Novelist Paul Sheldon crashes his car on a snowy Colorado road. He is found by Annie Wilkes, the "number one fan" of Paul's heroine Misery Chastaine. Annie is also somewhat unstable, and Paul finds himself crippled, drugged and at her mercy.
Official Movie Poster:
Misery Movie Trailer in HD – 1990
Misery movie storyline:
Paul Sheldon is the author of a best-selling series of Victorian era romance novels surrounding the character Misery Chastain. He has just finished the manuscript of his new crime novel, Fast Cars, while staying at the Hotel Boulderado. Since 1974, he has completed the first draft of every one of his novels in the same hotel room in Colorado. With his latest project finished, he has an alcohol-induced impulse to drive to Los Angeles Rather than fly back home to New York City. However, a snowstorm hits while he is driving through the mountains. Sheldon drives off a cliff and crashed upside down into a snowbank.
Paul is rescued from the car wreck, which has resulted in shattered legs, by Annie Wilkes, a former nurse who lives in nearby the fictive town “Sidewinder” in Colorado. She takes him to her own home rather than a hospital, putting him in the guest bedroom. Using her nursing skills and stockpiled food and medical supplies, including an illicit stash of codeine-based painkillers, Annie slowly nurses Paul back to “health”. Instead of setting his legs, as a doctor would have done (so that they may mend and eventually work), she puts them in makeshift splints. This results in his legs looking somewhat like a child’s doodle. She proclaims herself as Paul’s “number one fan,” being an avid reader of the Misery Chastain series. However, when she reads the manuscript for Fast Cars, Annie argues with Paul on its violent content and profanity, causing her to spill his soup. Saying that the accident was “his” fault, she punishes him by withholding his medication, then forcing him to wash it down with soap water. Paul, who has done extensive research into mental disorders, suspects that Annie is dangerously disturbed.
Prior to the accident, when Sheldon’s latest novel, Misery’s Child, had hit the shelves, Annie had bought herself a reserved copy. She does not know, however, that Paul has killed Misery Chastain off at the end, intending to end the Misery series and re-establish himself as a mainstream writer. Upon learning of the main character’s demise (which she reads while Sheldon is her captive), Annie rages at Paul before leaving him alone in her house without food, water or the painkillers for over two days lest she do something “unwise”. During this time, Paul suffers from extreme pain and withdrawal symptoms due to the painkillers; by the time Annie returns, he is close to becoming comatose or dying. Annie forces him to burn the manuscript of Fast Cars – the book he hoped would launch his post-Misery career – and presents him with an antique Royal typewriter, for the purpose of writing a new Misery Chastain novel that will bring the character back from the dead.
Paul bides his time and writes the book as Annie wants, believing her fully capable of killing him. He manages to escape his room while Annie is on an errand, touring the house in search of more painkillers. He manages to reach her telephone as well, only to discover it to be “for show”. He is almost caught by Annie, but manages to return to his room before she enters the house. On another occasion when Annie is absent, Paul escapes his room again and steals a knife from her kitchen, intending to kill her. On the way back to his room, he finds a scrapbook full of newspaper clippings from Annie’s life, suggesting that she is a serial killer who murdered her own father, her college roommate, and numerous patients in several states – thirty-nine people in all. She was arrested and charged with killing several babies at a Boulder hospital, but was acquitted. He also finds a magazine clipping about his status as a missing person, the latest entry in the scrapbook.
Annie (who is prone to blanking out for gradually increasing durations of time, mood swings, depression where she slaps herself continuously, periods of time where she binges on food and sweets without using cutlery, mounting paranoia) eventually reveals that she knows about Paul’s excursions from his room, and punishes him by cutting off Paul’s foot with an axe (hobbling). Later, when Paul complains about a missing letter on the typewriter, she punishes him by slicing off his thumb with an electric knife. A Colorado state trooper eventually arrives at Annie’s house in search of Paul. Realizing a chance for escape, Paul alerts the officer by tumbling the grill and generating noise from the basement. However, Annie surprises the trooper, kills him with a shotgun while he’s in the house. Meaning to kill Paul and herself to avoid being prosecuted for the crime, Paul convince her not to proceed by promising writing of the novel. She temporarily hides Paul in the basement while she departs, meaning to dispose of the trooper’s body and his police cruiser.
Paul is able to leave the room and is found by two cops who’d shown up at Annie’s with strong evidence that Paul was there. They take him to a hospital after gawking briefly at his slightly emaciated body and nearly-hysterical state of mind. He warns them that Annie is still in the bedroom and very dangerous; however when they inspect the room, she’s gone. She’s found a short time later in her barn, dead and gripping her chainsaw.
We find out later that Paul’s burning of the stack of paper was a ruse: he’d hidden the actual manuscript under the bed where he was able to retrieve it later. He returns to New York sporting a prosthetic foot. Sheldon has released Misery’s Return, and it is a hit. His agent wants him to write a nonfiction book on his experiences, but Sheldon refuses, as he is obviously suffering psychological trauma from his experiences, and often suffers nightmares and hallucinations of Annie coming to get him for revenge. He believes that if he tries to write a true account, it would end up more fiction than fact. Paul drinks heavily to deal with his PTSD. One day, while returning from a short shopping trip, he has an odd encounter with a child, a skunk, and a shopping cart, and begins furiously to write about it, having rediscovered his muse and begun to recover.
When King was writing Misery in 1985 he planned the book to be released under the pseudonym Richard Bachman but the identity of the pseudonym was discovered before the release of the book.