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The Dark Half (1993)

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A writer's fictional alter ego wants to take over his life...at any price.

Director:

George A. Romero

Writers:

Stephen King (novel), George A. Romero (screenplay)
3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Hutton ... Thad Beaumont / George Stark
Amy Madigan ... Liz Beaumont
Michael Rooker ... Sheriff Alan Pangborn
Julie Harris ... Reggie Delesseps
Robert Joy ... Fred Clawson
Kent Broadhurst ... Mike Donaldson
Beth Grant ... Shayla Beaumont
Rutanya Alda ... Miriam Cowley
Tom Mardirosian ... Rick Cowley
Larry John Meyers Larry John Meyers ... Dr. Pritchard
Patrick Brannan Patrick Brannan ... Young Thad Beaumont
Royal Dano ... Digger Holt
Glenn Colerider Glenn Colerider ... Homer Gamache
Sarah Parker Sarah Parker ... Wendy Beaumont / William Beaumont
Elizabeth Parker Elizabeth Parker ... Wendy Beaumont / William Beaumont
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Storyline

When Thad Beaumont was a child, he had an operation to remove a tumour from his brain. during the operation, it was discovered that far from being a tumor, the growth was a twin brother of Thad's that never developed. Years later, Thad is a successful author, writing his serious books under his own name, and his pulp money-makers under the pseudonum "George Stark". When blackmailed by someone who has discovered his secret, Thad publically "buries" George Stark. From that point on, Thad increasingly becomes the prime suspect in a series of gruesome murders. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are very good reasons to be afraid of the dark. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 April 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La mitad siniestra See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,579,068
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

Shot in 1991, but not released until 1993, due to Orion Pictures' financial problems. See more »

Goofs

George Stark, Thad Beaumont's alter ego, was supposed to be from Oxford, Mississippi, which is in Lafayette County. The Mississippi license plate on his car incorrectly said Harrison County, which is on the coast of Mississippi at the opposite end of the state from Oxford. See more »

Quotes

George Stark: [voice over the phone, threatening Thad] See if you can figure out where I'm calling from, Thad.
[hangs up]
Thad Beaumont: [pauses a second, then realizes] NO!
George Stark: [Thad calls his own home] That was quick, hoss.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Found (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Are You Lonesome To-night?
By Roy Turk & Lou Handman
Performed by Elvis Presley
Courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I Liked This More Than Everyone Else Did
10 April 2011 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton) had a brain tumor as a child that was an undeveloped twin. Now, as an adult, the twin returns, fully formed and violent. The source is a bit supernatural, but real enough to kill.

The story goes over ground that should be familiar to Stephen King fans. The idea of a child growing up to confront something from his childhood. The theme of a writer, explored numerous times ("Misery", "The Shining") but most closely to this in "Secret Window". Howard Maxford calls it a cross between "Misery" and "The Birds", which I do not fully accept but see his point.

Interestingly, Stephen King is not known for good movie adaptations, and George Romero has had his slew of below average films (though, if you stray from his zombie films, you will find an assortment of goodies). But together, they seem to have made a decent movie here. I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed "Creepshow" -- maybe these guys bring out the best in each other? Michael Rooker is here (with hair) playing the role played by Ed Harris in "Needful Things". I would have liked to see some consistency in casting, but how do you choose between Rooker and Harris? Both top notch. Another Harris, Julie Harris, does appear, though... And the music is from Christopher Young, perhaps best known for his "Hellraiser" score.

Some of the factual information I found to be a bit questionable. Does a military service record really go into an FBI fingerprint database? I suppose it might, but the idea struck me as odd. And the idea that one in ten people start off as twins seemed too exaggerated (and then they said that was at the very least). I would like to know the truth on that.

Overall, though, a really decent film. It is not Oscar or Golden Globe material by any means, but a horror fan should enjoy the mix of gore and dark humor. Rue Morgue has called it "a middling Romero film based on a middling King novel", which really sells it short.

Unfortunately, the film did not get the proper respect in 1993, because its distributor (Orion) was fighting a bankruptcy battle and promoted it poorly. But now (2015), it has a second chance thanks to the fine folks at Scream Factory who have loaded up the Blu-ray with everything possible, including the kitchen sink.


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