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The Best and Worst of Stephen King Adaptations
After many years, and many attempts, a film version of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower is finally getting underway with Idris Elba confirmed as the gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as the mystical foe known as the man in black. Ahead of its release, we look back and rank the movie and TV versions of the author's work.
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BEST 10. Cujo (1983)
Thank King for making man's best friend into a snarling, destructive psychopathic beast, but thank director Lewis Teague for its big screen transformation sure to frighten any child who wants a dog as a pet.
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BEST 9. The Dark Half (1993)
George A. Romero brought King's work to life in this film, starring Timothy Hutton, about a writer who finds himself consumed by his fictional alter-ego.
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BEST 8. The Green Mile (1999)
Don't forget that King penned the novel Frank Durabont turned into an Oscar-nominated tearjerker about a wrongly convicted death row inmate with special healing powers.
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BEST 7. The Dead Zone (1983)
David Cronenberg directed Christopher Walken as a man who comes out of his coma to realize he has a psychic ability. The movie would later be turned into a TV series of the same name.
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BEST 6. The Stand (1994)
The critically acclaimed ABC miniseries boasts a big cast with many big names — Molly Ringwald, Gary Sinise, and Rob Lowe to name a few — and paved the way for the likes of Under the Dome.
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BEST 5. Carrie (1976)
Sissy Spacek's performance as the telepathic Carrie White and Piper Laurie's turn as her religious zealot mother each earned an Oscar nod. They also created a movie so powerful it couldn't be sullied by a terrible sequel and an even more terrible TV remake.
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BEST 4. Stand by Me (1986)
King's novella The Body served as inspiration for this poignant coming-of-age tale about a group of young boys determined to find the body of a missing boy.
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BEST 3. Misery (1990)
Kathy Bates' Oscar-winning turn as Annie Wilkes brings a whole new meaning to obsessed fandom — and makes you think twice about receiving help from a stranger.
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BEST 1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Green Mile isn't the only King tale about a wrongfully convicted man Durabont helmed for the big screen. Redemption earned seven Oscar nominations, including a nomination for Best Picture.
NEXT: The five worst Stephen King adaptations...
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WORST 5. Thinner (1996)
The story of an overweight lawyer who, after running over a woman with his car and arguing his way out of a manslaughter conviction in court, gets cursed by her gypsy husband with a ''thinning'' disease. The only thing worse than the plot is Robert John Burke's makeup.
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WORST 4. Needful Things (1993)
The movie about the devil who runs an antique store boasts the tagline ''Buy Now. Pay Later.'' If that doesn't make you cringe, just sit back and enjoy the stilted acting and fumbling direction of this not-at-all-scary horror film.
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WORST 3. Maximum Overdrive (1986)
Based on King's short story ''Trucks,'' the author himself penned the screenplay and directed the film — it was the last time he ever sat in the director's chair.
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WORST 2. The Shining (1997)
As a direct response to Kubrick's film, King played a major role in bringing this miniseries to the small screen. But he probably should have left well enough alone—safe to say, Stephen Weber is no match for Jack Nicholson.
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WORST 1. Mangler (1995)
What can go wrong with a horror movie that stars Robert ''Freddy Krueger'' Englund and Ted ''Buffalo Bill'' Levine? A lot, apparently.