1 9 9 0 (USA)
2 x 90 minute episodes
With over twenty million viewers for its first broadcast, It won a following well beyond that of most miniseries.
Stephen King’s vast, 1,000-page novel followed small-town characters through three decades as they battled prejudice, bullying, and a supernatural, shape-shifting creature that preferred the form of Pennywise the Clown.
Lawrence D. Cohen, who wrote the screenplay for the 1976 movie adaptation of King’s Carrie, and director Tommy Lee Wallace, a protégé of horror legend John Carpenter, adapted It into two ninety-minute instalments.
Streamlining the novel’s multiple perspectives, shifting time frame, and metaphysical climax, they set the first episode in 1960 and the second in 1990.
Instructed to cut down his original, six-hour screenplay, Cohen inadvertently jettisoned the miniseries’ intended director, zombie maestro George Romero – who, King himself told Fangoria, “threw up his hands and walked because he didn’t think it was enough space”.
Dispensing gore that was graphic for the time, and with several of the scariest moments shown from the monster’s point of view, Pennywise was a second iconic role for Tim Curry after Dr Frank-N-Furter of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).
He was initially reluctant to take it because of the lengthy makeup process.
It’s rare for TV horror to create characters as enduring as Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger. But Pennywise the Clown truly was the stuff of nightmares, lingering on into the bad dreams of the twenty-first century.
Bill Denbrough – Age 12
Ben Hanscom – Age 12
Eddie Kaspbrak – Age 12
Richie Tozier – Age 12
Stanley Uris – Age 12
Beverly Marsh – Age 12
Mike Hanlon – Age 12
Henry Bowers – Age 14
Frank C. Turner
Laurie Anne Winterbarger
Tommy Lee Wallace