7.8/10
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341 user 149 critic

Misery (1990)

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After a famous author is rescued from a car crash by a fan of his novels, he comes to realize that the care he is receiving is only the beginning of a nightmare of captivity and abuse.

Director:

Rob Reiner

Writers:

Stephen King (novel), William Goldman (screenplay)
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Popularity
1,580 ( 193)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Caan ... Paul Sheldon
Kathy Bates ... Annie Wilkes
Richard Farnsworth ... Buster
Frances Sternhagen ... Virginia
Lauren Bacall ... Marcia Sindell
Graham Jarvis ... Libby
Jerry Potter Jerry Potter ... Pete
Thomas Brunelle Thomas Brunelle ... Anchorman (as Tom Brunelle)
June Christopher ... Anchorwoman
Julie Payne Julie Payne ... Reporter #1
Archie Hahn ... Reporter #2 (as Archie Hahn III)
Gregory Snegoff ... Reporter #3
Wendy Bowers Wendy Bowers ... Waitress
Misery the Pig ... Herself
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Storyline

Best-selling novelist Paul Sheldon is on his way home from his Colorado hideaway after completing his latest book, when he crashes his car in a freak blizzard. Paul is critically injured, but is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes, Paul's "number one fan", who takes Paul back to her remote house in the mountains (without bothering to tell anybody). Unfortunately for Paul, Annie is also a headcase. When she discovers that Paul has killed off the heroine in her favorite novels, her reaction leaves Paul shattered (literally)... Written by Andrew Backhouse (andback74)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This Christmas there will be... Misery. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Miseria See more »

Filming Locations:

Truckee, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,076,834, 2 December 1990, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$61,276,872
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to William Goldman's book "Four Screenplays", the role of Paul Sheldon was offered to Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Mel Gibson, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, William Hurt (twice), Kevin Kline, Al Pacino, Robert Redford, Denzel Washington, and Bruce Willis, all of whom declined. See more »

Goofs

Annie tells Paul she got the typewriter because it has no "N"; in one of the first scenes where he's typing, there is clearly an "n" in his writing, at the end of the movie, there is no "n". See more »

Quotes

Paul Sheldon: [holding a rolled-up page of his manuscript] Remember how for all those years, nobody knew who Misery's real father was, or if they'd ever be reunited? It's all right here. Does she finally marry Ian, or will it be Winthorne? It's all right here.
[lights a match and with it, lights the page]
Annie Wilkes: Paul you can't!
[drops her glass]
Paul Sheldon: [Still holding the burning page] Why not? I learned it from you.
[Puts the burning page down onto his manuscript, already on the floor, burning it]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Misery the Pig - Herself See more »

Connections

Spoofed in iCarly: iPsycho (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

TCHAIKOVSKY PIANO CONCERTO #1
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performed by Liberace
Courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department
Arranged by Liberace
Published by AVI Music Publishing Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Shining, shocking dark comedy in the Hitchcock mold
25 March 2003 | by LoveCoatesSee all my reviews

Writer William Goldman and director Rob Reiner do Hitchcock proud with this one. It has all the elements: a seemingly innocent place and situation invaded by a growing sense of sinister dread until a breathtaking climax. The intelligent script is peppered with moments that will either make you cringe or make you laugh, depending on how morbid your sense of humor is. It is a harrowing movie to watch the first time around. The crew has done a good job of making you feel Paul Sheldon's pain. Few films torture the audience like this one. In fact, I venture to say this is the best film of its kind since "Psycho" thirty years earlier.

The acting is good all-round. Farnsworth steals every scene he's in with his sardonic and relentless sheriff - he did not get enough accolades for what would have been a routine part in a lesser actor's hands. Caan is solid and underplays beautifully, and the inimitable Kathy Bates carries the film with her alternately hysterical or ridiculously-sappy Annie, the psychotic Sheldon fan. Her performance is a throwback to Hollywood's old days - it's not subtle, not quiet, and borders on over-acting. This is not method acting, this is showing off. But Bates makes it work, investing Annie with enough pitifulness to make the character complex and, thus, hold the role together. This movie is famous, of course, for making Kathy Bates an overnight sensation as everybody went into the movie wanting to see what Sonny Corleone looked like as an older man, but left with accolades for Kathy Bates on their lips. She is absolutely terrifying and unforgettable in this role and perfect for it.

Brilliant performance that elevated a 7-star thriller to 9-10 classic status.


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