classic years after its release. 'Stand By Me' is the coming of age screenplay that outlines the journey of four kids played by River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Wil Wheaton, and Kiefer Sutherland and is set in 1959 backwoods Oregon. 


The film has been widely praised for its theme that highlighted children's issues and struggles while growing up and also managed to create a lasting impression on the kids of the 80s. 


The film was so powerful that even Stephen King was moved after watching such strong performances. It went on to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

7. It (2017)

In 2017, 'It' became the highest grossing horror film of all time beating 'The Sixth Sense' and 'The Exorcist'. The adaptation of King's 1986 novel of the same name also known as 'It: Chapter One' remains one of the best horror films that have ever been made. 


Directed by Andy Muschietti, the film received huge critical acclaim for a solid storyline and creditable performances by Bill Skarsgård, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, and Jack Dylan Grazer. 


A sequel of the film titled 'It: Chapter Two', is scheduled for a September release this year. Stephen King fans have waited too long for this film and now they await the next instalment.

8. The Mist (2007)

Based on Stephen King's 1980 book of the same name, 'The Mist' represents a perfect amalgamation of science fiction and horror. 


Written and directed by Frank Darabont, the film portrays how David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his son Billy (Nathan Gamble) get stuck in a supermarket with others and struggle for survival when a mysterious mist covers the whole town. 


The film's story is intensely dark and does justice to the novel as well. A black and white print of the film was released on Blu-ray in 2008. 'The Mist' was a commercial success at the US box office and was nominated for three Saturn Awards.

9. The Dead Zone (1983)

Based on Stephen King's 1979 novel of the same name, 'The Dead Zone' is believed to be one of the best cinematic adaptations of King's novels. 


Starring Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, Martin Sheen, Anthony Zerbe, and Colleen Dewhurst, the film revolves around the character Johnny Smith (played by Walken) who wakes up from a coma and discovers his psychic powers. 


Directed by David Cronenberg, the film received overall positive reviews and also became a basis for the TV series 'The Dead Zone'. Christopher Walken has been highly praised for his performance.

10. Dolores Claiborne (1995)

Directed by Taylor Hackford, 'Dolores Claiborne' is a psychological thriller drama adapted from King's novel of the same name. The movie comes with extraordinary performances by Kathy Bates (Dolores Claiborne) and Jennifer Jason Leigh (Selena). 


Selena is on a mission to investigate a murder, for which her mother Dolores has been accused. She later finds shocking truths about her own childhood. 


The film was named as the top ten greatest Stephen King film adaptations by Time magazine in 2013. It has been well received for its finely scripted plot and rich performances.

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