6.2/10
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89 user 48 critic

Needful Things (1993)

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.

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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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Deputy Norris Ridgewick
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Hugh Priest
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Father Meehan (as W. Morgan Sheppard)
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Reverend Rose
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Frank Jewett
Eric Schneider ...
Henry Beaufort
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...
Myrtle Keeton
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

This store want's to collect the ultimate price only 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  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,202,478, 29 August 1993, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$15,185,672
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ed Harris and J.T. Walsh also appeared in Nixon (1995). See more »

Goofs

The character Frank Jewett buys the First Edition of Treasure Island in the shop. Later in a fight with Sheriff Pangborn this mentioning of the book's title is dubbed as Frank seems to have bought something else than the Treasure Island. When it comes to the mentioning of the "First Edition" of it, the dubbing is correct again. See more »

Quotes

Leland Gaunt: Oh. You know, there are days I really hate this job. This is not my best work, not by a long shot. Oh, sure, a few murders and a couple of rather lovely explosions. I would hardly call it a rousing success, but what the hell? I'll be back. In the meantime, you and Polly, you are two terrific kids, and you'll marry her. Trust me. She's a lovely girl, Alan. You'll have a wonderful family. Oh, by the way, give my regards to your grandson. Bob will be his name, International Trade his game. I'll ...
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Connections

Referenced in A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
Written by J.D. Miller
Performed by Kitty Wells
Courtesy of Dominion Entertainment, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Very Enjoyable Trip to Castle Rock
10 March 2011 | by See all my reviews

The small town of Castle Rock suddenly changes when Leland Gaunt (Max von Sydow) opens a store called Needful Things. Soon, everyone finds something they want, and have a high price to pay for it. The town turns itself inside out!

I enjoyed this film, watching it at a friend's house while swirling a glass of zinfandel. It is really made by having Max von Sydow as Leland Gaunt. Without von Sydow in this role -- looking very much the successful of Vincent Price -- the film may have become just another poor King adaptation. But I think this one is one of the better attempts, or at least above average.

I find it interesting that Sheriff Alan Pangborn, played here by Ed Harris, also appears in "The Dark Half" (1993), released earlier the same year, in which the part is played by Michael Rooker. I wish they would have kept the casting the same. King's novels overlap, and I think if the films did, too, it would create more of a demand for them, and make the overarching story more interesting. This story connects also to "Stand By Me", but you would never know it from the film.

The film was directed by Fraser C. Heston, the son of actor Charlton Heston. It was Heston's first project, and an admirable one. To me, it feels like many of King's films have a similar look or feel to them, and I wonder if this is intentional, or if I am just crazy. But if it is intentional, Heston nails it.

While there are other King adaptations I would recommend first -- It, The Shining, Carrie and Dead Zone, just off the top of my head -- this is still better than some, and a good deal better than a lot of the horror films out there. If you are unsure, I say go for it.


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