Stephen King adaptations are strictly hit-or-miss propositions, and this supernatural thriller from 1993 is definitely a "miss," based on one of King's lesser novels and starring Max von Sydow as the evil proprietor of a s... more »mall-town antique shop named "Needful Things." That's the place where anyone can go to find the one thing they cherish the most (the town's aging jock finds his old, high-school letterman's jacket there, for example), but of course there's a price for such priceless keepsakes. Yep, that's right ... von Sydow is Satan, and his customers pay for "needful things" with their souls. The sheriff (Ed Harris) catches onto this hellish predicament, and, well ... let's just say things go downhill from there, with von Sydow delivering sardonic wisecracks as he wreaks devilish havoc on the town. Lots of stuff gets blown to bits, by which time this movie has long since worn out its welcome. Harris and von Sydow do their best to liven up the dreary scenario (directed by Charlton Heston's son, Fraser), but this is strictly for die-hard King fans, and even then the recommendation is marginal. --Jeff Shannon« less
"I have seen two versions of "Needful Things" the regular theatrical cut which runs at about 113 minutes and the extended edition that used to play on TNT (which is actually better) that has a running time of about 175 minutes, the full program with commercials was about 4 hours long.
Where this version fails is that the character development is rushed and they focus more on the "deeds" than what the book does. The novel itself is very excellent and the first part allows the characters to be developed. Part two of the novel is left to the "deeds" and part three focuses on the chaos that results and the aftermath.
However, in the movie, the "deeds" and the chaos and not on the characters nor the aftermath. I think that "Needful Things" could be put on film, as long as it's a three part miniseries and not just one movie.
However, this film does have some good things about it, the main good thing is Max von Syndow's performance (although when I read the book I imagined someone like Christopher Lee). Another good thing is how accurate to the book that the "deeds" were carried out.
Some may say that this is the worst Stephen King adaptation, but I can think of a couple that are worse: Dreamcatcher, Graveyard Shift, Thinner, and Tommyknockers. This one, is only fifth worse."
The extended version is the one to hope for.
M. Daneker | Spinnerstown, Pa USA | 09/20/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There's at least a 3hr version of this film, most likely longer, it aired on television and cable, at 4rhs with commercials and with the R rated material edited.
This version is okay, but it's cut down to the bare bones of the plot(s) for time and space. The longer version has never been seen on video, but we can hope!"
A fun movie to watch.
LUCIEN LESSARD | Canada. | 03/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the first month of 2000. I saw the Director`s Cut of the film adding one hour of additonal footage, it had one character, we saw her in the 120 mins version needful things, but only briefly as Brain Rusk Mother played by Lisa Blount as Cora Rusk. Inculding a different opening, a car chased scene with Ed Harris and Max Von Sydow. For sure they cut a few gory scenes but is worth it waiting for a Widescreen Director`s Cut on DVD, also i wish, they add Audio Commentary, that will be great for a Stephen King Fan. Who Knows, they show it on television. I seen it on TBS SuperStation. That Version earn 4½ Stars Or maybe Five Stars, if i seen it again."
A Great Film wasted
Grant Gooding | Indianpolis, IN United States | 07/06/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The original Needful Things was an hour longer than it appears on this DVD. Also, there is no widescreen version that is produced. This is probably the best adaptation of a Stephen King book ever brought to film, but it has not yet been deemed profitable enough to put any effort into the produciton of the DVD. The movie itself is superb (for its genre), 3 and 1/2 stars easy. However, this is one of the most shoddily made DVDs that I have ever seen. It is simply not worth buying."
A nice adaption of a great book!
Grant Gooding | 03/06/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie, based on the novel by Stephen King, has such a great premise. Its underlying tones focus on the greed and self-love we all have in ourselves, and how the devil can prey on our every weekness, with something as simple as a baseball card. It fails however, in chopping up the novel, and deleting many scenes that could have made this a very important movie. If you can, watch the 3 hour directors cut that aired on TBS, which has more charcters (including Cora Rusk) and in which the sellings of leland gaunt are spanned throughout the whole movie, instead of just in the first half. Great performances all around (JT walsh a bit over the top), while Amanda Plummer shines and chills as the victim Nettie Cobb, who participates in one of the best cat-fights I have ever seen!"