Stephen King: Best Books That Inspired Movies
Maybe you wondered from where so much imagination? How can a man write more than two or three books every year? And most of them turned out to be huge successes, the majority being screened into major movie projects.
And there is no wonder that Stephen King is on the list of the best paid authors in the world, being on the third position in the Forbes top released in August. The only curious thing here is that he only got the last position in top three after publishing more than 50 books in his long term career. In fact, he just launched his 51th book. Starting with 1974 when he published his first book, Stephen King released at least one book a year, except 1976, year in which he published nothing. And probably the most inspirational year for the famous writer was 1999 when he released four books: “Storm of the Century”, “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon”, “The New Lieutenant’s Rap” and “Hearts in Atlantis”.
But, which is his best book ever? Of course, it all depends on preferences and while some may consider his work too “horror” others will say that his books and the movies made after them are quite impressive. But, Stephen King never was just a horror books author. However, there are always major differences between the book and the movie inspired by it. And of course, it is not the same thing reading something scary or a scene that can be from a horror movie and actually seeing the scenes in a movie production.
Anyway, if you would ask me, my favorite Stephen King book and also movie based on a book is “The Green Mile”. “The Green Mile” is a book about murderers being sentenced to the death penalty and being executed on the electric chair. It has everything: action, drama and suspense. But, although “The Green Mile” is a very interesting book, is not the only or the last one Stephen King has ever written. And certainly is not the only movie that has been created based on the author’s books.
The movie casts Tom Hanks and David Morse and it received four Oscar nominations and many other nominees and as well awards in different events. However, “The Green Mile” has an impressive story and it can be placed somewhere between horror and fantasy when it comes to Stephen King’s work, although this film can actually be better placed in a drama category. The main character of the book is John Coffey, played in the movie by Michael Clark Duncan and of course, Paul Edgecomb, the “Green Mile’s boss” who is played by Tom Hanks. This role was actually first given to John Travolta, who refused it. But, Tom Hanks made a great role in the movie and some of its success is definitely because of the actors that gave life to the production. On the other hand, Michael Clark Duncan being cast in the movie is thanks to Bruce Willis, who worked with him in “Armageddon.”
Although more than 30 books ever written by Stephen King have been adapted into movies, “The Green Mile” was the only one to get more than 100 million dollars at the box office till November 2007, according to IMDB. And I have to mention that the movie in general respects the details as they are presented in the book, although there are some things that had to be changed for the movie adaptation. Still, the conclusion is that this book is probably the one that had the highest success becoming a movie production. And that is one of the reasons why it is excluded from the following top seven best books adapted into movies by Stephen King.
7. Salem’s Lot
“Salem’s Lot” was the second book ever written by Stephen King and also the second one to be adapted into a movie. In fact there were two television miniseries made after this book, one directed by Tobe Hooper in 1979 and the other by Mikael Salomon in 2004. The book was first written by Stephen King in 1975 and the story transmitted by the famous author here involved a writer named Ben Mears who returns to his home town where he discovers that people are becoming vampires. Vampires as well as werewolves have never missed from Stephen King’s stories.
6. Pet Sematary
“Pet Sematary” was written in 1983 and became a movie six years later, in 1989. Well, some say that although the book itself is good, the movie was one of the worst ever screened from the author’s creations. If that is true or not, it all depends on tastes. The movie was directed by Mary Lambert and presents the story of a family that had just moved to the countryside near a cemetery and a road where constantly accidents happen. What can be criticized about both the book and the movie is that the action repeats, although its consequences are the ones that make more people die.
“Carrie” was the first book ever published by Stephen King and ever written so it had to be on the list, although there are many other books that got better reviews. Again the book got to be screened in two different projects, the first one in 1976, directed by Brian De Palma, two years after the book being published, which was actually much more appreciated than the second one released in 2002, directed by David Carson. “Carrie” is the story of a girl with telekinetic powers that gets pushed too far and makes everyone regret that.
“Misery” was written by Stephen King in 1987 and the novel was used for a movie released in 1990. The movie directed by Rob Reiner is the story of a famous novelist who is saved from a car crash by a woman that takes care of him in the first place, but is actually an obsessed fan who changes her attitude and starts torturing him once she finds out that he “killed” the heroine of his last book. The role of the novelist is played in the movie by James Caan, while the obsessed fan is brought to life by Kathy Bates. The movie got five Oscar nominations and won in the Best Actress in the Leasing Role category.
3. The Shining
The Shining was launched in 1980, being based on the book Stephen King published in 1977, his fourth one. The movie was directed by Stanley Kubrick and cast Jack Nicholson in the leading role and of course the famous actor got all the attention. This is the story of a family that spends the winter in an isolated hotel where evil presences influence the father to be violent with his son. Some reviews say that this is one of the scariest movies of all time, but opinions will definitely vary. The movie can be very disturbing and in a way that can not be easily explained or understood. It received five Oscar nominations and won the Best Supporting Actor category.
2. The Dead Zone
The Dead Zone is 1983 adaptation of the book written in 1979. The movie is directed by David Cronenberg and tells the story of a man who wakes up from a coma after having a car accident and discovers that he has a psychic ability, seeing things, and starts helping the police. The movie casts Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams and Tom Skerritt.
1. The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption is a movie released in 1994, based on the book that Stephen King published in 1982 under the name of “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.” The movie is directed by Frank Darabont and casts Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, the two being such great actors that they made the movie even better than the screenplay itself originally was. The movie presents the story of two men that met while being in jail. “Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane, better to get used to that idea” is the thing that Morgan Freeman’s character tries to teach his younger colleague from the beginnings. “The Shawshank Redemption” got seven Oscar nominations.
So, which is your favorite Stephen King book or movie? When it comes to Stephen King’s work things can be quite subjective. Maybe you will think that some movies never stood up to the way the book was written in the first place, or on the other hand you may be thinking that the author’s books are not fitted to be adapted to movies. Stephen King has a great imagination and that is a fact that can not be contested. But, some of his works are better than others, regardless of the point where the story starts, from machines that are brought to live to children with special powers, murderers, vampires or evil spirits.11