Top Ten Stephen King Films




Photo Credit: Shane Leonard

I am a huge fan of Stephen King and one of the things I love most about his writing is his ability to populate his worlds. Every character, no matter how minor, has a role. Every character, no matter how minor, has a back story. Where other authors will simply refer to ‘the cashier’ or ‘the truck driver’, King will give these people a name and a family. He’ll tell us a little about their lives and how their day has been so far.

In many cases he even links them to characters in other novels or stories that he has written. A character mentioned in passing in one story may play a pivotal role in another. A favourite character in the novel you read yesterday may be briefly mentioned in the short story you read today.

It is for this reason that I have always been a proponent of King’s books over their movie adaptations. There is a depth to his novels that just doesn’t seem to carry over into film.

That said, not being as good as the novel, does not necessarily translate as ‘bad’. There are plenty of enjoyable films based on works by Stephen King, some of which have a place on my mental list of favourite films.

I should note that, while it features on almost every list of Stephen King films, my list will not feature The Shining. I do not now, nor have I ever liked that movie. I honestly have no idea what all the fuss is about. There are far better movies that showcase King’s talents, many of which are featured in today’s list.

Without further ado, here is my top ten list of movies and mini-series’ adapted from works by Stephen King:

Number 1

Apt Pupil (1998)

Director: Bryan Singer
Writers: Stephen King (novel) Brandon Boyce (screenplay)
Stars: Ian McKellenBrad RenfroJoshua Jackson

Number 2

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Director: Frank Darabont
Writers:  Stephen King (short story “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption”), Frank Darabont (screenplay)
Stars:  Tim RobbinsMorgan FreemanBob Gunton

Number 3

The Stand (1994)

Director: Mick Garris
Writer: Stephen King (Novel & Teleplay)
Stars: Gary Sinise, Miguel Ferrer, Rob Lowe, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Jamey Sheridan, Laura San Giacomo, Molly Ringwald, Corin Nemec, Adam Storke, Ray Walston, Matt Frewer

Number 4

The Mist (2007)

Director: Frank Darabont
Writers: Frank Darabont (screenplay), Stephen King (novel)
Stars: Thomas JaneMarcia Gay HardenLaurie Holden

Number 5

The Green Mile (1999)

Director: Frank Darabont
Writer: Stephen King (novel), Frank Darabont (screenplay)
Stars: Tom HanksMichael Clarke DuncanDavid Morse

Number 6

Stephen King’s It (1990)

Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Writers: Stephen King (Novel), Lawrence D. Cohen (Screenplay, Tommy Lee Wallace (Teleplay)
Stars: Richard Thomas, John Ritter, Annette O’Toole, Harry Anderson, Dennis Christopher, Tim Reid, Richard Masur, Tim Curry, Jonathan Brandis, Seth Green, Emily Perkins, Brandon Crane, Adam Faraizl, Marlon Taylor, Ben Heller

Number 7

1408 (2007)

Director: Mikael Håfström
Writer: Matt Greenberg (screenplay), Scott Alexander (screenplay), Larry Karaszewski (Screenplay, Stephen King (Short Story)
Stars: John CusackSamuel L. JacksonMary McCormack

Number 8

Rose Red (2002)

Director: Craig R. Baxley
Writers: Scripted by Stephen King
Stars: Nancy TravisMatt KeeslarKimberly J. Brown

Number 9

It (2017)

Director: Andy Muschietti
Writers: Chase Palmer (screenplay), Cary Fukunaga (screenplay), Gary Dauberman (screenplay), Stephen King (Novel)
Stars: Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgård, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, Jackson Robert Scott

Number 10

Cujo (1983)

Director: Lewis Teague
Writers: Stephen King (novel), Don Carlos Dunaway (screenplay), Lauren Currier, (screenplay)
Stars: Dee WallaceDaniel Hugh KellyDanny Pintauro

So what do you think of this list? Is your favourite film missing? Also, I am experimenting with ordering my lists 1-10 instead of 10-1. Let me know in the comments below which order you prefer.

Categories: Top Tens

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1 reply

  1. Except for the two “Its”, and one other movie, I’ve seen the movies in your list, and read some of them too before watching them. For sheer number, King is an American icon in the literary world. thanks for sharing.


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