November 30th, 1990
DVD / VHS
Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman
Novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) has plans to make the difficult transition from writing historical romances featuring heroine Misery Chastain to publishing literary fiction. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), Sheldon’s number one fan, rescues the author from the scene of a car accident. The former nurse takes care of him in her remote house, but becomes irate when she discovers that the author has killed Misery off in his latest book. Annie keeps Sheldon prisoner while forcing him to write a book that brings Misery back to life.
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.