Misery

  • Directors: Rob Reiner
  • Producers: Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman, Jeffrey Stott, Steve Nicolaides
  • Writers: Novel, Stephen King, Screenplay, William Goldman
  • Genres: Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen, Lauren Bacall

Famed novelist, Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is the best selling author of a series of romance novels involving the character, Misery Chastaine. After finishing his latest novel, he departs from Silver Creek, Colorado to New York; he drives in the middle of a blizzard and his car goes off the road. He is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) and brought back to her home where she tends to his injuries.

She claims she is his number one fan, and goes on and on about how she cherishes Paul and the novels. At first, Annie seems to be a very kind nurse with a very happy-go-lucky attitude, but it becomes clear to Paul that she is psychotic. He lets her read his novel and she says that she disagrees with profanity, while she is feeding him, she loses control, spilling some soup on him, but regains control and humbly apologizes for her actions.

She then gets a copy of Paul’s already published book entitled, Misery’s Child the latest Misery novel and the last, as Paul has decided to go on writing other stories, including the one he has already finished. After he has “killed” Misery (who suffered a maternal death) in this story, Annie goes into a rage, almost killing Paul, she claims that she never contacted the hospital, his agent or family, or anyone else Paul knows. Annie then leaves and Paul decides to escape his room but she has locked the door making it impossible for him to leave. Annie comes to him the following morning and makes him burn his latest novel. Paul initially refuses, but then Annie starts pouring lighting fluid onto the bedspread, making it clear that she will set the bed on fire if Paul refuses.

Eighteen months later, Paul (now able to walk again) meets with his publishing agent in New York, in a restaurant, discussing his first non-Misery novel called The Higher Education of J. Philip Stone, which has become a real success. His agent asks if he wants to write a non-fiction book about his time with Annie, but Paul claims it would not be good for him. He then sees a vision of Annie as a waitress but turns out to be someone else. The waitress claims that she is his number one fan, to which Paul responds, “That’s very sweet of you.”

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