In Green Town, Illinois, the twelve year-old boys Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade are neighbors and best friends. Will's father Charles Halloway is an old man and the local librarian while Jim and his mother wait for the return of the return of their father and husband that will never occur. The boys know everyone in town, including their school teacher Miss Foley that misses her beauty and youth; the lonely barber Mr. Crosetti that has no girlfriend or wife; the greedy owner of a cigar store Mr. Tetley that is obsessed with money; and the bartender Ed that has severed arm and leg and dreams on being a football hero. One day, Jim buys a lightning rod from the salesman Tom Fury that tells that a storm is coming. During the night, the boys overhear a mysterious train and they run through the woods to see the arrival but they do not see a living soul. However, they find the Mr. Dark's Pandemonium Carnival ready to be enjoyed and they snoop around. Soon they realize that frustrated and ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In the spider sequence, the boys are noticeably older, since the scene was re-shot after the rest of the production had been completed. This was used to replace a sequence with a large mechanical hand which, like the animated appearance of the carnival, was deemed too hokey and was subsequently cut from the film. See more »
Mr. Dark skips the number 41 during the library sequence. See more »
It was almost too much to hope that someone would make a movie version of Ray Bradbury's outstanding fantasy novel 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' that did justice to it, but director Jack Clayton did. He and his cohorts managed to capture all the dark, ominous portents and mysterious, mystical happenings that fill Bradbury's book.
Set earlier in this century, a carnival comes to a small town at a strange time of year, October. But then it's a mighty strange carnival, one that fulfills the fantasies--and fears--of the town's residents. Two young boys, Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade (Vidal Peterson and Shawn Carson) find out the foreboding and forbidden secrets of the carnival, as does the tired, prematurely old man (Jason Robards) who is Will's father.
As has been noted, there probably isn't another film with the Walt Disney name on it that is as dark as this one. It may be too frightening in parts for very young children and too disturbing at times for slightly older ones. A person's enjoyment of the film would be helped considerably by reading the book beforehand, much like Kubrick's '2001...' Besides those already mentioned, some of the good performances in the movie come from Royal Dano, James Stacy, and Jonathan Pryce as Mr. Dark.
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