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Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)

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In a small American town, a diabolical circus and its demonic proprietor prey on the townsfolk.


Jack Clayton


Ray Bradbury (screenplay), Ray Bradbury (novel)
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Robards ... Charles Halloway
Jonathan Pryce ... Mr. Dark
Diane Ladd ... Mrs. Nightshade
Royal Dano ... Tom Fury
Vidal Peterson ... Will Halloway
Shawn Carson ... Jim Nightshade
Mary Grace Canfield ... Miss Foley
Richard Davalos ... Mr. Crosetti
Jake Dengel Jake Dengel ... Mr. Tetley
Jack Dodson ... Dr. Douglas
Bruce M. Fischer ... Mr. Cooger
Ellen Geer ... Mrs. Halloway
Pam Grier ... Dust Witch
Brendan Klinger ... Cooger as a Child
James Stacy ... Ed, The Bartender


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


After he fulfills your deepest, lifelong dream...he'll tell you the price you have to pay. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

29 April 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Böse kommt auf leisen Sohlen See more »


Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,423,555, 1 May 1983, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Mechanical effects designer Isidoro Raponi built fake tarantulas to augment the 200 live ones used in the spider attack sequence. See more »


Mr. Dark skips the number 41 during the library sequence. See more »


Charles Halloway: Boys, what the hell is going on around here?
See more »

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User Reviews

10 April 2007 | by Im_Martin_ScorseseSee all my reviews

It is like the ultimate validation of the intense energy I have always experienced when a storm is on the horizon. Mother Nature is amazing . . .

But onto the movie . . . I felt that the meat and potatoes of this film really stood the test of time, though the special effects certainly did not. This one definitely smacks of morals when you get right down to it. Several lessons to be learned here kiddies - not the least of which is to be careful what you wish for - especially when the wish is being granted by one Mr. Dark (Jonathan Pryce), proprietor of a seriously evil, ages-old, traveling carnival.

And isn't there always something a little sinister and mysterious about a traveling carnival? Who are these people that travel from town to town cajoling the locals to ride their rides, taste their foods and play their games. Certainly in the case of Mr. Dark and his Pandemonium carnival all was not as it seemed.

Two young boys, Will Halloway (Vidal Peterson) and Jim Nightshade (Shawn Carson) get themselves into a bit of hot water when they, along with Will's father, Charles (Jason Robards), discover what it is that this traveling carnival is really all about. They then have to battle Mr. Dark and the Dust Witch (Pam Grier) as well as some of their own personal demons in order to save themselves and the others in their sleepy little town from the dark side.

The film adaptation of the classic Ray Bradbury book, Something Wicked This Way Comes, will certainly entertain you. If you can get past the cheesy special effects and focus more on the crux of the story, it may even frighten you a bit. Either way, it is certainly worthy of your time to watch it and heed the warning to be careful what you wish because there are often consequences to being given something you desire . . . nothing is free in this world or in any other for that matter.

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