Stephen King and the Carrie Movie Novel

GUEST ARTICLE: Eddie D. Shackleford

Stephen King is America's -- and possibly the world's -- most famous and successful writer of horror novels. Mr. King's honors include 14 Bram Stoker awards, 6 Horror Guild awards, and the coveted Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master award (2007).

This award-winning author has written a minimum of 56 novels, beginning with "Carrie" in 1974, and 41 of his works have been made into movies for the big screen, short films, and television mini-series. The first of Mr. King's novels to be made into a feature film was "Carrie."

The movie "Carrie" was screen written by Larry Cohen and was directed by Brian de Palma of "Dressed to Kill," "Scarface," and "Mission: Impossible" fame. The film was released in 1976 and was considered a box office hit for the time. It starred Sissy Spacek, who received an Academy Award nomination for her performance. The cast of actors also included Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, and John Travolta.

According to
Talk Stephen King, Stephen King’s Carrie was a masterpiece. The novel tells the fictional story of Carrie, a high-school girl who is considered a misfit by her classmates. Her classmates and neighborhood children taunt and tease her regularly. She has an abusive mother who is also a religious fanatic. Carries discovers she can move small objects with her mind and considers this a game to entertain herself in her spare time. But as life becomes more and more difficult due to her mother’s abuse and the torment of her peers, Carrie’s abilities become more powerful and eventually violent. After a mean prank is pulled on her at her senior prom, Carrie uses her powers to punish her tormenters.

The novel and the film are built on the same premise: misfit with telekinetic powers teaches bullies a big lesson, but several details are changed between the two. For starters, Carrie’s appearance is more pleasant in the movie than described in the novel. Her mother is more attractive in the movie also. Several of Carrie’s destructive scenes were difficult to reproduce and were therefore changed or removed from the movie altogether. Other changes between the novel and the movie are the manners in which Carrie and her mother die. In the novel, Carrie causes her mother's death, but it is much less violent than depicted in the movie. In the movie, Carrie dies from debris falling on her head, and in the novel, she dies from the physical shock put on her system by using her powers.

"Carrie" is only one example of Stephen King's success turning novels, and even short stories, into movies. Stephen King's novella, "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption," became a critically acclaimed feature film as did his short story series "The Green Mile," which received four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture.

It is rumored that Stephen King works closely with screen writers and directors when his novels are converted to ensure they maintain their intended integrity. However, this writer highly recommends reading Stephen King novels prior to watching their adaptation for the big screen.

Bio: Eddie D. Shackleford is a huge fan of Stephen King. Eddie loves all types of horror movies and novels and spends most of his time reading King’s work or other great horror author’s books.

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