Short Stories That Were Made Into Movies

The medium of the short story has long been a popular format for adaption among screenwriters and filmmakers. Many classic movies are based on works of short fiction. The brevity of the short story leaves filmmakers with space to embellish story lines, amplify characterization and create their own interpretation of themes and narratives.

  1. Classic Movies

    • Classic movie directors often turned to the short story for inspiration. In 1946, Ernest Hemingway's short fiction piece "The Killers" was made into a film-noir by director Robert Slodak. "The Killers" was nominated for four Academy Awards. Released to wide acclaim in 1964, Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" is probably the most famous movie ever to be based on a short story. "The Birds" had been adapted from Daphne du Maurier's 1952 novella of the same name.

    Cult Movies

    • In 2004, the short story, "Tony Takitani," by cult Japanese author Haruki Murakami was adapted into a powerful, yet stunningly subtle, movie of the same name. A selection of short stories taken from controversial author Bret Easton Eliis' book of interweaving tales, "The Informers," was adapted for the screen in 2009. The film starred Winona Ryder and Billy Bob Thornton. David Cronenberg's cult 1986 movie, "The Fly," was loosely based on the 1958 short story by George Langelaan.

    Contemporary Cinema

    • Director Ang Lee's blockbuster "Brokeback Mountain" was released to extremely high acclaim in 2005. The movie was adapted from the E. Annie Proulx's story of the same name which had been included in "Close Range," her 1999 collection of Wyoming-based short fiction. Robert Altman's 1993 drama "Short Cuts" was based upon various pieces taken from the works of celebrated short story author Raymond Carver

    Science Fiction and Horror Movies

    • One of the most adapted authors of recent years is the prolific horror writer, Stephen King. His supernatural prison drama, "The Green Mile," had originally been published in a series of short installments and was adapted for the screen in 1999. Classic sci-fi horror flick, "The Lawnmower Man," was based upon King's 1975 short story. Cult science fiction author Phillip K. Dick is another frequently adapted author. Films based on his short stories include "Total Recall" and "Minority Report"

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