On today's DVDuesday, Chris Gore talked about The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and it got me thinking that, sometimes, you can make a great long film based on a very short story. Examples? Thought you'd never ask. Here we go.
Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, Stephen King - This very short, nearly throw-away story from Stephen King's Different Seasons, which came out in 1982, formed the basis for the one movie on Earth that it seems that everyone likes. Seriously, you can not find anyone who doesn't like The Shawshank Redemption. The story, though, is a lot more heady, and detail-oriented than the film's brilliantly drawn characters. Still, it's worth a read, so you should check it out.
We Can Remember If For You Wholesale, Philip K. Dick - One of the great adapted authors of our time (Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was the basis for Blade Runner) wrote this short story that ended up being the classic Schwarzenegger film Total Recall. Cohaagen, give us some air!
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad - This short story about a man who goes crazy as a result of the horrors of ivory trading became the immortal Francis Ford Coppola war film Apocalypse Now. In fact, it was originally written as a three-part series in a magazine, before being published as a novella in 1902.
So, you see, sometimes the best films can come from the most concise ideas, and you don't need a voluminous amount of content to adapt to a film...just a good story, and an opportunity for actors to chew scenery.