Golden Years

The movie (1991, 236 min) made of Stephen King’s book is worth seeing.  You see Harlan Williams (Keith Szarabajka), an elderly caretaker at a secret government facility physically changed in an accident.  In his golden years he’s made young again while his wife remains the same age. An interesting story with some very good acting.


The Stand

This six hour movie was made in 1994 from a book by Stephen King that would take even longer to read I imagine (I’d like to make the attempt some day).
A military-engineered flu vectored through the air kills nearly everyone. Only a few are left and these dream two extremes. An elderly black woman (the prophet) living in a corn field or The One who walks alone (the demon). The dreamers have to decide which side they want. In the end a stand must be taken.
King does an interesting job in contrasting good with evil and the difficulty of prophecy. He (only briefly appearing in the Langoliers) has a little more time acting in this one… he’s not bad either.
I enjoyed this, but not as much as the Langoliers.

The Langoliers

This 1995 movie based on a book by Stephen King was nothing that I expected. I didn’t expect to enjoy it at all but I did. The story was very interesting and does not sit easily in the horror or psychological thriller or science fiction or Mystery genres. Perhaps it is all four.
At 179 minutes, it isn’t short, but it seems to flow very well. This is helped along by an excellent cast including Dean Stockwell as the resourceful Mystery Writer Bob Jenkins, Patricia Wettig (Laurel Stevenson), David Morse (Captain Brian Engle), Mark Lindsay Chapman (Nick Hopewell), Kate Maberly (wonderful as the young blind woman Dinah Catherine Bellman), and Bronson Pinchot as the psychopath Craig Toomey.

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption

That is the original name of the Stephen King novella which was the basis for the film by Director and Screenwriter Frank Darabont (who also did The Green Mile from another King story). It is an amazing movie which, like many other classics, did not do well at the box office when it first came out in 1994. I do like the original name and I wish it had been kept.
In fact the mention of Rita Hayworth is special in that it, and the name of the prison for that matter, are both cyphers. They don’t tell you anything about the film until you have seen it (and have thus become in the know). Lots of things are hidden in this work of art. Whether Dufresne is innocent or not. Whether Red will ever get out. Finding hope in the very, very dark place they are trapped in. Being human in a prison.
The chemistry of Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins on the screen as Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding and Andy Dufresne is magical. I would go further to say that the relationship of these characters is really a succinct definition of friendship. Something that grows between two people so they each care for the other so much that it hurts. It’s the kind of friendship everyone aspires to have: seeing the movie can help you and me in that way.