Kathy Bates has had a great career, and Misery is one of the highlights.
In Misery, Kathy Bates created one of the most iconic and HORRIFYING CRINGE-WORTHY moments in movie history. It was the hobbling scene where she took a sledgehammer to the ankles of James Caan, who was playing author Paul Sheldon. It was a scene where, even when I knew it was coming, caused me to scream out in anguish.
The movie, which was basically the two main stars working in a confined room, never felt dull or boring. It was completely engaging and breathtaking.
Paul, who had just finished his newest manuscript, was heading home through a blizzard when his car crashed. Injured badly, Paul awoke in a bed being nursed back to health by Annie Wilkes. She had plenty of answers to his questions that seemed reasonable as to why he was not in a hospital. He legs had been badly broken and his shoulder separated but Annie was his number one fan and was dedicated to help him heal while the blizzard kept them isolated.
Of course, Annie was more than just the number one fan. She was the proof that the work fan comes from the word FANATIC, as she showed her levels of crazy gradually.
Kathy Bates and James Caan are tremendous here. Misery wound up being directed by Rob Reiner and adapted to the screen from The Princess Bride writer, William Goldman. Interestingly enough, the hobbling scene was originally intended to be a decapitation instead and that caused a great deal of problem with many actors and actresses. Reportedly, it was what led Bette Midler to drop out of the role of Annie.
Which turned out to be a great opportunity for Kathy Bates, who did win an Academy Award for the role.
Misery is such a taut thriller with so many great moments that you always remember, it is certainly one of the best Stephen King adaptations to make the big screen. It has to be the biggest fear of every famous person that there is an Annie Wilkes in their fan club. Quite an amazing film.