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Stephen King's It (1990)

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Release Date: Nov 18, 1990 Wide

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64

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Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 195,685

My Rating

Movie Info

Originally titled Stephen King's It, this two-part TV movie first aired on November 18 and 20, 1990. The story starts in Maine, where a small child is lured into the hands of what audiences everywhere can be assured is one mean clown. The 30-year struggle against an evil supernatural force that masquerades as a circus clown named Pennywise (Tim Curry) begins in 1960 and spans until 1990. Featured are a group of six young men and one young woman who call themselves "the lucky seven" and are the

Aug 24, 2004

Warner Home Video

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All Critics (13) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (4) | DVD (8)

For the resources director Wallace is given, [the movie] offers up a creepy and spooky tale about the past coming back to haunt you.

October 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Stephen King pits kids vs. killer clown from hell.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The first half is terrifying -- or was when I was younger. The second half has a bad special effect spider.

November 11, 2005 | Comments (4)
Zap2it.com

Too vanilla, too banal and too earnest to do the source material any justice.

October 29, 2003 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Comment (1)
Apollo Guide

Effective TV adaptation of King's novel

July 11, 2003
Lawrence Journal-World

Top-Calibre horror

July 11, 2003
Moviehole

As made-for-TV horror, it lacks real bite, but still has a fine unsettling atmosphere. And let's face it: clowns are REALLY scary.

October 3, 2002
Flipside Movie Emporium

Audience Reviews for Stephen King's It

Stephen King's "IT" is both amazing and awful at the same time. It's a never-ending scream-fest of a film that tries very very hard to earn jump scares, and while some of them work, some of them fall flat on their face. I loved portions of this film, seeing as some of the campy horror made me chuckle and I was along for the ride, but I also hated some of it, because the winks at the audience are kind of annoying. It it almost like they are telling you are stuck in a movie and you want to watch the rest. "IT" is like a bad drug. Ugly, unfunny, not scary, and laughable in every way. It's a pretty weak film at it's core.
June 3, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

An effective, campy horror movie about seven children who are terrorized by a demonic clown (Tim Curry) who lives in the sewers, and how they make a pact to come together if the clown comes back later. Thirty years later, it does. Although it stumbles horribly at its conclusion and the acting is extremely cheesy at parts, this movie is still watchable and likeable enough thanks mainly to the performance of Tim Curry, who creates such a unique, terrifying villain who you can't keep your eyes off of. Some aspects of the story are handled a little clumsily, but you still believe the friendship between these characters, and you are always kept guessing when the clown will pop up again. Not enough to fully recommend, but I can understand the wide appeal it has garnered, as well as the full-scale fear of clowns many people from my generation have as a result of this film.
November 24, 2012
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Pennywise: I'm every nightmare you've ever had. I'm your worst dream come true. I'm everything you ever were afraid of. 

"Your every fear- all in one deadly enemy."

It is not a good movie at all. The acting is laughable at times and the direction is clumsy at best. Still, this is one of those nostalgic movies for me. I've always liked It. I loved the film when I was a kid. It was the first horror film I ever saw and it scared the shit out of me. I still like watch it on occasion now, but it's obvious that it isn't the great horror film I thought it was when I was a kid. It has too many problems to count, so I won't try. Instead, I'll just admit that I'm still a fan of It. 

Stephen King's It was a two part, made-for-TV movie in the 1990. Quite obviously, it is an adaption of Stephen King's horror masterpiece; one that I have read, and one that is one of my personal favorites from King. The movie changes a lot of details from the book, but that shouldn't be a surprise as the director is trying to make a 3 hour movie out of a 1,000 plus page book. 

Part 1 is more about the story as it pertains to when the characters were young. We are shown the summer of 1960 and all the terror that came with it through the flashbacks of seven characters. One of them, Mike, still presides in Derry, Maine. After another killing, he calls his six friends and tells them"It" is back, and to see if they will make good on the promise they made 30 years ago. Part 1 is also much better than Part 2. I remember thinking this even as a kid. I always thought the first part was a lot scarier. The drain scene with Georgie was one that always stuck with me as a young lad trying to sleep. Part 2 brings the adults back to Derry to try to finish off Pennywise, who has started to kill again.

The acting as I said is pretty terrible from just about every actor involved. Tim Curry is the saving grace from the acting point of view though. He plays Pennywise the Dancing Clown with absolutely terrifying precision. Curry was a perfect choice to play the clown. His voice is perfect, his mannerisms are perfect, he is perfect. It's just too bad that he's perfect in a movie that is so far from perfect it is laughable.

The ending will surely piss you off. The first time we see the kids go down into the sewer, it is atmospheric and satisfying, even if the direction and acting is as sloppy down there as it was in the real world. The second time we see the adults go down is just terrible. That last scene is a good reason to hate the movie. But I guess there are a lot of reasons to hate it if you are looking at it for the first time from adult eyes. I just can't hate this film though.

It is one that will always be special to me. In the same way that I remember watching The Sandlot and The Wizard of Oz as a kid, I remember It. I remember turning the lights out at night and scaring myself to death with this movie. I remember not being able to sleep or shower. I remember walking by sewage drains and making sure there was no clown down there. Maybe it isn't a good movie, but it is one that I will always cherish.
June 27, 2012
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

This film ruined clowns for me. I saw this as a child becouse the VHS said PG. This is my first horror film and the only film to trully scare me. Tim Curry is one of the greatest character actors of our time.
October 27, 2011
Joshua Wilburn

Super Reviewer

    1. Pennywise: I'll kill you all! Aha, I'll drive you crazy, and I'll kill you all! I'm every nightmare you've ever had. I am your worst dream come true! I am everything you ever were afraid of!
    – Submitted by Gio O (15 months ago)
    1. Eddie Kaspbrak (age 12): What if it's just some crazy guy in a clown suit?
    – Submitted by Zach W (19 months ago)
    1. Pennywise: Well I'm Pennywise... and you're Georgie... so I guess we know each other now!
    – Submitted by Alec G (21 months ago)
    1. Pennywise: Kiss me fat boy!
    – Submitted by Jessica W (22 months ago)
    1. Pennywise: Hi Georgie, [pennywise appears] I said Hello. [Georgie gets surprised] Oh, come on puckle, don't you want a baloon.
    – Submitted by Javis C (22 months ago)
    1. Pennywise: Hahahahahaha say hello to your friends Beverly! Hahaha you'll die if you try to fight us! You'll die if you try!
    – Submitted by Hobie P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (8)

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Latest News on Stephen King's It

March 13, 2009:
Stephen King's It Heads to Theaters
Warner Bros. is developing a big-screen adaptation of Stephen King's "It," and has hired Dan...
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