It (1990 film)
|Stephen King's It|
|Approx. run time||192 minutes|
|Distributed by||Lorimar Television|
|Written by||Stephen King (novel)Lawrence D. Cohen|
|Directed by||Tommy Lee Wallace|
|Produced by||Mark Basino
Allen S. Epstein Jim Green
|Editing by||David Blangsted
Robert F. Shugrue
|Music by||Richard Bellis|
|Original run||November 18, 1990 – November 20, 1990|
|No. of episodes||2|
|Followed by||It (2011)|
It (also referred to as Stephen King's It) is a 1990 horror television miniseries based on the novel of the same name. The story revolves around an inter-dimensional predatory life-form that is simply referred to as "It", which has the ability to transform itself into its prey's worst fears, which allows it to exploit the fears and phobias of its victims while also disguising itself when hunting. The main protagonists are "The Losers Club", or "The Seven", a group of social outcasts who discover "It" and vow to destroy him by any means necessary. The series takes place over two different time periods, the first when the Losers first discover "It", and the second when they are called back to defeat "It", who has resurfaced. "It" mostly takes the form of a sadistic clown called "Pennywise the Dancing Clown", which it uses to lure children and kill them. It takes place in the fictional town of Derry, Maine, USA.
In the opening scene, a little girl named Laurie Ann rides her bike down the street happily singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider". Her mother notices it is about to storm and tells her to come inside. Before Laurie Ann goes inside, she hears children laughing in the distance and then a clown giggle. She turns and spots a clown standing in her backyard. The clown plays around with the girl trying to lure her to him. The film then cuts to Laurie Ann's mother looking for her and then finding the girl dead in the backyard. This prompts Mike Hanlon to call across the United States looking for his six friends, telling them that the murderer has returned and their promise from years ago that if "It" ever comes back, they will fight it again. The film then is told in flashback. 1960
Bill, Beverly, Richie, Eddie, Ben, Stan, and Mike, a group of outcasts, form the "Losers Club" (or, as they are sometimes ironically known, the "Lucky Seven") a group of social misfits who meet and form a tight-knit friendship. Each of the children individually encounter the child-killing clown haunting their hometown of Derry, Maine. The monster, which the group later collectively name "It," usually appears as the thing the child victim most fears before taking the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Their separate encounters are later fortified when they all witness Pennywise reach out from a photograph in an album owned by Mike Hanlon, one of the children.
Spurred by Bill Denbrough's desire for revenge on It for killing his younger brother Georgie, the Losers resolve to locate It's home in the sewers and destroy the threat to Derry once and for all. Henry Bowers, a mentally disturbed bully, and two of his friends (Patrick and Belch) follow the group into the Barrens and into the sewers, in a bid to ambush and kill them as revenge for an earlier rock fight. During their trek through the sewers, Stan Uris, one of the Seven, is pulled away from the group by Henry and Belch, and Henry pulls out a pocketknife. Patrick has been ordered to ambush the Seven from another side but is killed by It.
As the remaining six come to the middle of the sewers they discover Stan is missing. Belch restrains Stan as Henry prepares to kill him with the pocketknife, but It bursts through a sewage pipe and kills Belch while Henry and Stan watch in horror. As It makes its way out of the pipe, Stan flees and Henry's hair instantly turns white from the sight of It's true form.
Stan meets up with the Seven, warning them that mystery of It's true form has something to do with living white lights that instantly kill anyone who looks directly at them and which is far more reprehensible than Pennywise. They are to avoid looking into It's "deadlights". It vanishes, and smoke fills the chamber. The seven form a circle, although It attempts to distract and break them apart by simultaneously appearing as Georgie, Beverly's father and a werewolf. As It, in the form of Pennywise, attempts to eat Stan, Beverly cracks the monster's head open with a silver slug (formed from a pair of Richie's mother's earrings) fired from a slingshot, revealing the bright deadlights underneath. However, before the children can kill It, Pennywise somersaults through the air and escapes by getting sucked through a drain in the floor. The group grab his arms, only for the glove and one of the clown's claws to rip off, revealing a larger 3-fingered claw. After arguing and deciding It is dead, the group exits the sewers and make a promise to return and fight It, should It ever return again.
Mike Hanlon, the only member of the Seven who never left Derry, summons the rest of the group back to their hometown when It returns and kills a little girl. Stan, remembering their attempt to kill It 30 years prior and fearful what may happen, commits suicide instead of returning.
As the Seven (now technically six) congregate in Derry, each has another frightening encounter with It. Henry Bowers, having been placed in a mental hospital after accepting blame for the child deaths in the 1960s, escapes under the influence of It (which takes the form of his deceased friend Belch) and attempts to murder the remaining Seven. After escaping, Henry attacks Mike at the hotel where the Seven are staying and stabs him, after which Henry accidentally stabs himself during a grapple, and dies.
At the hospital, Mike gives Bill the two silver slugs they made to use against It when they were who has become catatonic after looking at It's deadlights. They make their way to It's lair, and it is there they discover, to their limited comprehension, It's true form, besides the dead lights: a massive multi-legged monster, equipped with giant mandibles and menacing eye-stalks, that resembles a giant spider.
During the climax, Bill, Richie, and Ben are paralyzed by the deadlights, located on It's abdomen. Eddie is grabbed and killed by It before Beverly shoots out the deadlights with her childhood slingshot and one of the silver earrings. The others mourn Eddie, then kill It by disemboweling the "spider" and ripping out its heart.
To conclude the film on a positive note, Richie returns to his showbiz career which extends into movies, Ben and Beverly marry and are expecting a child, Mike is released from the hospital and remains in Derry, but considers whether he ought to move now that Derry no longer has a lighthouse keeper job. Bill helps Audra to come out of her catatonia by taking her on a seemingly suicidal bicycle ride impersonating the Lone Ranger, which is something he had done years earlier to help revive a young Stan who was frozen with fear. As the film closes, Pennywise's evil laugh is heard one last time.
- Tim Curry as Pennywise the Dancing Clown (billed as a special appearance)
- Harry Anderson as Richie Tozier
- Dennis Christopher as Eddie Kaspbrak
- Richard Masur as Stan Uris
- Annette O'Toole as Beverly Marsh
- Tim Reid as Mike Hanlon
- John Ritter as Ben Hanscom
- Richard Thomas as Bill Denbrough
- Michael Cole as Henry Bowers
- Jonathan Brandis as Young Bill Denbrough
- Brandon Crane as Young Ben Hanscom
- Adam Faraizl as Young Eddie Kaspbrak
- Seth Green as Young Richie Tozier
- Ben Heller as Young Stan Uris
- Emily Perkins as Young Beverly Marsh
- Marlon Taylor as Young Mike Hanlon
- Jarred Blancard as Young Henry Bowers
- Drum Garrett as Belch Huggins
- Gabe Khouth as Patrick Hockstetter
- Frank C. Turner as Alvin "Al" Marsh
- Olivia Hussey as Audra Phillips Denbrough
- Sheila Moore as Ms. Sonya Kaspbrak
- Tony Dakota as Georgie Denbrough
- Chelan Simmons as Laurie Ann
- Laura Harris as Loni (uncredited)