It (1990)
7.5/10
1,399
3 user 32 critic

Part 1 

Seven outcast children band together to destroy a shapeshifting clown killing children in their town.

Director:

Tommy Lee Wallace

Writers:

Lawrence D. Cohen (teleplay by), Tommy Lee Wallace (teleplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Anderson ... Richie Tozier
Dennis Christopher ... Eddie Kaspbrak
Richard Masur ... Stanley Uris
Annette O'Toole ... Beverly Marsh
Tim Reid ... Mike Hanlon
John Ritter ... Ben Hanscom
Richard Thomas ... Bill Denbrough
Tim Curry ... Pennywise
Jonathan Brandis ... Bill Denbrough - Age 12
Brandon Crane ... Ben Hanscom - Age 12
Adam Faraizl Adam Faraizl ... Eddie Kaspbrak - Age 12
Seth Green ... Richie Tozier - Age 12
Ben Heller ... Stanley Uris - Age 12
Emily Perkins ... Beverly Marsh - Age 12
Marlon Taylor Marlon Taylor ... Mike Hanlon - Age 12
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Storyline

Seven outcast children band together to destroy a shapeshifting clown killing children in their town.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Release Date:

18 November 1990 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In adult Ben's flashback to his first day at school, photos of Cujo are visible on a bulletin board behind the teacher. See more »

Goofs

When Mike calls Bills, it appears to be late at night in Derry. Bill is in England which is 5 hour ahead difference. Yet Bill is just getting ready to have dinner as it was it was still early. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pennywise: Hi.
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User Reviews

 
Very strong first half to an uneven but better than given credit for mini-series
19 June 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

The book is deservedly regarded as one of Stephen King's best and one of the best of the horror genre. First reading it, this reviewer was put off by some of way the characters talked and the language.

But reading it several more times and getting more familiar with King's style it really grew on me, while character development is always intriguing and attention to detail, while bloated at times with the whole history of Derry, and how he depicts horror is unparalleled.

'It', the mini-series, has garnered mixed reactions. Some remember it fondly for the nostalgia (not me though, I was 14 and 15 when first viewed), others have considered it an uneven adaptation with a great first half and a disappointing second half (personally fall into this camp) and others have maligned it for its wild lack of fidelity to the book. As an adaptation, being stripped down and not as complex, it is disappointing, with terrifying and juicy bits understandably not making it into the adaptation as quite a lot of the content is unfilmable. Standing on its own, 'It' while uneven to me is much better than given credit for.

While the second half is nowhere near as good, though this reviewer still doesn't consider it awful, the first half is far superior and is pretty great. It's not flawless. Some of the adult acting is less than great, even on first viewing Richard Thomas to me was woefully miscast, with a rather cringe-worthy attempt at a stutter, and it is still a sentiment I share a decade later. Also due to budget constraints the special effects are less than special, pretty basic and slightly cheap in fact, though there have been far worse.

However, there is much that is good. The best thing about the mini-series is Tim Curry in a perhaps career-best turn as Pennywise. Virtually unrecognisable, Curry literally sinks his teeth into the role and brings the character to absolutely terrifying life. Richard Bellis' justifiably Emmy-winning score is incredibly atmospheric and haunting, with a creepy but also poignant main theme and a twisted jaunty circus theme.

Acting-wise, Curry is not the only good actor. The child actors did a great job, with a genuine sense of anxiety, horror and vulnerability, the mini-series taking time to develop their characters and back-stories very well. Particularly good are Jonathan Brandis and Seth Green. Their chemistry is genuinely affecting and nostalgic, fondly recalling 'Stand By Me'. The performance of the bully Henry Bowers is chillingly psychotic. While the low budget shows in the effects, the mini-series is quite nicely shot, the scenery is lovely and the Derry setting is beautifully evoked.

Dialogue-wise, the first half does a better job at recreating the spirit of the writing of the book, though with the language toned down. In terms of scares, some may criticise for being predictable and cheap and others will feel that the mini-series has a creepy ambiance. While there is nothing horrifying, parts did and still do make me jump and do have a real creepiness, especially Georgie's death, the photo album (the second time especially), the encounter with the sink and the werewolf. The climactic scene has some good tension too.

Overall, while the mini-series of 'It' is uneven it is better than given credit for despite being vastly inferior to the source material. Given the limitations, it could have been far worse. 8/10 for the very strong first half. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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