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Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)

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In a small American town, a diabolical circus and its demonic proprietor prey on the townsfolk.



(screenplay), (novel)
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Crosetti
Jake Dengel ...
Mr. Tetley
Dr. Douglas


In Green Town, Illinois, the twelve year-old boys Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade are neighbors and best friends. Will's father Charles Halloway is an old man and the local librarian while Jim and his mother wait for the return of the return of their father and husband that will never occur. The boys know everyone in town, including their school teacher Miss Foley that misses her beauty and youth; the lonely barber Mr. Crosetti that has no girlfriend or wife; the greedy owner of a cigar store Mr. Tetley that is obsessed with money; and the bartender Ed that has severed arm and leg and dreams on being a football hero. One day, Jim buys a lightning rod from the salesman Tom Fury that tells that a storm is coming. During the night, the boys overhear a mysterious train and they run through the woods to see the arrival but they do not see a living soul. However, they find the Mr. Dark's Pandemonium Carnival ready to be enjoyed and they snoop around. Soon they realize that frustrated and ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Don't whisper your dreams, someone may be listening. [UK] See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

29 April 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Böse kommt auf leisen Sohlen  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,423,555, 1 May 1983, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


After a poorly received test screening, Disney held back the release of the movie for a year to re-edit , film additional and replacement scenes (including special effects sequences) with a second unit director, add opening narration, and hire James Horner to rewrite a completely new score, all of which added millions to the budget. When watching the film, it's quite obvious which scenes, such as the spider attack and the mirror maze climax, were filmed nearly a year after original production had wrapped. Reportedly, Bradbury and the original film makers were not pleased with the studio's intervention, nor the effects added. The picture ended up being a flop when it was finally released in 1983, despite Disney's attempts to make it more audience friendly. See more »


When Jim Nightshade buys the lightning rod with cash and coin, he has a Lincoln Memorial penny, which wasn't minted until 1959. The story is set earlier. See more »


Charles Halloway: I, uh, have the honor, sir.
Mr. Dark: And have had for many years, I do believe. All that time spent living only through other men's lives. Dreaming only other men's dreams. What a waste.
Charles Halloway: Sometimes a man can learn more from other men's dreams than he can from his own. Come visit me, sir, if you wish to improve your education.
Mr. Dark: I will, and I may improve yours.
See more »


Referenced in Royal Pains: Something Fishy This Way Comes (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Disney noir? A wonderful adaptation.
30 September 1999 | by See all my reviews

It was almost too much to hope that someone would make a movie version of Ray Bradbury's outstanding fantasy novel 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' that did justice to it, but director Jack Clayton did. He and his cohorts managed to capture all the dark, ominous portents and mysterious, mystical happenings that fill Bradbury's book.

Set earlier in this century, a carnival comes to a small town at a strange time of year, October. But then it's a mighty strange carnival, one that fulfills the fantasies--and fears--of the town's residents. Two young boys, Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade (Vidal Peterson and Shawn Carson) find out the foreboding and forbidden secrets of the carnival, as does the tired, prematurely old man (Jason Robards) who is Will's father.

As has been noted, there probably isn't another film with the Walt Disney name on it that is as dark as this one. It may be too frightening in parts for very young children and too disturbing at times for slightly older ones. A person's enjoyment of the film would be helped considerably by reading the book beforehand, much like Kubrick's '2001...' Besides those already mentioned, some of the good performances in the movie come from Royal Dano, James Stacy, and Jonathan Pryce as Mr. Dark.

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