Storm of the Century
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|Storm of the Century|
Cover of the published screenplay
|Genre||Drama, Horror, Fantasy, Thriller|
|Written by||Stephen King|
|Directed by||Craig R. Baxley|
|Country of origin||US|
|No. of episodes||3|
Robert F. Phillips
|Location(s)||Little Tall Island, Maine|
|Running time||256 min.|
|Original release||February 14 – February 18, 1999|
Storm of the Century, alternatively known as Stephen King's Storm of the Century, is a 1999 horror TV miniseries written by Stephen King and directed by Craig R. Baxley. Unlike many other King mini-series, Storm of the Century was not based upon a Stephen King novel—King wrote it as a screenplay from the beginning. The screenplay was published in February 1999.
A very powerful blizzard hits the fictional small town of Little Tall Island (also the setting of King's novel Dolores Claiborne) off the coast of Maine. The storm is so powerful that all access off the island is blocked, and no one is able to leave the island until the storm is over. While trying to deal with the storm, tragedy strikes when one of the town's residents is brutally murdered by André Linoge (Colm Feore), a menacing stranger who appears to know the town members' darkest secrets, and who gives no hint of his motives other than the cryptic statement "Give me what I want, and I'll go away."
Linoge is imprisoned in the town's holding cell by part-time constable Michael Anderson (Timothy Daly), but he uses his various abilities to affect the town, driving people to commit suicides and inflict terrifying dreams. After walking from his cell, Linoge's campaign of terror culminates in an enchantment that places all eight of the town's small children into unconsciousness. While looking for Linoge, Michael notices his name is an anagram for Legion, a demon mentioned having been fought but not defeated by Jesus. Linoge eventually calls a town meeting, and it is here that Linoge states he desires one of the eight children he has enchanted. He reveals his true form (an impossibly ancient, dying man), explaining that he is not immortal, and needs someone to carry on his "work." He states that he cannot simply take the child he desires, but he can punish. If they refuse, he threatens to force them to march into the sea two-by-two, as he claims to have done at Roanoke Island, North Carolina, centuries before. With his demands set, he leaves them with half an hour to make their decision.
Although Michael Anderson begs the town to refuse Linoge's request, appealing to their common decency and the fact that they may be aiding in a great evil, all of the townspeople except him vote to give Linoge what he desires. Linoge has each mother draw one of eight "weirding stones," with Michael's wife Molly drawing the black. Contemptuously thanking the town, Linoge transforms into his true form, and suggests that the less they say to the outside world about the events with him, the happier they will be. With a final remark to Molly that Ralph will eventually come to call him "father", Linoge flies off into the night with his new protégé.
Most of the film's epilogue is narrated by Mike Anderson, as he explains how he leaves Little Tall the following summer. Unable to live with those who sacrificed his child, Mike divorces Molly and settles in San Francisco as a US Marshal. Nine years after the storm, Mike notices an old man and a teenage boy walking by, humming Linoge's favorite tune "I'm a little teapot". He calls out to the boy, realizing it is his son, now corrupted by Linoge. He chases after them into an alley, but they are gone.
Mike considers telling Molly about what he saw, but ultimately decides against it, sometimes thinking that was the wrong decision, "but in daylight, I know better."
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- Tim Daly as Constable Michael "Mike" Anderson
- Debrah Farentino as Molly Anderson
- Dyllan Christopher as Ralph Emerick "Ralphie" Anderson
- Colm Feore as Andre Linoge
- Jeffrey DeMunn as Town Manager Robert "Robbie" Beals
- Nada Despotovich as Sandra "Sandy" Beals
- Spencer Breslin as Donny Beals
- Denis Forest as Kirk Freeman
- Nicky Guadagni as Jenna Freeman
- Casey Siemaszko as Alton "Hatch" Hatcher
- Soo Garay as Melinda Hatcher
- Skye McCole Bartusiak as Pippa Hatcher
- Ron Perkins as Peter Godsoe
- Becky Ann Baker as Ursula Godsoe
- Cayda Rubin as Sally Godsoe
- Nancy Beatty as Octavia Godsoe
- Richard Fitzpatrick as Jonas Stanhope
- Kathleen Chalfant as Joanna Stanhope
- Myra Carter as Cora Stanhope
- Rita Tuckett as Martha Claredon
- Adam Zolotin as Davey Hopewell
- Gaylyn Britton as Mary Hopewell
- Michael Rhoades as Stan Hopewell
- Steve Rankin as Jack Carver
- Torri Higginson as Angela Carver
- Stephen Joffe as Buster Carver
- Adam LeFevre as Ferd Andrews
- Peter MacNeill as Sonny Brautigan
- Beth Dixon as Tess Merchant
- Leif Anderson as Johnny Harriman
- Marcia Laskowski as Linda St. Pierre
- Harley English-Dixon as Heidi St. Pierre
- Richard Blackburn as Andy Robichaux
- Jeremy Jordan as William "Billy" Soames
- Lynne Griffin as Jane Kingsbury
The screenplay for the miniseries was written by Stephen King expressly for television, and was published by Pocket Books just prior to the initial airing of Storm of the Century on ABC, while the mass market edition of the screenplay was published only as a trade paperback. A hardcover edition was published concurrently by the Book of the Month Club. The book contains an introduction in which King describes the genesis of the idea as it occurred to him in late 1996, beginning to write it in December 1996, and debating the format the story should take, either a novel or a screenplay, ending up writing a "novel for television".