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Stephen King on the Big Screen

The Shining. Carrie. Misery. These are just a few of the film adaptations that have been made from the terrifying and eerie work of novelist and short story writer Stephen King. It is nearly impossible to think of another author who has inspired so many, and such diverse filmmakers—yet there has never before been a work by a film specialist that focused solely on Stephen King. Mark Browning, in Stephen King on the Big Screen, takes a film-by-film approach to exploring why some adaptations of King’s work are more successful than others.             Browning discusses every single film adaptation given a global cinematic release—including films by such well-known directors as Stanley Kubrick, George A. Romero, and David Cronenberg. His is the first book to consider in detail Sleepwalkers, Dreamcatcher, and 1408 as well as the much-neglected portmanteau films and touchstones like The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. In a highly readable and engaging style, Browning examines how different film directors have interpreted and translated the original literary texts into a new medium. Throughout, he reveals the elements of style and approach that have helped make King one of the world’s best-selling authors.             This entertaining and accessible guide to the complete corpus of Stephen King films is a must-have for fans of his fiction and of the many directors who have sought to capture his macabre stories and bizarre characters in cinematic form.

256 pages | 7 x 9 | © 2009

Biography and Letters

Film Studies

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“Stephen King was among the first generation of horror writers to be overtly influenced by cinematic horror as well as literary, so it’s hardly surprising that he is the most widely adapted horror novelist there is. These adaptations are, as Mark Browning observes in this excellent work, very hit-and-miss. It is a meticulously critical work; scholarly but not pretentious, giving both praise and scorn where it’s due, and acknowledging the greatnesses and flaws of the films as adaptations, suggesting some interesting viewing strategies along the way. An excellent study of why adaptations work/fail, and for any King fan it’s definitive.”

Andrew McQuade | Gorezone

“The book is refreshingly accessible; no attempt has been made to fit the films into an overarching theoretical paradigm, in the belief that readers would be more interested in approaching King work as ‘a rite-of-passage experience’ that consistently challenges our expectations.”

Lawrence Raw

“Should be of great interest to both King fans and film fanatics alike. Through revealing fresh perspectives it’s a critically rigorous but also highly enjoyable read.”

Zone Horror

"Browning’s examination of the film adaptations of Stephen King’s novels looks at them in terms of their success as films as well as in terms of how well they reflect what’s in the books. This is a riveting, in-depth analysis of what makes King so popular both as an author and as a provider of substance for movies. . . . Anyone who collects King’s novels will want to add this to his or her collection."—Booksmonthly


Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Mind Over Matter: Telekinesis
   The Rage: Carrie II
   The Dead Zone
Chapter 2
Tales from the Darkside: The Portmanteau film
   Creepshow II
   Cat’s Eye
   Tales from the Darkside: The Movie
Chapter 3
Sometimes Dead is Better: The Body Under the Sheet
   Silver Bullet
   Pet Sematary
   Pet Sematary II
Chapter 4
Boys to Men: Rites-of-Passage
   Stand by Me
   Apt Pupil
   Hearts in Atlantis
Chapter 5
The Rise of the Machines: 1950s Science-Fiction B-Movie
   Maximum Overdrive
   Graveyard Shift
   The Lawnmower Man
Chapter 6
The Great Escape: Prison Drama
   The Shawshank Redemption
   The Green Mile
   The Running Man
Chapter 7
Books of Blood: The Writer
   The Dark Half
   Secret Window
Chapter 8
The Terror of Everyday Life and Final Girls
   Dolores Claiborne
   The Shining (Kubrick)
   The Shining (Garris)

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