7.8/10
177,643
392 user 167 critic

Misery (1990)

Trailer
2:15 | Trailer
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
958 ( 390)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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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 ... Self
Learn more

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Paul's car is found, he is assumed to be dead, in a subplot original to the film. Coincidentally, on June 19, 1999, author Stephen King was hit by a car with some initial reports saying he had died. King eventually incorporated the accident into his book "The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower," which also briefly mentioned Annie Wilkes. See more »

Goofs

In the montage of shots indicating Paul's vast progress in the novel, we see a few shots of him writing the same paragraph over and over again, which begins, "for three days and three nights, Misery..." The same line appears again when Paul is typing the final chapter near the end. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Waitress: Excuse me, but are you Paul Sheldon?
Paul Sheldon: Yes.
Waitress: I just wanted to tell you I'm your number one fan.
Paul Sheldon: That's... very sweet of you...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Misery the Pig - Herself See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Critic: Miserable (1994) 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 »

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Misery 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

Gross USA:

$61,276,872

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$61,276,872
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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