6.2/10
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87 user 45 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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Cast

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

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Castle Rock Entertainment in association with New Line Cinema presents 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the feature film debut for director Fraser C. Heston, who had played the infant Moses in The Ten Commandments (1956). During the filming, he took Max von Sydow (who played Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)) aside to discuss how he would play the upcoming scene. One observer noted, "That's something you don't see every day - Moses telling Jesus how to play the devil." See more »

Goofs

There are inconsistencies in how Polly's arthritis is portrayed. When she introduces herself to Mr. Gaunt, she says she doesn't shake hands; later, she is unable to put on the silver charm; and the degree of her pain is frequently alluded to in dialog. However, she is shown carrying a nearly full coffee pot, carrying a cup and saucer, holding a phone receiver: a person with advanced arthritis would be unable to do any of those things. See more »

Quotes

[Alan is trying to break up an argument between Deputy Norris and Danforth]
Alan: You know, guys, I moved here and I thought, Great! I'm outta the big city and I'm finally in a place where everybody isn't gonna be crawling up everybody's asshole every day! A place where maybe my biggest nightmare is gonna be getting some goddamn cat out of a tree! But forget that! EVERYBODY IS INSANE, EVERYWHERE!
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Connections

Featured in Joe Bob's Drive-In Theater: Viki Williamson Night (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

In The Hall Of The Mountain King
From Peer Gynt Suite
Composed by Edvard Grieg (as Edvard Hagerut Grieg)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Very Enjoyable Trip to Castle Rock
10 March 2011 | by (United States) – 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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