The 5 Best Stephen King Book Adaptations

Few authors are as prolific and compulsively readable as Stephen King.

That doesn't mean his books translate easily to the big screen. For years Hollywood tried, and tried, to make blockbusters out of his horror yarns.

The results? Mixed at the very best.

Then screenwriters started to crack the code. And while we still get more clunkers than classics from King's canon, it's now possible to anticipate Stephen King adaptations.

That makes the new film "The Dark Tower" an intriguing pop culture moment. Idris Elba is Roland, the last gunslinger in King's famous eight-book series. Early reviews aren't kind, hearkening back to those aforementioned clunkers.

For now, let's look back at five films that nailed King's essential prose.

"Stand By Me"

King isn't just a maestro of horror. He also dabbles in stories that don't scare us silly. Case in point: A novella dubbed "The Body." The story inspired this Rob Reiner classic, a tale capturing the swirl of emotions pre-teen boys endure. Sure it's set in the 1950s, but any lad can connect with this quarreling quartet.

"Misery"

Two characters. One musty house. And a typewriter that better be used. Or else. Kathy Bates won an Oscar for playing an obsessed fan nursing her favorite author (James Caan) back to health. And crushing his legs if he doesn't type exactly what she wants. Once again Reiner captures what makes King's imagination so absorbing. Bates is the secret sauce here, walking the line between fandom and madness. She's scarier than Freddy Krueger on his worst day.