The Dark Half
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Dark Half can be found here.

Yes. The Dark Half (1989) was written by American horror novelist Stephen King.

No. However, when Thad is asked to autograph a book and refuses, saying it is not his book, Stephen King's picture is on the back.

Those who have both seen the movie and read the book say that this is probably one of the closest adaptations yet of a Stephen King novel. Yet, there are some differences noted. Probably the biggest departure from the book was having Timothy Hutton play both Thad Beaumont and George Stark. In the book they were radically different physical types (one dark and thin, the other blond and muscular). Also, Stark's deterioration is much more severe in the book, as his appearance is described as being very grotesque, pretty much to the point of being inhuman. In addition, The character Rawlie DeLesseps in the novel undergoes a gender change and becomes Reggie Delesseps in the movie: the character explains much of Stark's origin in the movie while in the novel Thad merely speculates. Homer Gomache, an innocent bystander in the book, is restructured as the photographer in the movie, providing a more specific motive for Stark's animosity toward him. The movie presents the story in chronological order, while some of the events are told non-chronologically via flashbacks and reminisces in the novel. Unlike in the novel, Thad has no ironclad alibi for the first murder. Stark kills Rick Cowley in person rather than using explosives as in the novel. Thad undergoes an elaborate routine to evade his police escorts in the novel which is omitted in the movie. Thad visits Pritchard in person in the movie, while Pangborn speaks with the doctor in the novel. Stark murders Pritchard in the movie, a scene that doesn't appear in the novel. And Stark doesn't capture Sheriff Pangborn. Finally, there are a LOT more sparrows in the book.

There are several films with the title Doppelgnger. There is Doppelganger (1993), in which a woman is followed to LA by what appears to be her evil twin and Dopperugengâ (2003), in which a stressed out inventor is aided by his Doppelgnger. In Doppelganger (1997) the Doppelgnger is actually a clone, and in Doppelgänger (1969) aka Journey to the Far Side of the Sun, the Doppelgangers are exact duplicates of people that exist on a parallel Earth located on the other side of the sun. A film not called Doppelgnger but possessing one anyway is The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970) about a man who finds that he has a Doppelgnger after he survives a car crash. Other films that have been recommended as featuring characters with split identities, but not necessarily true Doppelgngers, include Mulholland Dr. (2001), Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951) and Vertigo (1958), Lost Highway (1997), Possession (1981), Dead Ringers (1988), Identity (2003), Cet obscur objet du désir/The Obscure Object of Desire (1977), and La double vie de Véronique/The Double Life of Veronique (1991). That should be enough to get you started.

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 4 months ago
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