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Something Wicked This Way Comes [1983] (1 disc)

Director:Jack Clayton
Writer:Ray Bradbury
Composer:James Horner
Length:95 minutes
(1 hour 35 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG
Sorting Category:Susp/Hor
IMDB Rating:6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:60%
Amazon Rating:5.0/5 stars
User rating sites like above
are subject to change
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  • Fantasy
  • Mystery
  • Suspense / Horror
  • Family
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Synopsis: In a small American town, a diabolical circus and its demonic proprietor prey on the townsfolk.

Personal Rating: 6/10

Jack Clayton => Director
Ray Bradbury => Writer / Book
James Horner => Composer
Angelo Rossitto => Little Person #1
Diane Ladd => Mrs. Nightshade
Ellen Geer => Mrs. Halloway
James Stacy => Ed, The Bartender
Jason Robards => Charles Halloway
Jerry Maren => Demon Midget (uncredited)
Jonathan Pryce => Mr. Dark
Mary Grace Canfield => Miss Foley
Pam Grier => Dust Witch
Phil Fondacaro => Demon Clown (uncredited)
Richard Davalos => Mr. Crosetti
Royal Dano => Tom Fury
Shawn Carson => Jim Nightshade
Vidal Peterson => Will Halloway

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Stephen King wrote a rejected adaptation.
  • [?] Lee Dyer was the director for the extensive re-shoots and re-editing done after Jack Clayton was removed from the film.
  • By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes is from "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare, Scene IV, Act I, spoken by the second witch.
  • A special-effects sequence that took place at the beginning of the film was cut shortly before the movie hit theaters. In this sequence, the carnival materializes from the smoke of the train, the smoke from the engine "becomes ropes and canvas tents. Tree limbs grow together to form a ferris wheel and a spider web mutates into a wheel of fortune." This sequence was the first time that computer animation was used to animate organic material, and it was combined with traditional animation. The scene was deemed not convincing enough, by Disney executives, and was cut from the film at the very last minute. The deleted scene was described in the issue of ["Twilight Zone Magazine"] released the same month as the film, which assumed the scene was going to be in the final print.
  • Ray Bradbury asked both [?] David Lean and Steven Spielberg if they were interested in directing the film.
  • Disney made many changes to the film which writer Ray Bradbury and director Jack Clayton did not intend. Many extra special effects scenes were shot by a second unit director after original production wrapped, and other changes were made before its release. According to the laserdisc commentary by Bradbury, much of his original intentions for the movie were destroyed.
  • Ray Bradbury first wrote 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' as a screenplay in 1952, after watching Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain (1952), which Bradbury thought the greatest musical ever made. Bradbury showed Kelly the screenplay, and Kelly was so impressed that he wanted to make it his next picture. When Kelly shopped the story around to potential backers, however, he was unable to raise any money for the project. It was only after this failure that Bradbury rewrote the story as a novel, which was published in 1962. Bradbury dedicated the novel to Kelly.
  • Hollywood "Creature Creator" [?] Stan Winston, worked as "special makeup effects" but remains uncredited at the end of the movie.
  • Pre-80s Disney regulars Darren McGavin, Dick Van Dyke, and Dean Jones were the first considerations for the role of Charles Halloway. Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, James Garner, and Hal Holbrook were also considered to play Charles Halloway.
  • Edward James Olmos was offered the role of Mr. Dark, but turned it down.
  • Mechanical effects designer [?] Isidoro Raponi built fake tarantulas to augment the 200 live ones used in the spider attack sequence.
  • In the spider sequence, the boys are noticeably older, since the scene was re-shot after the rest of the production had been completed. This was used to replace a sequence with a large mechanical hand which, like the animated appearance of the carnival, was deemed too hokey and was subsequently cut from the film.
  • [?] John Mortimer did an uncredited contribution to the screenplay.
  • British actor Jonathan Pryce (Mr Dark) is an impressive 6 foot 1 inch tall, but during the Parade scene you can clearly see he is wearing two inch heel shoes. This was done to make him appear extra tall & menacing. Much taller than the surrounding cast.
  • [?] Sam Peckinpah briefly flirted with the idea of filming Ray Bradbury's story, but was unable to raise the necessary financing.