Misery (1990) Poster

(1990)

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Gripping...
goodfellamf5 July 2002
Misery is a dark, but witty venture into Stephen King territory. It's about a popular novelist who crashes his car on a snowy mountain road and is rescued by a nurse who claims she is his number one fan. As the time goes by, he realizes she has no intention of letting him leave.

The film moves with a brisk, taut pace thanks to director Rob Reiner, who helmed another excellent Stephen King film, Stand By Me. Tension is kept mostly throughout (there are some predictable moments...but who cares?) And the performances are also a major plus. James Caan is very easy to empathize with, and he manages to keep his cynical sense of humor. Richard Farnsworth, as a grizzled sheriff was a nice addition to the film since his character didn't exist in the book. He also has a nice sense of humor, and he's the kind of guy who you want to root for. But the most amazing performance is from Kathy Bates, who treads a fine line alternating between sweet and lovable to amazingly evil. She won an Oscar for this movie, and whole-heartedly deserved it.

Side note: This is one of the few films which took an Oscar, that you can actually say the Academy had the guts to give out. Can anyone name another horror film which won such a notable prize?

ANyway...by the end, the novelist and the viewer or put through some torturous activity. We sometimes feel his pain, and it is so much fun to hate this woman................the book is excellent.....the movie is just as good in about 1/6th of the time it would take to read. Either way, enjoy!
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9/10
Perfect performances by Bates and Caan
rbverhoef7 May 2003
Based on the novel by him, 'Misery' is a real Stephen King film. It is a drama film, but also a thriller and sometimes even a horror. In one scene the horror is very clear, you will know what scene I mean.

Writer Paul Sheldon (James Caan) gets in a car accident. He is helped by Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) who claims she is his number one fan. In his latest novel Sheldon has killed the favorite character of Annie making her a little mad. She keeps Sheldon in her home; he has to bring the character back to life in his next novel.

Bates, who won an Oscar, is terrific as Annie, one of her finest performances. James Caan who is in bed or a wheelchair most of the film is very convincing. The room he is living in is one of those spaces in the movies you will not forget very soon. Directed by Rob Reiner this is a great film, although it could be a bit slow for some from time to time.
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9/10
One of the best thrillers of the 90's.
notoriousCASK8 September 2017
Misery is without a doubt one of the finest movies of the 90's and one of the best movies in the thriller genre. It is an ingeniously crafted horror masterpiece that seamlessly intertwines its incredibly tense and cleverly paced story with inventive cinematography, tight editing and exquisite performances. In my opinion Misery is one of the better adaptations of Stephen King's works and truly a movie that cannot be missed, especially for the genre fans.

Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is the author of a successful series of romance novels about a character called Misery, who decides to take a more serious approach regarding his future novels. On his way to publish his new manuscript, Paul drives from his hotel in Silver Creek to New York. Due to the extreme weather conditions, he has an accident that leaves him severely injured and hopeless. A local nurse named Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) finds Paul and brings him to her remote home in order to help him recover. Claiming to be his number one fan, Annie discovers that in his last Misery novel her favorite character dies and then her obsession about him takes a dark and twisted turn as a long story of captivity and abuse begins.

The direction by Rob Reiner is phenomenal and on a hitchcockian level as the film has a plethora of perfectly crafted suspenseful moments that have the audience on the edge of their seats from the beginning till the amazing climax. The editing of the movie is also flawless, as the shots are specifically designed to induce tension in any moment they can. The cinematographer and Reiner both ace the perilous atmosphere of the picture, using close up shots of the moonfaced Wilkes both in her fits of rage and kindness which magnifies the polar extremes that Wilkes is prone to unexpectedly visit. What is also triumphed is the slow convergence of the audience and Paul Sheldon. The movie received a lot of critical acclaim, especially due to Kathy Bates' chilling and memorable performance as Anny Wilkes that earned her the 1990's leading actress Oscar award, which remains the only Oscar ever given to a Stephen King film adaptation. No matter how great Kathy Bates' Oscar-winning performance is, James Caan's cannot go unnoticed as it definitely qualifies as one of the best performances in his extensive career, despite how demanding and challenging his role as Paul Sheldon was.

In conclusion, Misery is a dark and tense masterpiece that is an amalgamation of excellent direction, skillful writing, taut editing, amazing cinematography and stellar performances, which succeeds into creating the feeling of captivity and helplessness that the thriller genre was purposefully built for, and that makes it one of the best movies of the 90's and one absolute classic in its genre.
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10/10
When a fan crosses the line between admiration into obsession
Smells_Like_Cheese14 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Misery is without a doubt one of the best films of the 90's, and in my opinion, Stephen King's best adaptation into a movie. This is TRUE horror, there's no monsters, no mega special effects, just Kathy Bates who is truly made the big time on one of the scariest villains in horror movie history.

It's about a man named Paul Sheldon, he's an author, made incredibly famous by his popular books, specially his series called "Misery", the books are apparently about a woman in the old days who goes through heavy times in her life and he shares her pain and strength with the readers. When he finishes his last Misery book, he decides to celebrate and is heading back for his daughter's birthday, but he gets caught in a horrible blizzard and gets into a nasty and fatal car accident, but is saved by Kathy Bates, or as we know her Annie.

He wakes up in a bedroom with his legs badly broken, bruised up, and cut up, but hears a light and charming voice saying "You're going to be just fine. I'm your number one fan!". Annie nurses Paul back to health and says she'll get an ambulance once the storm clears up. She's so lovely and charming, you would never have any clue that she'd even just harm a fly. But when she gets ahold of Paul's last Misery book, she gets infuriated when she finds out that he's killing off Misery and continuing onto more dramatic and dark stories. She makes him write a new Misery where she is resurrected, Paul used to write for a living, now he's writing to stay alive. Discovering slowly how crazy Annie is, he tries to escape more and more, but Annie is so convinced she's in love with him, she'll never let him go!

Kathy Bates truly is the amazing star of the film, she is so disturbing to watch. Especially during the "hobbing" scene, she breaks Paul's legs again, she makes it seem so innocent, but it's HORRIFYING to watch! Both her and James worked so well together and were just incredible. The movie is so awesome, I would highly recommend this movie for anyone! It's a movie not to be missed.

10/10
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10/10
The best horror film ever adapted from a Stephen King book
kylopod11 February 2007
"Misery" accomplishes something which Hitchcock achieved in "Psycho" but which very few modern horror films achieve: it entertains without seeming exploitative. Even the movie's most gruesome scene, which ranks up there as one of the more memorably horrifying moments in all of cinema, ends with a laugh that somehow doesn't cheapen the material--maybe because it arises so naturally from the basic situation which the movie takes very seriously. We're not being urged to find the violence itself entertaining, as is the case for so many horror films these days. Rather, the humor is a way of breaking the tension of a desperate, nightmarish scenario. It is, we suspect, what helps the protagonist survive the ordeal.

Like many of the greatest thrillers, "Misery" begins with a bizarre set of coincidences. A bestselling romance novelist named Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is on his way to the countryside to work on his next book when a blizzard causes his car to crash, leaving him severely injured and unable to walk. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), a retired nurse and obsessive fan who was following him, takes care of him in her house without letting him leave or contact anyone. She is upset that he has recently killed off a central character in his series, and she forces him to write the new book more to her liking, though in total isolation from the outside world. His family and friends fear him dead, but the local sheriff (Richard Farnsworth) is investigating a little more closely.

"Misery" belongs to a unique genre in which a single character is trapped in a small area and spends the entire story attempting to escape. I've been fascinated by this type of story ever since I first read Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum." With his fine attention to detail, Stephen King has made two notable contributions to the genre: "Misery," and the unfilmable "Gerald's Game" (where a woman spends the entire novel handcuffed to a bed in the middle of nowhere). Everything is topsy-turvy in a story like this. The protagonist must adapt to a weird new set of rules that put a diabolical twist on normal routines. To most people, a house is a mundane setting where you wake up every day and leave without blinking an eye. For a house to become a prison seems almost unthinkable. Stories like "Misery" have the urgency of a nightmare, where the thing you fear most is always on the verge of happening.

In particular, this movie has much in common with the 1962 suspense drama "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" (which I recommend). The basic structure of the story is the same, involving a disabled person in the house of an insane woman, who subjects her captive to physical and psychological tortures while almost everyone on the outside doesn't even know the victim exists. But in the older film, the motives were simpler, rooted in sibling jealousy and old wounds. "Misery" brings the conceit to a new level by making the captive a famous writer and the kidnapper a crazed fan. The movie makes much of the irony that she's a pretty good editor. She's not really sadistic or vengeful, as was the case with the Bette Davis character in "Baby Jane." The tortures she inflicts on Paul are the natural result of her trying to fit him into her bizarre little world.

Kathy Bates won an Oscar for her performance, one of only three horror performances ever to receive that award. (The other two are Fredric March for "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and Anthony Hopkins for "Silence of the Lambs.") One of the best actresses working today, she's fortunate not to have been typecast in this sort of role. She later proved herself quite adept at playing vulnerable women, like the battered wife in "Dolores Claiborne." She brings to the role of Annie a certain earthiness that you don't expect in this kind of role. She plays the character as a woman who doesn't perceive herself as insane, who acts bubbly and cheerful most of the time and seems to view her sudden mood shifts as merely a personal weakness. At times, the movie almost comes off as a demented parody of a normal relationship between a man and woman living together.

The very best of the Stephen King horror movies, "Misery" is a film which I count among my favorites even though it is so intense I sometimes have trouble sitting through the whole thing. With a screenplay by William Goldman, who has a knack for developing bizarre torture scenes (the Nazi dentist torture in "Marathon Man," the Machine in "The Princess Bride"), the movie manages to be scary and classy at the same time--a rare feat for a modern horror picture. Kathy Bates is in my nightmares!
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10/10
Shining, shocking dark comedy in the Hitchcock mold
LoveCoates25 March 2003
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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Suspenseful!
bat-54 February 1999
Misery has to be the best adaptation of a Stephen King novel. A close runner up is Stand By Me, but for suspense and tension that just gets tighter and tighter, watch Misery. Kathy Bates can go from nice and cheerful to downright crazy like someone turning on a light switch. While watching James Caan suffer through the torture that Bates puts him through, you can't help but sympathize with the guy. Rob Reiner presents us with the problem, and he slowly escalates the tension and the dread that creeps over the movie. Even though the book was different in the "hobbling" process, Annie Wilkes' method of hobbling still gives me the chills whenever I watch it.
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8/10
Don't EVER have a Number 1 fan...
sngbrd397 January 2006
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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King Sized adaptation by Goldman; superb Bates & Caan
george.schmidt11 April 2003
MISERY (1990) *** Kathy Bates, James Caan, William Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen, Lauren Bacall. Bates, perfectly cast as loony tune Annie Wilkes, won an Oscar for Best Actress as the self-proclaimed `#1 fan' of bodice-ripping novelist Caan, who finds himself in her web of horror after a car crash landing him in the snow engulfed remote home of his sociopathic, homicidal nurse who will not take no for an answer. William Goldman expertly adapts the Stephen King best seller with a few nice nasty turns here and there and Rob Reiner gives just enough gruesomeness (watch the sledgehammer scene a few times; you'll see what I mean) for frightful flavor.
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10/10
Stephen King was the author, Paul Sheldon was the hostage, Anne Wilkes was the psycho
Tyler_R_Weston19 June 2003
Misery is my favorite Stephen King thriller. Misery displays a writer held hostage by his #1 fan. Misery is a spectacular movie because it keeps you wondering what will happen next. Kathy Bates' performance was the best and I'm glad she won an Oscar. Misery is one of King's real-life situation novels. I think that's what he's nest at, writing about real things. Yet, his horror books are still pretty scary and wild. Reiner impressed me with his direction in this film. Highly recommended, if you have any comments for me, please e-mail me at tylerripen@yahoo.com.
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Kathy Bates Is a Sight to Behold
tfrizzell21 July 2000
"Misery" is one of those films that over-achieves. The material is not very good, the plot is somewhat thin, and most of the characters are one-dimensional. However, with that said Kathy Bates takes the material and runs with it all the way to the bank. This film made her a household name and provided her with a Best Actress Oscar in 1990. She stars as a crazed fan who cares for author James Caan after he's involved in a near-fatal auto accident in the middle of nowhere. Quickly her mood goes from cheerful to downright frightening when she learns that Caan's fictional heroine "Misery" will die in his newest novel. Caan's character is not very well developed and this somewhat stalls the film, but it really does not matter because of Bates's performance. All in all, "Misery" is one of Stephen King's novels that actually plays well on film. If Bates were taken away, I am not sure how this film would fare. Thank goodness we do not have to find out. 4 out of 5 stars
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8/10
WYLION - Misery is not what you will be feeling after watching this!
WYLION-SOTIRISKING17 July 2019
There is a reason Stephen King thinks this is one of the best adaptations of his books.

Watching this movie is like running through an ancient tomb filled with booby traps. This is always tense which is just fantastic! Unfortunately this is also the only issue I have with the movie. From start to finish, it's just non-stop tension. You barely get a break throughout the movie it's madness! Once it has finished you're exhausted.

Onto the greats, Kathy Bates absolutely brilliant. At the click of your fingers the character (Annie Wilkes) goes from zero to one hundred. It's so real that it is genuinely frightening. Sometimes you look at a character and you try and picture what they would be like in real life. If there was a real life version of Annie there would be no difference to her fictional character. It was a well deserved Oscar win! That said, Caan who played the character Paul Sheldon was equally as mesmerizing. James Caan had the difficult task of acting acting. This is where he has to act his character who is acting to be someone he isn't, which is a difficult task. I was very impressed by both performances. Casting was perfect for Annie but lucky for Paul as Caan wasn't the first to be offered the role. The role was passed up by massive actors such as Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and even Morgan Freeman.

This movie was very impressive and with being the only Stephen King movie to have won an Oscar I am surprised it isn't as well-know as others such as Stand By Me or The Shawshank Redemption. Rob Reiner did an outstanding job which I very much commend him for.
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8/10
Trapped, Tortured & Terrorised
seymourblack-119 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
With most of the action set in one room and involving only two people, this tense psychological thriller is more like a stage-play than a movie. Fortunately, this style of presentation works well in establishing the claustrophobic atmosphere and sense of unease that prevails throughout this tale of an unfortunate man who, through no fault of his own, is held captive by a psychotic woman. The physical pain and mental torment that he suffers is dreadful and the journey that he makes through his personal nightmare is both harrowing and compelling to watch.

Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is a highly successful writer whose numerous romantic novels featuring his heroine, Misery Chastain, have all been best-sellers. Having grown tired of writing this type of material, he'd recently been working on his first serious novel and on completing his manuscript, sets out from Silver Creek Lodge in Colorado and drives down a mountain road in a snowstorm to deliver his work to his agent. As the conditions worsen and the road becomes more slippery, he loses control of his car which rolls down a bank and into a snowdrift where he ends up unconscious with two broken legs, a dislocated shoulder and numerous other injuries.

Local Woman Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) discovers the wreckage and pulls Paul out of the vehicle before taking him to her isolated home where she starts to nurse him back to health. When he regains consciousness, Paul is grateful for what Annie's done and soon learns that she's a trained nurse and a devoted fan who feels privileged to have him staying at her home. She tells him that because of the storm, the roads are closed and the telephones are out of action, so she's unable to inform anyone immediately of his whereabouts. Annie's obviously a lonely person and acts rather coyly and politely at this stage.

After reading Paul's just-completed manuscript, she changes radically, becomes very angry and expresses her strong disgust at the amount of swearing it contains. A little later, when she also reads his newly-released Misery Chastain novel, she becomes outraged when she discovers that he's killed off her favourite character (Misery) and feels betrayed by him. She uses her dominance over him to make him burn his new manuscript and write a new novel in which Misery is brought back to life. As her behaviour continues to become increasingly violent and unhinged, Paul tries to go along with what she wants as far as possible whilst also trying to devise a way of escaping his hellish ordeal.

Annie Wilkes is a highly eccentric character who's initially very ingratiating but later becomes completely deranged and horribly violent. With her pet pig (called Misery), her love of Liberace's recordings and an obsessive need to control Paul, the scope for any actress who portrays her is obviously enormous. Kathy Bates, in her Oscar-winning performance, does an amazing job of bringing this complex woman to life and James Caan, whose character is so helpless and physically constrained throughout, skilfully overcomes these limitations to make Paul a very sympathetic victim. Richard Farnsworth and Frances Sternhagen add some light relief as the local sheriff and his wife and Lauren Bacall is also excellent in her cameo role as Paul's agent.

The way in which the action unfolds on-screen is vital to the success of this movie and director Rob Reiner's brilliant pacing plays a big part in building up the mood and tension so effectively. There are some shocking moments such as the shooting of one of the story's minor characters and the infamous "sledgehammer scene" but more surprisingly, maybe, there's also a certain amount of humour to enjoy.
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10/10
Very Suspenseful Yarn And Often Quite Chilling!
callanvass19 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is a Classic Film, with a ton of suspense, and it's very chilling at times. It's tension filled, and Kathy Bates, and James Caan give 2 amazing performances. I wasn't expecting much from this movie since, i didn't think it would be my type of movie, but surprisingly, i loved it,it's unpredictable, brutal, and Kathy Bates is just a maniac!. This is one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever!, it's very well written, and i loved the atmosphere too. It's engrossing from start to finish, and what James Caan goes through is absolutely insane, and i truly felt for his character!. The last 15 minutes are especially tense, and had me on the edge of my seat!. The Direction is awesome!. Rob Reiner, does a tremendous job here, using a very creepy location, keeping it suspenseful throughout, some cool camera shots, and overall doing a great job!. not much blood, but it does get nasty. We get nasty bruised and bloody legs 2 bloody gunshot wounds, head is bashed in by a typewriter, and other various objects,nasty broken feet by a sledgehammer. The Acting is Oscar Worthy!. Kathy Bates is AMAZING here, she is extremely creepy, and was mentally unstable, she reminded me a bit of Norman bates (not quite as creepy), she is especially , scary near the end, what a performance!, she definitely deserved her Oscar!. James Caan is OUTSTANDING here, he gave an almost Oscar worthy performance here, as the poor sap author, i really felt for his character,and i was rooting him on!. Richard Farnsworth is good with what he has to do as the Sheriff. Overall A MUST SEE,Classic! for everyone see it now!
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8/10
He didn't get out of the Cock a Doodle Car so he suffered misery from his number 1 fan
ironhorse_iv8 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
No, famed novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) known for his successful series of novels involving a character called Misery Chastain didn't get out of his car when it crash in Colorado during a blizzard. The reasons why is for his legs are broken and a dislocated shoulder. He is rescued by Nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) and brought to her remote home, bedridden and incapacitated. He soon finds out that Annie is his number one fan and talks a lot about his novels. When Annie get a hold of Paul's newest works, she become enraged in many factors, but one really got to her. That one was Paul wanting to branch out and wanted to try something new, so he killed off Misery in his latest book, Misery's Child. She wasn't going to allow it, so she forced write a new novel entitled Misery's Return in which he brings the character back to life. Paul reluctantly does, believing Annie might kill him otherwise. The character that James Caan plays in this film is so realistic. He realizes very quickly that he's dealing with a psychopath who likes to be in control when he studied psychological disorders as part of his research for the Misery series. He knows how to butter her up, to keep her mind at ease as much as possible. He realizes that the way to get out is to treat her with respect & act like he understands her & that he's on her side. He figured what he had to do from this minute to the next, to the next. Yet he took risks, exploring the area and trying to escape. Using the type-writer as a weight to work out his shoulder and strength is smart. Sheldon is enormously witty and clever. Most victims in movies are just hopeless and stupid. The audience will feel for him because of that reason. He would have to be strong, to survive Annie Wilkes. Kathy Bates is best suited for the mercurial psychopathic role of Wilkes. Wilkes can be describe as a American yandere. Wilkes is gentle and care for a lot before their romantic devotion becomes mentally destructive in nature, often through violence and brutality. She subjects him to a series of physical and psychological tortures throughout the film. Bates makes Wilkes out to be a cunning, brutal and dangerously disturbed woman who hides her psychosis behind a cheery facade while displays obsessive-compulsive personality disorder by using with childishly strange words and phrases when expressing anger. Kathy Bates won the Academy Award for Best Actress for this role. The supporting cast is made out to be one man, local sheriff, Buster (Richard Farnsworth) whom is investigating Paul's disappearance. The character rarely gives anything to the plot and personal wasn't needed in the film: pointless. Misery is a Rob Reiner film that based on the Stephen King's 1987 novel. There are some different between the film and book. For instance, the book was more violence to Paul. In the book, when Paul mentions that her typewriter is missing a key, Annie cuts off his thumb. Rather than hobbling him, in the book, Annie cuts off his foot. Buster is also treated with more violence in his death with her riding over his body with a lawnmower. In the book, Paul become an addict to painkillers and finish writing 'Fast Cars'. In the film, Paul becomes successful with his book 'Higher Education of Phillip J. Stone'. One of Stephen King's inspirations for Misery was the reaction his fans had to The Eyes of the Dragon. The fans rejected The Eyes of the Dragon because of its lack of horror. Paul Sheldon feeling chained to the Misery books by his fans was a metaphor for his feeling chained to horror fiction. As a horror/ thriller movie it works. People still cringe during the "hobbling" scene. Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata was such a good choice as background music. The whole movie has a sense of tongue in cheek about it. Director Rob Reiner did a good job on it. The camera work is very similar to Alfred Hitchcock. Perhaps because the way King wrote the protagonist as immobilized in a wheel chair, Reiner purposely wanted to make allusions to Rear Window. Allot of the disorienting angles and suspense scenes reminded people of Psycho too. Some people might hate the ending since it different from the book. Endings are pretty hard to manage in general, because everyone kind of has their own expectations and predictions of how the story should end. It's especially difficult if you've invested a lot into the story. If it doesn't end the way you think it should have, you get disappointed. This is an intriguing notion, the craziness of fans. I suppose it echoes the surprise Annie Wilkes felt when she read that Misery was killed off. Critics are like that. A great movie that stirs the pot.
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8/10
The film adeptly juggles agonizing suspense with cartoonish freakishness.
khanbaliq22 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A deranged nurse (Kathy Bates) cares for her hero, a romantic novelist (James Caan), when she finds him injured in a road accident. But when she learns he is about to kill off her favourite heroine, she starts torturing him in an attempt to change his mind.

Misery is one of the very best adaptations of Stephen King's work - a long, dark look at the price of celebrity and the wilder shores of fan worship. Bates and Caan make an unlikely but outstandingly effective pairing, and Bates's wild fits of anger are discomforting, as well as very funny. The film was ranked #12 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments.
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8/10
A Solid Thriller
mjw230524 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
A very good movie of a Steven King novel, keeping very close to the book, the film retains the tension King created and i have to say Kathy Bates captures the insanity of the Annie Wilkes character expertly.

Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is a novel writer, who creates stories about Misery Chastaine, Annie's favourite character that she follows religiously through every one of Sheldon's novels.

Sheldon who has finally finished with the Misery novels is caught in a road accident and is rescued by his number one fan. Too injured to move and the weather preventing any further help arriving, Annie patches him up and begins to nurse him back to health.

After reading Sheldon's new release, the final outing for the Misery character, Annie decides that this is unacceptable and holds Sheldon prisoner , while she forces him to write a new Misery book and reincarnate her favourite character.

The main difference from the book is the scene where Annie smashes Sheldons ankles with a sledge hammer, in the book she removes his feet with an axe, although this scene loses non of the horror, despite the change.

8/10 A fine translation to screen
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10/10
Maybe one of the best thrillers ever made?
EthanBJones_0311 August 2017
MISERY - 1990

Directed by Rob Reiner

Starring James Caan, Kathy Bates and Richard Farnsworth

Plot Overview: After his car crashes on an icy day, renowned author, Paul Sheldon(James Caan) is picked up by sweet seeming Nurse, Annie Wilkes(Kathy Bates), whom all happens to be his number 1 fan. All is going well until Wilkes reads the end of the latest instalment of her favourite series and discovers her favourite character has met her end. In a psychotic twist, Wilkes turns against Sheldon and forces him to rewrite the story with a different ending.

THIS is a good thriller. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire run time of this movie. I didn't even know I could bite that far down on my nails! It is a masterfully written, sensationally acted, expertly shot and edited masterpiece. It is truly exceptional. I cannot recommend this movie any more. Please see this wonderful movie.

The plot of this movie is horrifying. King is known for his horror but what is more scary than being at the mercy of some psychotic nurse who is your only chance of survival and can end your life at any moment. You can't escape; you can't fight back; it's you and her and there is nothing you can do about it. THAT is a scary. That is a trademark of great horror. Sometimes a great horror/thriller doesn't need ghosts or an overabundance of gore. It just needs a terrifying idea and it is instantly effective.

To say one minor issue I have in regards to the story, it is a little plot hole to do with the end. It makes, no logical sense and I would have liked some more explanation; just a throwaway line or two, explaining what happened. I understand the jist of it but I can't say what I would like explaining without spoiling the film and I will not do that because you need to see this film.

Kathy Bates is equally hilarious and terrifying in this Oscar worthy portrayal of Annie Wilkes. She commands this movie and enjoys every, single second it it. It is truly a remarkable performance and 100% deserved the Oscar.

A performance that goes under-looked in this film due to Bates' focus that I think is unjust is James Caan's excellent performance as Paul Sheldon. Obviously, Bates is the star of this film and gives the best performance but Caan gives an incredible performance as well. He has to act while acting and that will be a genuinely hard thing to make convincing.

Richard Farnsworth is excellent as Buster(the sheriff). The back and fourth humour between him and his wife is perfect and really helps give you time to breathe amidst the intensity going on around you.

Both the cinematography and editing in this movie are superb. They help give the film a tight focus and an eerie claustrophobic feel. It makes the film all the more terrifying. Both the costume and set design are excellent, also and give a sense of authenticity to the film.

Overall, I absolutely adore this movie. It is a masterfully crafted thriller and I cannot recommend it any more. You have to see this movie without spoilers because it truly is terrifying. This movie is a masterpiece and thus I shall rate it 10 Sledgehammers out of 10.
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8/10
One of the best adaptations of a Stephen King novel ever
DanielRobertRoss19 August 2016
Prolific horror writer Stephen King's novels have been adapted to the screen with varying degrees of success, ranging from brilliant (Carrie), mediocre (Secret Window) to forgettable (Dreamcatcher, Tommyknockers etc).

Which brings us to Misery. Riding high after a string of popular films The Princess Bride, When Harry met Sally and Stand By Me (Another King adap), director Rob Reiner brings one of King's best novels to the screen.

Kathy Bates is terrifying as unhinged psychotic Annie Wilkes and James Cann is brilliant as Paul Sheldon, the imprisoned writer. Like several of his novels, the protagonist is a writer (Secret Window also has a tortured novelist). King's tendency to use his novels in the '80s as parallels to his own experiences is liked by some, but not all fans. However with this film, it works to its advantage.

Shawshank Redemption is my favorite film based on one of King's books, but when it comes to his horror stories, this is the best. Kathy Bates deservedly won an Oscar for her role and the film is one if the best thrillers of the '90s. Highly recommended.
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10/10
Great obsession thriller!
OllieSuave-00722 August 2015
Misery has a straight-forward, no-nonsense plot - about a fan obsessed woman (Annie Wilkes) who rescues her favorite author (Paul Sheldon) from a car wreck without telling anyone and nurses him back to health, but house-arrests him until he rewrites his latest novel to her liking. While there were really no subplots or few twists, the story really grabs your attention with the tension, suspense and well-pacing of the course of events. Kathy Bates' outstanding portrayal in the role of Annie Wilkes is something to reckon with; she grows on the audiences from her seemingly sweet personality at first after rescuing Paul Sheldon, then, creeps everybody out as you see her mental instability progress from obsession to threatening.

The suspense of Annie's unpredictability to Paul's no-escape predicament is a good edge-if-your-seat experiment. You will be left very eager to find out how everything unfolds at the end - it's a great thriller to sit down and spend the day/night with.

Grade A
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8/10
great performances from Kathy Bates and James Caan
SnoopyStyle28 June 2015
Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is a successful writer who is tired of his fictional character Misery. He crashes his car driving home on a snowy road after finishing his latest novel where he kills off Misery. He is rescued by his "number one fan" Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) and brought to her cabin where the phone is out. His agent Marcia Sindell (Lauren Bacall) calls Sheriff Buster (Richard Farnsworth) and he starts looking for Paul with Virginia (Frances Sternhagen). Annie reads Paul's manuscript and demands a rewrite.

Director Rob Reiner brings this Stephen King novel to life. James Caan is terrific. It is the wonderfully unhinged performance of Kathy Bates that elevates it over the top. It's a great psychological thriller that is more than the usual Stephen King adaptations.
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8/10
Misery Business
raulfaust9 August 2011
Wow, who'd thought. "Misery" is apparently just a regular Stephen King's film based in, but after watching, you see more than this.

The suspense the director built, along with Kathy Bates' wonderful acting, makes the story very involving and tense. The director is able to entertain, involve, scare and even deliver some jumps without even needing to add a supernatural thing. Annie Wilkes' cynicism is able to induce all of us the agonizing feelings we can feel in a suspense film.

I see some people arguing if Annie knew the wine had that odd medicine in it; obviously, that's the writer's intention. And that's brilliant, because it's a simple scene which provokes lots of questions and doubts about her intelligence. And more than that, leaves the doubt to the spectator, making he think about the movie after it's over.

"Misery", thought not perfect, is a great original work with good actors that will deliver you a good time and keep you on the edge of your seat.
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8/10
Edge of the seat thriller
tr9126 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Misery (1990) is an edge of the seat thriller that still holds up very well after 25 years.

The film is very basic, Paul(James Caan)is a writer who suffers a car crash in a snow blizzard and is rescued Annie (Kathy Bates) who is a crazy fan. At first she seems like she is taking care of him but things go from bad to worse as she keeps him against his will.

The film mainly consists of the two characters in one house (one room mainly) and the tension is nerve shredding. The atmosphere changes in an instance, time and time again. Annie is crazy and does some sick things in order to get what she wants, for Paul to rewrite his novel and finish it the way she wants.

When Paul realises how crazy Annie is, the struggle he goes through is gut wrenching. In particular the scene where he finally reaches the telephone only to find out that it will not work because Annie had already planned ahead and disconnected it.

The film was done very well, the main element of the story got going almost instantly and after everything was done, the film pretty much ended. The whole film is basically in one location and I just loved the atmosphere it created. A really good edge of your seat thriller.

One of my favourite Rob Reiner films along with When Harry Met Sally, Flipped & Stand By Me.
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8/10
This movie is brilliant and brutal.
lukehiggs12 April 2015
So after a lot of years of watching horror movies and loving horror movie adaptations of Stephen king books, i realised i had never watched Misery, after watching it i realised i should have took the time to watch it many years ago.

The story is about a writer who having finished a book decides to return home, but on his return he has a accident and is rescued by his number one fan after that things take a dark twist while he is trying to recover from the accident, the story in this film is brilliant and gripping, you are always on edge of your seat wanting the main character to succeed its very believable which makes you fully emerged in the film.

The acting in this is brilliant and makes this film stand out, James Caan and Kathy bates are so believable, you genuinely hate but want to understand Kathy Bates's character and you are constantly behind James Caans character wanting him to succeed.

A great movies for horror and Thriller fans, Worth a watch to anyone who's interested in either genre.
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