Needful Things (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Fraser C. Heston|
|Produced by||Jack Cummins|
|Screenplay by||W.D. Richter|
|Based on||Needful Things by
|Starring||Max von Sydow
J. T. Walsh
|Music by||Patrick Doyle|
|Editing by||Rob Kobrin|
|Studio||Castle Rock Entertainment
New Line Cinema
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release dates||August 27, 1993|
|Running time||120 min.|
|Box office||$15,185,672 (USA)|
Needful Things is a 1993 horror film, and an adaptation of Stephen King's 1991 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Fraser C. Heston, the son of actor Charlton Heston. It stars Max von Sydow, Ed Harris, Bonnie Bedelia and J. T. Walsh.
A mysterious proprietor named Leland Gaunt, claiming to be from Akron, Ohio, opens a new antiques store called "Needful Things" in the small town of Castle Rock, Maine. The store sells various items of great personal worth to the residents (some of which, like a pendant that eases pain or a toy which predicts the outcome of horse races, are clearly supernatural), and Gaunt demands payment both in cash and in small "favors", usually pranks played by his customers on their neighbors. Gaunt seems to have an innate knowledge of the townspeople and their history, and the pranks exploit their previous rivalries and prejudices, causing them to attack each other. When the normally peaceful townsfolk begin to commit acts of violence and murder, Sheriff Alan Pangborn investigates Gaunt and becomes convinced that his machinations are the source of the unrest. Gaunt is revealed to be the Devil, traveling from place to place, manipulating people into destroying themselves. Acting primarily through a corrupt boat salesman and gambler named Danforth Keeton, Gaunt succeeds in sparking a riot in the town square.
Pangborn manages to stop the violence before the town destroys itself, and the townspeople admit their pranks, exposing Gaunt's web of manipulation. Keeton, despondent at the death of his wife earlier in the film, blows up Needful Things with Gaunt inside. Defeated, the mysteriously impervious Gaunt emerges completely unharmed from the burning wreckage of his store, predicts he will encounter Pangborn's grandson in 2053, exclaims "Bob will be his name", then departs, presumably to continue his vicious, evil work. He leaves in the same sinister black car (revealed as similarly supernaturally indestructible in the extended cut), in which he arrived at the beginning of the film.
- Max von Sydow as Leland Gaunt/The Devil
- Ed Harris as Sheriff Alan J. Pangborn
- Bonnie Bedelia as Polly Chalmers
- Amanda Plummer as Netitia 'Nettie' Cobb
- J. T. Walsh as Danforth 'Buster' Keeton III
- Ray McKinnon as Deputy Norris Ridgewick
- Valri Bromfield as Wilma Wadlowski Jerzyck
- Shane Meier as Brian Rusk
- W. Morgan Sheppard as Father Meehan
- Don S. Davis as Reverend Rose
- Gillian Barber as Myrtle Keeton
- Lochlyn Munro as John LaPointe
- Campbell Lane as Frank Jewett
- Frank C. Turner as Pete Jerzyck
King casting connections
Bonnie Bedelia played Susan Norton in Salem's Lot.
Gillian Barber played Dr. Surman in The Dead Zone.
Robert Easton played the Priest in Pet Sematary Two.
Dee Jay Jackson played Alvin The Dead Zone.
Ray McKinnon played Charlie D. Campion in The Stand.
Lochlyn Munro played Jason Moore in The Dead Zone.
- "Official website of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.". MGM.com. 2002-08-27. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
- Needful Things at the Internet Movie Database
- Needful Things at allmovie
- Yahoo! Movies entry
- Needful Things at Rotten Tomatoes