Belfastgirl, I believe you are thinking of "Needful Things". Not one of King's best books, but still creepola. King himself has admitted to having "diarrhea of the word processor" - meaning he is so full of stories and words that he puts almost anything down on paper. Luckily for his readers, most of it is gold. His non-fiction is wonderful; and you might enjoy that more. I believe that as time goes on, King will be regarded as one of the most influential authors of the latter half of the twentieth century, whether or not you enjoy his books, or whether or not he is regarded as a great author. Due to his popularity, he helped revamp authors' contracts. Most of the big-name authors you see today get those big money contracts because of King. In part, they are reaping millions because he proved himself to be so popular, and was able to command tens of millions for his books. The other side of the coin is that publishing houses sometimes have less to spend on new, untried authors. So, he has had a great influence on popular writing and the publishing of popular fiction. And many untried authors would die to write like him.Originally Posted by Belfastgirl
"The Stand" is a great book. It is epic in scope, complex in its characterizations, subtle in its context. It is one of the great apocalyptic books. It is too long for many, but for King fans, it's almost too short.
It was a serious mistake to make it a television movie. Too many constraints, including salaries for actors, which caused improper casting. Jamey Sheridan is a wonderful actor, but all wrong for Flagg. Not dark or sinister enough. Gary Sinise, normally, is to die for, his voice and eyes would melt butter, but he was too old for Stu. Laura San Giacomo, usually a captivating actress - all wrong, wrong, wrong, for Nadine. And Molly Ringwald, always adorable, but as Frannie, could not have been more miscast. That hair! That wardrobe! The stuff nighmares are made of! All great actors, but so poorly miscast! They all seemed to do their best, but it was all just so mistaken. On the good side, the wife and husband team of Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis along with Miguel Ferrer were great. Rob Lowe had a great turn as Nick, and Bill Fagerbakke, in an odd turn of typecasting as Tom Cullen (if you remember his dim-witted character from the TV series "Coach"), also did a fantastic job. Ray Walston, a true workhorse of cinema and theater (1914-2001, RIP, Sir) since the 1950's, a four-time Emmy winner and Tony winner, was extremely well-cast and turned in his usual excellent performance.
Walston, along with Dee and Davis, gave a bit of true class to this production. Miguel Ferrer, a handsome and compelling - yet unappreciated - part of Hollywood royalty, as the son of Rosemary Clooney and Jose Ferrer and cousin to George Clooney, lent his stolid presence and unforgettable voice as Lloyd Henried. All had been in radio, theatre and movies for decades. I'm sure they taught the young pups a thing or two! Dee and Davis had been respected actors for fifty plus years and their casting was genius. Ruby Dee was an inspiration.
In fact, I don't think any of them has ever turned in a less than excellent performance in anything they've done. All actors of integrity no matter what they were cast in.
However, the television movie leaves much to be desired in the minds of fans of the book. Perhaps the book is so epic that no movie can do it justice. It might have fared better as a two-movie deal.