It’s amazing how many short stories have been adapted into feature films. The material in just a few pages of an author’s work can be molded into a brilliant and successful movie. This list contains four of the best transformations from short story to the big screen.
1) Stand By Me (1986)
Short story, The Body, written by Stephen King (featured in the collection Different Seasons)
This story of four boys on a journey to find a dead body in the woods is more like a coming-of-age tale set in the late 1950s. Director Rob Reiner follows Stephen King’s original story fairly closely for the movie, and there is a deep emphasis on how the life-changing events of childhood can affect people as they grow older. The movie, released in 1986, stars Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O’Connell, as the young boys.
2) In The Bedroom (2001)
Short story, Killings, written by Andre Dubus
The 1979 story was masterfully adapted into an award-nominated movie in 2001 about a couple who must come to grips with a terrible tragedy that befalls their family. Starring Tom Wilkinson, Sissy Spacek, and Marisa Tomei, the movie is directed by Todd Fields. The emotional aspect of the film forces the viewers to ask themselves what they would do if they were in the same situation by taking a look at morality and vengeance.
3) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Short story, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This unique story follows a man as he ages in reverse and all of the interesting people that he meets along the way. The highly stylized art direction and exquisite cinematography in David Fincher’s film brings the story to life. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett give two of the best performances of their careers in the movie. It’s difficult to forget the film even after the last scene has played and the credits have finished.
4) Minority Report
Short story, The Minority Report, written by Philip K. Dick
Arguably one of Steven Spielberg’s most interesting films, this movie is fairly loosely based on the 1956 short story. The concept of precognition and predicting future crimes before they even happen is fascinating and translates well to the screen. Starring Tom Cruise and Samantha Morton, the movie is fast-paced and features some great special effects. The film was nominated for several awards and was a box office smash hit.