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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)
Reviews
Popularity
1,662 ( 7)
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:

Paul Sheldon used to write for a living. Now, he's writing to stay alive. See more »

Genres:

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

Warren Beatty was involved briefly while they were developing the script and helped them close some possible plot holes in regard to Paul's efforts to escape. "He said, 'Pretend that it's me, Warren Beatty, an intelligent person trapped in the bed, I would think of every possible way to get out of this house.'" From there they worked through various possibilities and then made sure to block off that option from Paul. See more »

Goofs

(at around 55 mins) Annie helps Paul from his wheelchair into bed. She then offers a pencil and pad of paper to Paul. When the camera is looking up from the bed toward Annie the pencil is in her right hand, the paper in the left. When the camera moves behind Annie and looks over her shoulder, she now has the pencil in her left hand and paper in her right hand. See more »

Quotes

Virginia McCain: [teasing Buster about a fake affair as she looks through the new Misery books] Well, whoever she is, she sure likes to read a lot.
Sheriff John T. 'Buster' McCain: Virginia, I'm flattered that you think I have that kind of energy. I figure that if I can't find Paul Sheldon, at least I'll find out what he wrote about.
Virginia McCain: Well, what do you expect to find? A story about a guy who drove his car off a cliff in a snowstorm?
Sheriff John T. 'Buster' McCain: You see, it's just that kind of sarcasm that's given our marriage real spice.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Misery the Pig - Herself See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Mega64: Mega64! (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

MOONLIGHT SONATA
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Liberace
Courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department
Arranged by Liberace
Published by AVI Music Publishing Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Don't EVER have a Number 1 fan...
7 January 2006 | by sngbrd39See all my reviews

Horror movies generally aren't my cup of tea, but people have always talked about how great Misery is. So I decided to give it a look when it came on TV today. All I can say is that I was definitely not disappointed; this was an amazing movie.

Misery is the story of writer Paul Sheldon (James Caan), who is driving through a snowstorm after just having finished his newest novel. The car crashes, and it seems that Paul will die, trapped in his car in the snow in a deserted forest, when he is rescued by a mysterious stranger. She turns out to be Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), a former nurse who dresses his wounds and gives him a comfortable bed. In addition, it turns out that Annie is Paul's self-proclaimed Number 1 Fan. Specifically, she is obsessed with the Misery Chastain series, Paul's major claim to fame. Annie keeps Paul in an isolated room for days, then weeks, as the outside world searches for him. Eventually, when Annie objects to the content of Paul's latest manuscript, and when she has a hysterical reaction to the death of Misery in the latest novel, Paul (and the audience) come to see that there may be something wrong with Annie.

Caan and Bates were absolutely stunning in their performances. The vast majority of this movie focused on them, so it was crucial that they both be able to convey the sense that something horrific was going on. It was no surprise that Kathy Bates won the Best Actress Oscar for her role. Everything in this movie really worked to show just how trapped Paul was, and how hopeless his situation seemed. And of course, this movie left a few indelible images in the mind. (One in particular comes to mind, and I really wish that I hadn't seen that scene previously on some other TV show; that almost took away from the impact of seeing it in context.) So, if you are a fan of suspenseful fare, or you just want to see a horror movie (mostly) sans blood and guts, Misery is for you. You will never, ever want to hear anyone say that they're a fan of yours again.


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