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          Millions perish, and as small, isolated frightened bands unite, the answers to their perpetual questions to justify this end of civilization are bared in their dreams. Their extreme clash of wills makes it inevitable that these remnants of humanity will soon engage in a final confrontation --  The Stand -- an immense and atrocious battle which could result in annihilating the power of good and hurdle the fate of the planet into the reins of evil.

"We have to get out of the city. It's not just the odds of getting shot. Do you know what it's going to smell like in two weeks? 5 million dead people rotting in the July sun."
                    - Larry Underwood

          A plague has been released upon the earth, highly contagious, and with a world-decimating death rate. The first couple of hours deal with the release, how the world tries to prevent the spread, and how eventually all but a handful survive. Each survivor begins to dream. Some nights they dream of Mother Abigail, who tells them to visit her in Nebraska, other nights they dream of the Dark Man, who leaves them sweating and terrified. They come to realise that these two people are real, and they must choose which side to join as a great battle between good and evil is looming. The Dark Man rises, his force in Vegas as he prepares to take over, while everyone else joins Mother Abigail and try to restore a democratic society- remembering the evils of the old world, and preparing for the confrontation with Flagg, the Walkin' Dude- he of many names who bows only to the Crimson King. But that's another story. 
          The characters here are just as vivid as they are in the novel, and even though we don't have as much time to get to know them, the performances are strong enough to cope, and the teleplay is written well to adapt to this. Stu Redman is your ordinary, every day Texan. He watches as his town is destroyed, the military exerting control before it too becomes extinct. He is held in a hospital as he seems to be the only immune person left. Soon he escapes, meeting Glen on his way. Frannie lives with her father in an idyllic setting, pregnant, but thinking of splitting with her boyfriend. Harold Lauder, local nerd hangs around her, hopelessly in love. They survive and everyone else dies. Larry Underwood, a musician just about to hit it big flees from New York with Nadine Cross, having redeemed himself in the eyes of his mother. They fall for each other, but Cross will not give herself to him. Nick Andros, a deaf mute meets farmer Ralph, and Tom Cullen who is 'a little slow'. They become very close. These and many others arrive at Mother Abigail's and try to rebuild, but she knows from God that soon they will have to fight. She sends spies to see what Flagg is doing, most of whom will not survive. Flagg knows they are coming. Flagg has two main men- Lloyd, a petty crook he saved from prison, and the TrashCan man, a psycho who deals in fire. Mother Abigail has a message from God, that four men must travel to Flagg, that one will fall by the wayside before they get there. Trouble is brewing in Abigail's camp too.
          The performances here are all exceptional, and although it is a cliché, it is impossible to imagine anyone else in these roles. Redman could not have played by anyone other than Sinise, Rob Lowe gives the best of his career, Storke is excellent as Larry, Fagerbakke sublime as Tom, and Sheridan as Flagg is the epitome of evil. Everyone else is strong, even the cameos from Kathy Bates and Ed Harris. The only weak part may be Ringwald, who is good, but can sometimes become annoying. The score is also excellent, complementing the mood perfectly, and at times heightening the emotional impact. The small touches which show the chaos at the start- Bate's DJ getting shot, the constant presence of the crow. There are many other brilliant moments- the growing relationship between Tom and Nick which will have a few tears out of you by the end, the changing personalities of certain characters, and the approach of many bikers and cars to Boulder (i think) as Mother Abigail and some other watch from above. The camera-work is also pivotal, with many shots having a beauty rarely seen on TV shows like this. 
          This is definitely one story which should be, if not read, seen by all. Although less themes are covered than in the book, and in less detail, this is still massive, but at no time does it drag or become boring. We are drawn in from the start, and with each new character we meet, we become friends with them, and are truly moved when one dies. Stephen King is easily the greatest storyteller of the 20th century. Many of his films are not so good, many are classics, but this one, much overlooked probably because of its length, for me comes out on top because it is the quintessential battle between good and evil.

Cast & Crew   |   Pictures  |   Coroner Report

          - Jeff Goldblum was originally offered the part of Randall Flagg but turned it down.

          - The role of Judge Richard Farris was originally to have been played by Moses Gunn who was forced to back out due to health reasons, and Ossie Davis was brought in instead.

          - Much of the movie was filmed on the old Osmond sound stages in Orem, Utah.

          - Mother Abigail's house and corn field were constructed to full scale on a sound stage.

          - Corn stalks were flown in from Florida for the sound-stage corn field. By the time the corn got to the set in Utah, it was dead. Fake corn was constructed instead, costing nearly $80,000.

          - For the Mother Abigail farm set, a full-size tree, tons of dirt, grass, and sod were brought in. The sky was painted on a backdrop that surrounded the entire stage.

          - Randall Flagg's Las Vegas penthouse suite was built on a sound stage. The room called for marble walls & floors, which was constructed from particle board painted to look like marble tiles.

          - The art directors needed to figure out how a Magic 8-Ball worked for a certain scene. They called the toy company who makes them, but the company refused to disclose the secret.

          - Some statistics: -1,141 book pages -460 script pages -6 states -100 shooting days -125+ speaking roles -95 scripted shooting locations in 19 scripted states -8 hours of screen time -Over 4 1/2 hours of music

          - Randall Flagg says, "Pleased to meet you, Lloyd. Hope you guess my name," to which a confused and starving Lloyd responds, "Huh." Randall Flagg responds with, "It's a classical reference." The so-called classical reference is from The Rolling Stones "Sympathy for the Devil".

          - The cane that Stu uses at the end of the movie is the same that Andre Linoge is using in Storm of the Century.

          - The scene in the Plaza lobby where Trashcan stumbles in was actually filmed at the Stardust Resort & Casino.

          - For years it was planned to make this story into a theatrical film, directed by George A. Romero. Stephen King did many drafts to make it of a suitable length for a feature film, and when he couldn't get it short enough they considered breaking it into two separate films before finally letting Rospo Pallenberg write a draft. But before they could make it, King was offered the chance to make this mini-series for television.

          - Other actors considered for the part of Randall Flagg were Christopher Walken and Willem Dafoe.




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