After a famous author is rescued from a car crash by a fan of his novels, he comes to realize that the care he is receiving is only the beginning of a nightmare of captivity and abuse.



(novel), (screenplay)
574 ( 94)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Jerry Potter ...
Thomas Brunelle ...
Anchorman (as Tom Brunelle)
Julie Payne ...
Reporter #1
Reporter #2 (as Archie Hahn III)
Gregory Snegoff ...
Reporter #3
Wendy Bowers ...
Misery the Pig ...


Best-selling novelist Paul Sheldon is on his way home from his Colorado hideaway after completing his latest book, when he crashes his car in a freak blizzard. Paul is critically injured, but is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes, Paul's "number one fan", who takes Paul back to her remote house in the mountains (without bothering to tell anybody). Unfortunately for Paul, Annie is also a headcase. When she discovers that Paul has killed off the heroine in her favorite novels, her reaction leaves Paul shattered (literally)... Written by Andrew Backhouse (andback74)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Paul Sheldon used to write for a living. Now, he's writing to stay alive. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Miseria  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)


$61,276,872 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


After refusing to speak about his motivations for writing "Misery" for two decades, Stephen King finally came out and stated that it is indeed about his battle with substance abuse. Kathy Bates' character is a representation of his dependency on drugs and what it did to his body, making him feel alone and separated from everything while hobbling any attempts he made at escape. In his statement, he said he did not come out with it at the time because he was not ready and because he was afraid it would detract from the story. See more »


Even as the car is completing its violent, tumbling crash and coming to a full stop, its body and wheels are completely covered with a thin, uniform, undisturbed layer of snow. See more »


[last lines]
Waitress: Excuse me, but are you Paul Sheldon?
Paul Sheldon: Yes.
Waitress: I just wanted to tell you I'm your number one fan.
Paul Sheldon: That's... very sweet of you...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Misery the Pig - Herself See more »


Performed by Liberace
Courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department
Written by Irving Kahal and Sammy Fain
Published by Williamson Music Company and Bienstock Publishing Company, on behalf of Redwood Music Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Shining, shocking dark comedy in the Hitchcock mold
25 March 2003 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Writer William Goldman and director Rob Reiner do Hitchcock proud with this one. It has all the elements: a seemingly innocent place and situation invaded by a growing sense of sinister dread until a breathtaking climax. The intelligent script is peppered with moments that will either make you cringe or make you laugh, depending on how morbid your sense of humor is. It is a harrowing movie to watch the first time around. The crew has done a good job of making you feel Paul Sheldon's pain. Few films torture the audience like this one. In fact, I venture to say this is the best film of its kind since "Psycho" thirty years earlier.

The acting is good all-round. Farnsworth steals every scene he's in with his sardonic and relentless sheriff - he did not get enough accolades for what would have been a routine part in a lesser actor's hands. Caan is solid and underplays beautifully, and the inimitable Kathy Bates carries the film with her alternately hysterical or ridiculously-sappy Annie, the psychotic Sheldon fan. Her performance is a throwback to Hollywood's old days - it's not subtle, not quiet, and borders on over-acting. This is not method acting, this is showing off. But Bates makes it work, investing Annie with enough pitifulness to make the character complex and, thus, hold the role together. This movie is famous, of course, for making Kathy Bates an overnight sensation as everybody went into the movie wanting to see what Sonny Corleone looked like as an older man, but left with accolades for Kathy Bates on their lips. She is absolutely terrifying and unforgettable in this role and perfect for it.

Brilliant performance that elevated a 7-star thriller to 9-10 classic status.

66 of 78 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Had Annie LIKED the ending of Misery's Child... RforFilm
Is this actually a plot hole? peggy714
Very disappointing .. if you read the book walpen87
Funniest Parts marine1137
What is the scariest scene in the novel isimness
The Sheriff and his wife Murrays_leggy_blonde
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