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Given that Reiner was a director with a career of comedies, once he read the novel he identified with the theme of "a guy who needed a new challenge, who needs to push himself and grow".King had refused to sell the novel's adaptation rights because of how other works of his were mishandled in film translations, but eventually let Reiner do Misery after his 1986 film Stand by Me, an adaptation of King's novella "The Body" Reiner worked closely with Goldman on the screenplay, with the director explaining that "We got rid of the most gory and horrific parts.While at the restaurant, he imagines the waitress as Annie.The waitress says she is his "number one fan", to which Paul uncomfortably responds "That's very sweet of you".The local sheriff, Buster (Richard Farnsworth), is investigating Paul's disappearance.When a shopkeeper informs the sheriff he has sold Annie considerable quantities of typing paper, Buster pays Annie a visit.Out of gratitude, Paul lets Annie read his new manuscript.
One day, when Annie is away, Paul sneaks out and begins stockpiling his painkillers. Paul later finds a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about Annie's past.
Directed by Rob Reiner, the film received critical acclaim for Bates's performance as the psychopathic Annie Wilkes, and Bates won the 1990 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role, Famed novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is the author of a successful series of Regency romance novels featuring a character named Misery Chastain.
Wanting to focus on more serious stories, he writes a manuscript for a new novel that he hopes will launch his post-Misery career.
He discovers that she was tried for the deaths of several infants, but the trial collapsed due to lack of evidence.
Annie had quoted lines from his Misery novels during her trial. When he wakes, she tells him that she knows he has been out of his room and breaks his ankles with a sledgehammer to prevent him from escaping again.