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The Dark Half [DVD] [1994]

Timothy Hutton , Amy Madigan , George A. Romero    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 6.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Dark Half [DVD] [1994] + Needful Things [DVD] [1993] + Stephen King's The Stand [DVD]
Price For All Three: 18.47

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Product details

  • Actors: Timothy Hutton, Amy Madigan, Michael Rooker, Julie Harris, Robert Joy
  • Directors: George A. Romero
  • Writers: George A. Romero, Stephen King
  • Producers: George A. Romero, Christine Forrest, Declan Baldwin
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Danish, English, Norwegian, Swedish, German
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Oct 2001
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005OA81
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,104 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Although it lacks the creepy subtleties of Stephen King's celebrated novel, George Romero's underrated adaptation of The Dark Half is among the best films based on King's fiction, with Romero taking care to honour the central theme while serving up some gruesome gore in the film's much-criticised finale. Inspired by King's own admission that he wrote several novels under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, The Dark Half explores the duality of a writer's impulse, ranging from literary respectability to the viscerally cathartic thrills of exploitative pulp fiction.

Author and teacher Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton) finds himself torn between those extremes when he "kills" his profitable alter ego, George Stark (the bestselling dark half to Thad's light), who then assumes evil, autonomous form (again played by Hutton) to defend lethally his role in Thad's creative endeavours. Forced to wrestle with this evil manifestation of his own unformed twin, Thad must fight to protect his wife (Amy Madigan), their twin babies and himself. While Romero skilfully develops the twin/duality theme to explore the writer's dilemma, Hutton is outstanding in his dual roles, playing Stark (in subtly fiendish makeup) as a redneck rebel with a knack for slashing throats. Julie Harris adds class in a supporting role, and horror fans will relish Romero's climactic showdown, in which swarms of sparrows seal Stark's fate. It favours a pulp sensibility with clunky exposition to explain Stark's existence, but The Dark Half is a laudable effort from everyone involved. --Jeff Shannon,

Product Description

Novelist Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton) makes a healthy living writing pulp thrillers under the pseudonym George Stark, but is frustrated that his more literary endeavours continue to go unnoticed. Eventually he decides to dump Stark for good, but as soon as he does so, his friends and colleagues start to get picked off in grisly murder scenarios. Then, when the police discover Thad's fingerprints all over the crime scenes, the novelist realises that he has a dark side to his personality which is not going to be laid to rest easily. Directed by horror maestro George Romero and based on a story by Stephen King.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
I have to disagree with a lot of people who add this adaptation of a stephen king book to the existing badly executed king movies (children of the corn, the mangler, ... the list goes on). About 3 out of 4 King adaptations lack substance, style, performance and are just out to cash in on this writer's succes. This movie however, is a return to the likes of 'the dead zone' and 'misery', a well crafted thriller that has a slow build up, but doesn't undermine the premise of the book. Romero (Night Of The Living Dead trilogy) collaborated with King on this movie (he worked previously with King on Creepshow and Knightriders) and delivers the goods; An intelligent movie that captures the essence of the book, the characters are beautifully outlined and the directing skills of this genre director pay off; Add to that the excellent performances of Timothy Hutton, who plays both Thad Beaumont and his 'dark half' George Stark, next to Michael Rooker as sheriff Alan Pangborn. The musical score by Christopher Young is also pretty amazing, allowing never a dull moment in the movie and keeping it at pace, like the suspence thriller it is. The whole movie is shot in Pittsburgh, hometown of Romero and this adds a nice touch to the scenery. The region 2 (european) dvd has the widescreen version which I prefer over the full screen region 1 (american) dvd. I would have liked a commentary by Romero, since there were some budget problems during last month of shooting, and I would like to have had his take on that. But all in all, this movie keeps amazing me; It's an example of what true horror is about, and that intelligent scripts do have a place in this often commercial genre.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and scary 5 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of the better King adaptations with George A Romero, the master behind Night of the Living Dead trilogy directing a fine cast. Thad Beumont(Tim Hutton) has been writng under the name of George Stark but is forced to stop when someone threatens to blackmail him, but George Stark isn't happy and comes back to get revenge. This film has an excellent storyline and doens't slaughter the original book. It manages to scare and a lot of parts make you jump. Their is quite a lot of gore but not to much. The scares are more psychological. I would recommend this to any fan of the horror genre as it is an enjoyable but scary film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Its a cut throat Business... 17 Nov 2013
Thad Beaumount has buried his alter ego George Stark, a pseudonym he used when writing fiction of a dark nature than he would using his real name.

When a local man is killed, evidence leads Sheriff Pangborn to George's grave, and he begins to suspect Thad.

Thad is beginning to have visions of sparrows flying, something that hasn't occurred for twenty-three years since he had brain surgery. As the string of gruesome murders continue, someone claiming to be George Stark starts calling Thad on the phone.

Thad fears for his family's safety, and Pangborn can't decide whether or not Thad is the murderer.....

Another year in the nineties, and another generic Stephen King adaptation hits the screen. For every Shawshank, Misery, and Dolores Claiborne, you get a Lawnmower Man, Sleepwalkers, Langoliers, and this.

Hutton is great as Thad and his Doppelgänger, but as expected, the bad guy is more enjoyable, has lots of funny one liners and is hardly in it.

The rest of the film has Michael Rooker not shaking hands with Hutton one mi ute and then getting him beer the next.

And while all this is happening, there are lots and lots of sparrows flying around the place.

Romero starts the film off very promising, but as soon as Stark is introduced, the film, despite Stark being the highlight of the film, goes down the toilet.

If you are a King enthusiast, go ahead, ruin your day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow 17 Oct 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Must watch again and again, a twist a mystery a puzzle. This film is so imaginative that it holds the viewers attention all through the film with surprising ending. It is definitely a must see Steven King story. Timothy Hutton plays a wonderful part as the hunted and the hunter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good 25 Feb 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
great film but i recommend you read the book first as you get more out of the book, but the film was good and stayed fairly in line with the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the dark half 18 Feb 2013
By val
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I like stephen king so this is no expception I liked it and expect to collect them all if I can
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching. 30 Oct 2012
By Joy
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I had to persuade my husband to watch this film as he is not really into 'scary' movies. He thoroughly enjoyed it! Me too, though I was a little disappointed that it was not always true to the book - what films are? All in all, a good adaptation but I highly recommend that you read the book before buying the DVD - then you'll understand exactly what's going on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary film with excellent actor Timothy Hutton 23 Jun 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have read this book years ago and finally I got to watch the film, scary especially the birds...
Timothy is brilliant as the writer and can look really mean as the book caracter.
My advice see it but maybe not alone...
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