Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Misery (1990)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Misery (1990)

In director Rob Reiner's psychological thriller - and a Stephen King adaptation:

  • the scenes of psychopathic nurse Annie Wilkes' (Oscar-winning Kathy Bates) strange idolization and romance of author-writer Paul Sheldon (James Caan) after rescuing him from a car accident (his car crashed in a blizzard), and bringing him to her remote Colorado home; he was known for penning a lucrative series of eight novels about a lovelorn 19th century character named Misery Chastain; when he awoke, she told him: ("I'm your number one fan. There's nothing to worry about. You're gonna be just fine. I'll take good care of you. I'm your number one fan....We're just outside Silver Creek....You've been here two days. You're gonna be OK. My name is Annie Wilkes")
  • Annie's eerie admission that she had been stalking him over a six-week period while he was writing his latest book in the Silver Creek Lodge nearby: ("Some nights I'd just tool on down there and sit outside, and look up at the light in your cabin. I'd try to imagine what was goin' on in the room of the world's greatest writer")
  • while Annie nursed the convalescing Paul back to health from severe leg pain from two fractured tibia in both legs, a fractured fibula in the right leg, and a dislocated shoulder, her angry voicing of objections to profanities that he wrote in his latest manuscript: ("The swearing, Paul...What do you think I say when I go to the feed store in town? 'Oh, now Wally, give me a bag of that f-ing pig feed and 10 pounds of that bitchly cow corn!' And in the bank, do I tell Mrs. Bollinger: 'Oh, here's one big bastard of a cheque - give me some of your Christing money!'"); she became so worked up that she spilled hot soup on him: ("Look there, see what you made me do!"); and then confessed: ("I love you, Paul. Your mind. Your creativity. That's, that's all I meant")
  • the reclusive Annie's weird introduction of her beloved sow named Misery to Paul: ("I thought it was time you two should meet. Paul, say hello to my favorite beast in the whole world - my sow Misery....This farm was kind of dreary, what with just a few cows and chickens and me. But when I got Misery here, everything changed. She just makes me smile so")
  • the scary sequence of Annie's insanely mad response in the middle of the night after learning that at the end of Paul's latest book Misery's Child, he had killed off the heroine character, Misery Chastain: ("You! You dirty bird! How could you? She can't be dead! Misery Chastain cannot be dead!...I don't want her spirit! I want her! And you murdered her!...You did it! You did it! You did it! You did it! You murdered my Misery!..I thought you were good, Paul. But you're not good. You're just another lying old dirty birdie. And I don't think I better be around you for a while. And don't even think about anybody coming for you. Not the doctors, not your agent, not your family, because I never called them. Nobody knows you're here. And you better hope nothing happens to me. Because if I die, you die")
  • the book manuscript burning, when Annie demanded that Paul light his latest untitled manuscript (the only copy) on fire, even though he promised to never publish it: ("I'll tell ya what. It doesn't ever have to be published. No one ever has to read it. I'll just keep it for myself. No one will even know it exists"); she ignored his promise and sprinkled lighter fluid on his bed to convince him: ("As long as it does exist, your mind won't ever be free. I think you should light the match, Paul. Can't you see it's what God wants? You're so brilliant I would think you'd certainly be able to see that. We're put on this earth to help people, Paul. Like I'm trying to help you. Please, help me help you")
  • the scene of Annie's unpredictable outburst at Paul for being under-appreciated: ("I'll tell you what's the matter! I go out of my way for you! I do everything to try and make you happy! I feed you, I clean you, I dress you, and what thanks do I get? 'Oh, you bought the wrong paper, Annie. I can't write on this paper, Annie!' Well, I'll get your stupid paper, but you just better start showing me a little more appreciation around here, Mister Man!")
  • the tense scene of Paul struggling to return to his room before Annie entered the house (after buying three reams of smudge-free paper for him) - and her discovery that he had been trying to escape
  • the classic scene of Annie's monologue of how she felt a 'cliffhanger' episode of Rocket-Man at the Saturday afternoon movies in Bakersfield when she was younger had cheated her, because it had been unfairly modified: ("Anyway, my favorite was Rocket Man, and once it was a no-brakes chapter. The bad guys stuck him in a car on a mountain road, knocked him out, welded the doors shut, and tore out the brakes and started him to his death. And he woke up and tried to steer and tried to get out but the car went off a cliff before he could escape, and it crashed and burned, and I was so upset and excited! And the next week, you better believe, I was first in line. And they always start with the end of the last week, and there was Rocket Man trying to get out, and here comes the cliff and just before the car went off the cliff he jumped free, and all the kids cheered! But I didn't cheer. I stood right up and started shouting: 'This isn't what happened last week! Have you all got amnesia? They just cheated us! This isn't fair! He didn't get out of the cockadoodie car!'")
  • the scene of Annie's melancholy during a rainy day - causing Paul to worry that she might be self-destructive and do something drastic: ("I know you don't love me. Don't say you do. You're a beautiful, brilliant, famous man of the world and I'm not a movie-star type. You'll never know the fear of losing someone like you if you're someone like me....The book's almost finished. Your legs are getting better. Soon, you'll be wanting to leave....I have this gun. (She pulled the trigger, but it clicked empty) Sometimes I think about using it. I better go now. I might put bullets in it")
  • Annie's deranged and frightening decision to 'fix' things in the famed 'hobbling scene' - to prevent him from running away, she crippled Paul by breaking both of his ankles; after she lifted the sledgehammer and said: "Trust me, it's for the best," she blasted his left foot so that it visibly bent ("I'm almost done, just one more"), and then also mangled his right foot; and after completing the horrible deed, she adoringly said: "God, I love you"
Hobbling Paul's Legs with a Sledgehammer
And Then Telling Him: "God, I love you!"
  • the concluding basement scene, when Annie was planning on a double suicide-murder: ("You and I were meant to be together for ever. But now our time in this world must end. But don't worry, Paul. I've prepared for what must be done. I put two bullets in my gun, one for you and one for me. Oh, darling, it'll be so beautiful"), and Paul was able to trick Annie into getting a cigarette and second glass for champagne to celebrate completing the manuscript; he found an opportunity to bash her over the head with his typewriter, and although she shot him in the left shoulder, he was eventually able to stuff some of the manuscript into her mouth during a one-on-one fight, and then after tripping her, she fell and suffered a lethal blow to the head when she struck his typewriter
  • the haunting ending in a restaurant, when a waitress (Wendy Bowers) (who momentarily appeared as a vision of butcher knife-wielding Annie to Paul), asked Paul: "Excuse me. I don't mean to bother you, but are you Paul Sheldon?...'cause I just wanna tell you, I'm your number one fan"; he replied: "That's very sweet of you"; the end credits were accompanied by Liberace's performance of the song: "I'll Be Seeing You", emphasizing Paul's continued feelings of being stalked and watched: ("I'll be seeing you In all the old familiar places That this heart of mine embraces All day through, In that small cafe The park across the way The children's carousel The chestnut trees The wishing well I'll be seeing you...")

Annie Wilkes: "I'm your number one fan"

Injured, Bed-ridden Author Paul

Objecting to Paul's Use of Profanities in His Manuscript

Showing Off Her Pig Named Misery

Angry Rant About The Ending of Paul's Latest Book: "You murdered my Misery!"

The "Untitled" Manuscript Burning Scene

Paul's Scramble to Return to His Room

Annie's Classic Monologue: "He didn't get out of the cockadoodie car!"

Annie's Melancholy

Basement Scene of Revenge: Bashing Annie Over the Head with Typewriter and Killing Her

Haunting Concluding Restaurant Scene


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