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Needful Things (1993)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Fantasy  |  27 August 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 15,437 users  
Reviews: 86 user | 43 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.


(as Fraser C. Heston)


(book), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leland Gaunt (as Max Von Sydow)
Nettie Cobb
Valri Bromfield ...
Father Meehan (as W. Morgan Sheppard)
Campbell Lane ...
Eric Schneider ...


Castle Rock, New England, is a nice place to live and grow and Sheriff Alan Pangborn moves from the big city to the town expecting a quiet life. When Leland Gaunt opens the store Needful Things, he seems to have the object of desire for each dweller. He charges small amounts to the things but requests a practical joke for each of them against another inhabitant. Soon hell breaks loose in town with deaths, violence and riot and Sheriff Pangborn discovers that Leland Gaunt is the devil himself. Further, Gaunt is manipulating the population like puppets exploring the weakness and greed of each person. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The town of Castle Rock just made a deal with the Devil... Now it's time to pay! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 August 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Begærets butik  »

Box Office


$15,185,672 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Stephen King's original novel also featured a return appearance by Ace Merrill, the bully played by Kiefer Sutherland in Stand by Me (1986). See more »


One man buys a first edition, signed copy of "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson. In later scenes, he and the little girl who stole it refer to the title as "Huck Finn" by Mark Twain. In the video and DVD release, his words are dubbed over to correct the mistake. On the television broadcast, the mistake was not corrected. This is an audio mismatch and a continuity error, depending on which version you saw. See more »


Leland Gaunt: If it's too hot in here, Mr. Jewett, just say the word. I'm afraid I have a tendency to turn up the heat.
See more »


Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Stephen King Movies (2011) See more »


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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Max on Sydow saves this King adaptation
13 February 2012 | by (Warszawa, Polska) – See all my reviews

I'm not a big Stephen King fan but the premise to this story is just great. It should make for a great film but for some reason the film disappoints. Not terribly but you feel like you should have gotten more.

Enter Max von Sydow. The man is an absolute pleasure to watch in any film he is in and no matter how long he appears in a given film it is better for his involvement. Without question one of the world's greatest actors of the twentieth century. This is obviously not his best role but he lends a wonderful Old World charm to this American story, his turn as the shopkeeper saves this movie from being low- quality and brings it up to a decent spooky story.

I have heard that the TBS version is much better as it feature more characterization (what I found to be the weakest part of the film) but I have not seen it. If anyone has any idea where to acquire it please leave a comment.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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