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Needful Things (1993)

 -  Crime | Drama | Fantasy  -  27 August 1993 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 14,266 users  
Reviews: 80 user | 35 critic

A mysterious new shop opens in a small town which always seems to stock the deepest desires of each shopper, with a price far heavier than expected.

Director:

(as Fraser C. Heston)

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Leland Gaunt (as Max Von Sydow)
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...
...
...
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Valri Bromfield ...
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Father Meehan (as W. Morgan Sheppard)
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Campbell Lane ...
Eric Schneider ...
Frank C. Turner ...
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Storyline

Leland Gaunt comes to Sheriff Alan Pangborn's pleasant little New England town, and opens a store. What this kindly Satan sells is whatever you need, from a surcease from pain to an object which you have always coveted. The Faustian price is, of course, corruption, and soon the poor sheriff's town is wracked by jealousy, spite, and violence. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prank | sheriff | devil | desire | pain | See All (48) »

Taglines:

Buy now. Pay later. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 August 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Begærets butik  »

Box Office

Gross:

$15,185,672 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The setting of Needful Things is a fictional town called Castle Rock, Maine - as in Stephen King's novel. The distribution company Castle Rock was named after it when it released Stand by Me (1986). Castle Rock was also the setting for The Dead Zone (1983), Cujo (1983), and The Dark Half (1993). See more »

Goofs

During a flashback sequence that takes place in 1955, teenagers are driving around in a convertible as Jerry Lee Lewis's "Great Balls Of Fire" blares from the car radio. Lewis recorded, and released the song in 1956, one year after the events depicted in this scene take place. See more »

Quotes

Leland Gaunt: SHOOT THEM!
[Alan Pangborn fires his pistol in the air instead]
Leland Gaunt: OH YOU WUSSY!
See more »

Connections

Follows The Dark Half (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

My Favourite Things
Written by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Could have been better, could have been worse
20 August 2006 | by (Austria, Vienna) – See all my reviews

"Needful Things" is a typical mediocre Stephen King adaptation. The drawn out book itself isn't among King's best work. Still, the fascination of the story lies in the detail and that had to be trimmed down for a 2 hours-movie version (there is another cut of the movie that's one hour longer, by the way). A lot of things had to be kicked out, but there was way too much changing around of events, items and characters. Ace Merril, a very important character for the novel's big finale, was ignored completely, for instance. I could understand things like that if they improved the movie. Kubrick made a lot of changes with his version of "Shining" and at least one could see why. With "Needful Things" the changes seem totally random and that's rather annoying for someone who has read the book.

If you don't know the story beforehand the movie will probably still seem rushed. You can't really make a connection with the many characters and Sheriff Alan Pangborn finding out what's going on in the town seems unbelievable. It didn't really work in the book, but in the movie it's just stupid that he would draw such far fetched conclusions so quickly.

The acting, on the other hand, is solid. Max von Sydow is a good choice for the part of Leland Gaunt, and Ed Harris is great as ever, although he has to work with a rather mediocre script. The sidecharacters are okay for the most part, even though Polly Chalmers and Wilma Jerzyck are maybe exaggerated.

Unlike a lot of latter King adaptations this one seems to have been made with a decent budget. The locations look good and there are a few nice special effects. At times the explosions and the score can be too much, though. It's as if director Fraser Clarke Heston realized his movie wasn't turning out as exciting as he hoped, so he decided to blow it up with some dramatic music and fire.

Well, as I've said in the headline. This movie could have been a lot better, but it could also have been a complete failure. As it is, it's good for one viewing but if you've read the novel you're going to be disappointed.


31 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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One of the worst movies I have ever seen! aj-1985
Max von Sydow - Greatest Actor Ever ss_xfp
Flagg/Leland Gaunt soggytwinkies
Alan Pangborn is a Gunslinger... kind of TopBoost
Region 2 DVD? mjj24_2002
This would make an excellent television series Mister_Scratch
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