Now the time has come. I put two bullets in my gun. One for me, and one

               for you.  Oh darling, it will be so beautiful.


Former nurse Annie Wilkes saves the life of novelist Paul Sheldon after a car accident brought on by a severe blizzard. Wilkes, an obsessive fan of Sheldon's "Misery" romance series, takes him home and serves as his caretaker. Annie is severely mentally disturbed, and she prevents him from leaving or contacting the rest of the world.

Once Annie finds out Paul has killed off the titular character of his novels, Misery Chastaine, in his latest published book, she flies into a rage and nearly kills him. She also coldly tells him that she never called the doctors, Paul's agent, or his daughter, as she'd previously said she'd done. After leaving for a few days, she forces him to burn the manuscript he had carried with him and write a new "Misery" story, Misery's Return, in which Misery is somehow brought back to life.

Paul eventually escapes from his room. He finds a photograph album with newspaper clippings of Annie's history; she had been acquitted on charges of infanticide while serving as head maternity nurse in a hospital. She has also killed several other hospital patients over the years, and also killed her father and college roommate. Annie discovers Paul's forays into the rest of the house and, to prevent further ones, cripples (or "hobbles") him in the infamous "sledgehammer scene" by breaking his ankles with a sledgehammer and a block of wood.

A local sheriff, Buster, who is investigating Sheldon's disappearance comes to suspect Annie. After a visit, a noise from inside the house leads him to find Paul in the basement, where Annie hid him when she saw Buster coming. However, Annie immediately shoots Buster with a shotgun. Annie then decides to kill Paul with a small handgun, but he tells her that he understands that they were meant to be together. Falling for his lie, she is overjoyed and lets him live to finish the book. Upon completion of the "Misery" book, Annie is ecstatic and plans to commit murder-suicide with Paul. However, Paul acquires a chance to prevent this and lights his finished novel afire. He takes advantage of her anguish by attempting to knock her unconscious with the typewriter he used to write the manuscript. This fails, and the two engage in an intense brawl.

Paul throws the typewriter while she is trying to put out the fire. It hits her, but she gets back up and grabs Paul and pushes him against the wall, smashing his head into the glass window. Paul fights back by gouging her eyes and punching her down. Annie grabs her small gun she had and shoots Paul, but only hitting him in the shoulder. She is about to shoot him again, but Paul jumps off his wheel chair and tackles her. He knocks the gun out of her hand and begins to choke her with the burnt pages and slams her head against the floor. She escapes by kicking him in the groin. She comes running at him, attempting to finish him off, but Paul trips her and she lands head first onto the typewriter. Paul believes she is finally dead, until Annie jumps back up for one more fight. Paul bashes her twice in the face with her pig trophy and finally kills her. We are to assume he was rescued by the Police a few hours later who were searching for Buster.

The movie then continues eighteen months after Paul was rescued; he is shown in New York City having lunch with his agent, Marcia Sindell. The audience learns that Paul didn't burn the new novel he made at Annie's house, but burnt scratch papers for he thought the book was too good. They discuss his new novel, which is separate from the "Misery" series. Paul rejects a suggestion to write about his experiences with Annie because he is constantly haunted by them....








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Directed by Rob Reiner
Produced by Rob Reiner
Andrew Scheinman
Jeffrey Stott
Steve Nicolaides
Written by Stephen King
Starring James Caan
Kathy Bates
Richard Farnsworth
Frances Sternhagen
Lauren Bacall
Music by Marc Shaiman
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) November 30, 1990
Running time 107 minutes.
Language English
Budget $20,000,000