- Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) to Paul Sheldon (James Caan)
"It's a masterpiece! What was the name of that ceiling painted by that dago'"--Annie "The Sistine Chapel'"--Paul "Yes. You and Michaelangelo. Geniuses."
"I'm your number one fan."
- Annie to Paul
Academy Awards 1990 -
Best Actress: Kathy Bates
Sight and Sound - 05/01/1991
"...[Reiner] adopts Hitchcockian techniques which he uses to flawless effect..."
USA Today - 11/30/1990
"...MISERY is a robust audience-participation pic..." -- 3 out of 4 stars
New York Times - 11/30/1990
"...A breakthrough of sorts....[Bates] gives a genuinely funny performance..."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/10/1995
"...[Bates] illuminates an imagined extreme of heartland dementia that's far scarier than any of the undead creations that pepper King's other works..." -- Rating: B+
Los Angeles Times - 11/30/1990
"...[Caan] is often marvelous..."
Premiere - 04/01/2004
"Bates perfectly balances comedy and cruelty."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/05/2007
"Bates and Caan simply dominate. MISERY builds economically to a climactic fight in which every scratch, ding, and wallop feels completely earned." -- Grade: B+
Total Film - 11/01/2012 4 stars out of 5 -- "Confining most of the tortuous tension to just two people and one room, it's director Rob Reiner's darkest hour."
Romance author Paul Sheldon (James Caan) longs for parting with Misery. Sheldon's plucky heroine of seven novels has delivered Sheldon fame and fortune and recognition beyond the average writer's dreams, but she is also interminably linked to him. Determined to escape an eternal role as dimestore novelist, he kills her off in the eighth novel and heads to his New England cabin to work on his own Great American Novel. Upon completion, Sheldon excitedly sets out for his New York City publisher in the midst of a raging blizzard and within minutes veers into a desolate snowbank. From the brink of death, he is rescued from the snow by Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), who just so happens to be Misery's self-professed biggest fan. At first, she nurses him back to health in her remote cabin, telling him the roads and phones are knocked out by the storm, fawning over his literary accomplishments. However, things change when she purchases his eighth Misery book and reaches the point of Misery's death. Annie's psychotic underbelly swiftly surfaces as the unfortunate author is held clandestinely captive in her home. Meanwhile, a wily small-town sheriff (Richard Farnsworth) circles in....
Director Rob Reiner's adaptation of Stephen King's novel is an eerie tale of obsessiveness and isolation. The film features an excellent turn by Caan and an Oscar-winning performance by Bates.
Description by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment:
A "heart-stopping psychological thriller" (Joel Siegel) this Academy AwardŽ-winning* film is "one of the best horror movies" (Time) ever. Adapted from a Stephen King story by OscarŽ-winning** screenwriter William Goldman (All the President's Men) and directed by Rob Reiner (A Few Good Men), this chiller starring Kathy Bates (Titanic) and James Caan (The Godfather), is "a Hitchcockian kind of cat-and-mouse" (The New York Times) gameplayed between two cunning mindsone as sharp as a tack and the other as blunt as a sledgehammer. Novelist Paul Sheldon (Caan) doesn't remember the blinding blizzard that sent his car spinning off the road. Nor does he remember being nursed back from unconsciousness. All he remembers iswaking up in the home of Annie Wilkes (Bates) a maniacal fan who is bent on keeping her favorite writer as her personal prisoner for the rest of his "cock-a-doodie" life!
In this chilling adaptation of a Stephen King story, a romance novelist loses control of his car during a snowstorm and is rescued by a nurse who happens to be his "number one fan." Recovering in her home, he turns from patient to prisoner as his savior proves to be psychotically deranged.