Stephen King has always enjoyed films and to a great extent, cinema has influenced his own literary investigations. Greatly inspired by films belonging to various genres, King established himself as the contemporary master of horror fiction and his own works have been adapted into multiple films and television series.
While filmmakers of the stature of Stanley Kubrick and Brian De Palma have worked on his material, these adaptations have not ceased at all. Modern streaming platforms such as Netflix have continued to churn out adaptation of Stephen King novels, including his recent works such as Mr. Harrigan’s Phone from If It Bleeds.
On multiple occasions, King has named some of his favourite films which have included the films of directors like Steven Spielberg, Zack Snyder and George A. Romero among others. King has also voiced his support for modern practitioners of horror filmmaking, especially Robert Eggers who produced masterful films like The Witch and The Lighthouse.
However, there is one particular film that Stephen King has referred to as his number one pick. Directed by New Hollywood maestro William Friedkin, the 1977 thriller Sorcerer has remained close to King’s heart since the first time he saw it and he still places it at the very top of the cinematic experiences he has enjoyed over the course of his life.
In an interview with the BFI, King explained that he liked Friedkin’s version more than the critically acclaimed original: “My favourite film of all time – this may surprise you—is Sorcerer, William Friedkin’s remake of the great Henri-Georges Clouzot’s The Wages of Fear. Some may argue that the Clouzot film is better; I beg to disagree.”
However, King also clarified that he wasn’t hostile to Clouzot’s artistic sensibilities. In fact, another one of his favourites was directed by Clouzot. “My second pick would be Clouzot’s Les Diaboliques, his suspense-horror masterpiece, as terrifying now as it was back in 1955. He out-Hitchcocked Hitchcock,” King added.