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Misery (1990)

R  |   |  Thriller  |  30 November 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 125,705 users  
Reviews: 307 user | 126 critic

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)
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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 »




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 seeing The Shining (1980). Rob Reiner was immediately inspired to direct a movie based on a Stephen King novel. See more »


Buster's wife Virginia was curious to know why Buster was in such a 'hurrying' kind of mood when looking for the Post-it note with the quote from Paul's book. He finds the note and gets into his truck and heads to Annie's house. It is seen that it is still daylight outside just after Annie shoots. A minute later, Paul is seen in the writing studio again, and it appears to be night time, so that means several hours have passed. But wouldn't Buster's wife be suspicious if he had been gone so long and maybe send some people to go and look for him? See more »


Paul Sheldon: You know I never tasted meatloaf quite like this, what's your secret?
Annie Wilkes: My secret is, I always use fresh tomatoes, never canned. And to give it that extra zip, I mix a little Spam with the ground beef!
Paul Sheldon: Can't get this in a restaurant in New York.
Annie Wilkes: Oh, no.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Misery the Pig - Herself See more »


Referenced in V.I.P.: K-Val (1999) See more »


Written by Larry Grossman
Published by Fiddleback Music Co., Inc., New Start Music and Eric Lieber Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Don't EVER have a Number 1 fan...
7 January 2006 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Horror movies generally aren't my cup of tea, but people have always talked about how great Misery is. So I decided to give it a look when it came on TV today. All I can say is that I was definitely not disappointed; this was an amazing movie.

Misery is the story of writer Paul Sheldon (James Caan), who is driving through a snowstorm after just having finished his newest novel. The car crashes, and it seems that Paul will die, trapped in his car in the snow in a deserted forest, when he is rescued by a mysterious stranger. She turns out to be Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), a former nurse who dresses his wounds and gives him a comfortable bed. In addition, it turns out that Annie is Paul's self-proclaimed Number 1 Fan. Specifically, she is obsessed with the Misery Chastain series, Paul's major claim to fame. Annie keeps Paul in an isolated room for days, then weeks, as the outside world searches for him. Eventually, when Annie objects to the content of Paul's latest manuscript, and when she has a hysterical reaction to the death of Misery in the latest novel, Paul (and the audience) come to see that there may be something wrong with Annie.

Caan and Bates were absolutely stunning in their performances. The vast majority of this movie focused on them, so it was crucial that they both be able to convey the sense that something horrific was going on. It was no surprise that Kathy Bates won the Best Actress Oscar for her role. Everything in this movie really worked to show just how trapped Paul was, and how hopeless his situation seemed. And of course, this movie left a few indelible images in the mind. (One in particular comes to mind, and I really wish that I hadn't seen that scene previously on some other TV show; that almost took away from the impact of seeing it in context.) So, if you are a fan of suspenseful fare, or you just want to see a horror movie (mostly) sans blood and guts, Misery is for you. You will never, ever want to hear anyone say that they're a fan of yours again.

51 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Is this actually a plot hole? peggy714
Very disappointing .. if you read the book walpen87
'Dom Perignon' :) TuesdayGirl
James Caan is the king of of the "Are you Crazy look?" iheartnormi
What is the scariest scene in the novel isimness
Funniest scene in the movie. numberjuan
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