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Something Wicked This Way Comes

4.5 out of 5 stars 372 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

One of Ray Bradbury's most popular and intriguing novels of good and evil comes to life in this spine-tingling motion picture. On a grim and gusty October day, two young boys encounter a distressed man who foretells of danger blowing their way. Soon after, the town is visited by a seductive stanger named Mr. Dark and his Pandemonium Carnival. Terrifying things begin to happen when the adventurous boys stumble onto the carnival's deadly and destructive secret! Beware: SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES ... and frightening surprises follow!|The movie is based on Ray Bradbury's book of the same name, which was inspired by Shakespeare's "Macbeth."|Studio veterans claim some of the "extras" -- live tarantulas -- got loose during filming, creating havoc wherever they turned up.

Special Features

Theatrical Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Jason Robards, Jonathan Pryce, Diane Ladd, Pam Grier, Royal Dano
  • Directors: Jack Clayton
  • Writers: Screenplay By Ray Bradbury
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 3, 2004
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (372 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001I55U6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,564 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Something Wicked This Way Comes" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael R Gates VINE VOICE on March 17, 2004
Format: DVD
Based on the best-selling 1962 novel by venerable SF and horror writer Ray Bradbury--who also penned this cinematic adaptation--1983's SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES is the unabashedly nostalgic story of two young boys, Will Halloway (Vidal Peterson) and Jim Nightshade (Shawn Carson), who engage in a battle of wills with Mr. Dark (Jonathan Pryce), the nefarious proprietor of a preternatural carnival that that literally blows into the boys' hometown one brisk October night (circa 1940). When Will and Jim discover that Dark and his troupe of midway miscreants are hiding some evil secret that might endanger the town, the boys take it upon themselves to uncover the truth and protect their friends and neighbors.
Some viewers are surprised to learn that this somber film is a product of the Walt Disney Company. Though there are the lovable small-town characters that one expects from Disney, it is admittedly rare to find a Disney flick with an incorrigibly evil character such as Mr. Dark (obviously the Devil in all but name). It is also unusual for a Disney film to have such a grim atmosphere, at least one that is not regularly punctured with puerile comedic relief, but SOMETHING THIS WAY COMES has a consistently spooky ambiance and an earnestly frightening plot, both of which elevate it to the level of a genuine horror film DESPITE its Disney label.
The performances in SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES are top-notch. Jonathan Pryce is deliciously wicked as the enigmatic Mr. Dark--genre fans might recognize Pryce as the actor playing Governor Swann in the 2003 blockbuster PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL--and Jason Robards does a fine turn as the wise librarian father of young Will.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"And in despair I bowed my head, there is no peace on earth," I said. "For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men." Then pealed the bells more loud and deep, "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail. With peace on earth, good will to men"...

With Shakespeare & Longfellow both quoted in the film & movie screenplay, penned and adapted by the author Ray Bradbury, how could you go wrong with this Disney Family great!

Set in the 1940's in a small idyllic town called Greentown, Illinois; it is the pseudonym for Ray Bradbury's own home town of Waukegan, Illinois. Waukegan plays quite a big role in most of Ray Bradbury's works, just as Bradbury had a pseudonym himself by the name of Douglas Spaulding.

Greentown is mentioned in passing several times in short stories, just for the reader to put a name to the place, but it is featured most prominently in "Dandelion Wine", a beautiful anthology Bradbury wrote concerning his childhood
memories, and in the dark fantasy novel, "Something Wicked This Way Comes". So essentially, you COULD visit Greentown if you wanted to... Just be careful of the carnival "Autumn People" in October.

Jason Robards heads a stellar cast as the small town's middle-aged, midlife crisis cursed, librarian, Mr. Charles Halloway. Vidal Peterson plays Charles' son, the light, tow headed good boy, Will Halloway and Will's best friend, blood brother and alter-ego, the dark & brave Jim Nightshade, played by Shawn Carson.

This dynamically diametric duo get caught up in the carnival that literally blows into town, courtesy of a spooky black train, one fateful, autumn night.
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Format: DVD
This is not really a review, but if you are looking for the widescreen version of this film, it is also included on this DVD. That has NOT been noted in the description provided by Amazon. It really irks me when DVDs are issued in only full screen versions. I won't go into the particulars as to why. Those of us who are into this know why. This DVD has both 1.33:1 and 1.85:1 versions on a one-sided dual layered menu selectable format.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I have watched this film every October since it first came out on video, so you can see what a fine piece of work I think it is. The opening scenes perfectly sum up the spirit of autumn for me: the narration (accompanied by James Horner's wistful and beautiful score) along with the photography of the October landscape conjure up a rather melancholy longing for the past. There are some great scenes showing the different ways people deal with their own private sadnesses and regrets. (And it makes you think, if the dark carnival came to your town, what would you wish for? On which longings of your own would the carnival feed?) The film is particularly suited to viewing in October, but it isn't a Halloween story, and can be enjoyed year-round. Watch the film, but by all means view the LETTERBOXED version! Even though the black bands on the top and bottom of the screen are minimal (the film wasn't shot in a very widescreen aspect ratio), the letterboxed edition shows much more of the original film frame than does the standard tv version--it makes a big difference (I've done a direct comparison of the two versions)...Highly recommended!
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