The Stand (miniseries)

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The Stand
The Stand (TV miniseries).jpg
Television miniseries poster
Genre Apocalyptic, Drama, Horror, Fantasy
Based on The Stand by
Stephen King
Screenplay by Stephen King
Directed by Mick Garris
Starring Gary Sinise
Molly Ringwald
Jamey Sheridan
Rob Lowe
Laura San Giacomo
Miguel Ferrer
Ruby Dee
Bill Fagerbakke
Corin Nemec
Adam Storke
Ray Walston
Matt Frewer
Ossie Davis
Shawnee Smith
Theme music composer W.G. Snuffy Walden
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 4
Producer(s) Stephen King
Mitchell Galin
Cinematography Edward J. Pei
Editor(s) Patrick McMahon
Running time 366 minutes
Production company(s) Laurel Entertainment
Greengrass Productions
Budget $28,000,000 USD
(equivalent to $46,230,804 in 2017)
Original network ABC
Original release May 8 (1994-05-08) – May 12, 1994 (1994-05-12)

The Stand is a 1994 American television miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. King also wrote the teleplay and has a minor role in the series. It was directed by Mick Garris and stars Gary Sinise, Miguel Ferrer, Rob Lowe, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Jamey Sheridan, Laura San Giacomo, Molly Ringwald, Corin Nemec, Adam Storke, Ray Walston, and Matt Frewer. It originally aired on ABC starting on May 8, 1994.[1]


On June 13, at a top-secret government laboratory in rural California, a weaponized version of influenza is accidentally released. A guard escapes the lab and begins traveling across the country to his family home in East Texas, unintentionally spreading the virus along the way. On June 17th, he crashes his car into a gas station in the town of Arnette, where Stu Redman (Gary Sinise) and some friends have gathered. As the man lays dying, he warns Redman that he had been pursued by a "Dark Man.” The next day, the U.S. military arrives to quarantine the town.

The townspeople are taken to a CDC facility in Vermont. All but Stu succumb to the superflu, which kills 99.4% of the world's population in two weeks. The scattered survivors include would-be rock star Larry Underwood (Adam Storke); deaf mute Nick Andros (Rob Lowe); Frannie Goldsmith (Molly Ringwald); her teenaged neighbor Harold Lauder (Corin Nemec); imprisoned criminal Lloyd Henreid (Miguel Ferrer); and "Trashcan Man" (Matt Frewer), a mentally ill arsonist and scavenger. The survivors soon begin having visions, either from kindly Mother Abagail (Ruby Dee) or from the demonic Randall Flagg (Jamey Sheridan). The two sets of survivors are instructed in dreams to either travel to Nebraska to meet Abagail, or to Las Vegas to join Flagg.

As their journeys begin, Lloyd is freed from prison by Flagg in exchange for becoming his second in command. Trashcan Man, a pyromaniac, destroys fuel tanks across the Midwest and is directed to Las Vegas. Larry escapes New York City with a mysterious woman named Nadine Cross (Laura San Giacomo). Despite their mutual attraction, Nadine is unable to consummate a relationship with Larry because of her visions of Flagg, who commands her to join him; she leaves Larry to travel on her own. After escaping the CDC facility, Stu gathers a group of survivors, including Frannie, Harold, and Glen Bateman (Ray Walston). They are later joined by various other immune survivors.

As the group travels toward Nebraska, Harold is consumed with jealousy over Stu's leadership of the group and his growing relationship with Frannie, on whom Harold has an unrequited crush. Meanwhile, Nick makes his way across the Midwest, eventually meeting Tom Cullen (Bill Fagerbakke), a mentally challenged man. The two men encounter Julie Lawry (Shawnee Smith), a vicious girl who vows to kill them when they refuse to let her join them. Eventually Nick's group reaches Abagail's farm in Hemingford Home, Nebraska. She warns that a great conflict is imminent and they must all travel on to Boulder, Colorado. There, the survivors form a new community called the Boulder Free Zone, where they begin restoring civilization.

Flagg sets up an autocratic regime in Las Vegas, with the intent of defeating the Boulder survivors using salvaged nuclear weapons. Frannie feels increasing anxiety because she is unsure whether her baby will be immune to the superflu. Harold's resentment towards Stu and Frannie intensifies, causing him to be seduced by Nadine and join forces with Flagg. Abagail, convinced that she has fallen into the sin of pride, leaves Boulder to walk in the wilderness. Three Boulder survivors are chosen to infiltrate Las Vegas: Tom, Dayna Jurgens (Kellie Overbey), and Judge Farris (Ossie Davis). They hypnotize Tom to follow a set of instructions, including that he leave Las Vegas at the next full moon.

Harold and Nadine plant a bomb in Frannie and Stu's home, planning to set it off during a meeting of the Free Zone council. A weakened Abagail returns to town and gives a psychic warning to the council members at the meeting. The warning allows most of the council to escape the explosion, but Nick is killed. Before she passes away, Abagail tells Stu, Larry, Glen, Frannie and fellow council member Ralph Brentner that they must travel to Las Vegas to confront Flagg. When Nadine and Harold flee, Flagg causes Harold to be seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. Nadine leaves him with broken legs. He kills himself with a gun the next day. Flagg calls Nadine to him. She tries to escape and tells him no when he wants to consummate their relationship. Flagg tells her it is too late to say no and forces himself on her. Nadine is unresponsive following the attack by Flagg. Upon returning to Las Vegas, an increasingly unstable Flagg finds Dayna, who kills herself rather than give up information. He intercepts Farris, who is accidentally killed before he can be tortured.

Tom leaves Las Vegas when the moon is full, but Julie recognizes him; she tries to alert Flagg, but Tom escapes into the desert and hides from Flagg and his men. Shortly afterwards, a crazed Nadine taunts Flagg and commits suicide with the unholy fetus he conceived in her. With winter fast approaching, Stu, Larry, Glen, and Ralph leave Boulder to set out on their quest. Stu breaks his leg and must stay behind. The remaining three are captured by Flagg's forces. Glen is separated from Larry and Ralph. Flagg orders Lloyd to kill Glen after he taunts Flagg. As Larry and Ralph endure a show trial on Fremont Street, Trashcan Man arrives with a stolen nuclear weapon. Flagg is unable to stop a spectral hand from detonating the bomb as the voice of Abagail declares that God's promise has been kept. Las Vegas is destroyed and Flagg is apparently killed.

Stu is rescued by Tom, who takes him to a nearby cabin to heal his leg as winter sets in. They eventually return to Boulder in the midst of a blinding snow storm. Frannie gives birth to a baby which is determined to have the superflu, but the infant survives. Assured that the immune survivors can safely reproduce, the inhabitants of Boulder set to work rebuilding the world.


Moses Gunn had originally been cast as Judge Farris, but shortly after filming had commenced his health declined, and he died shortly after that. Ossie Davis, who was present at the filming because his wife, Ruby Dee, was playing Mother Abagail, took over the role of Judge Farris.[2]

Having both starred in previous film adaptations of King's works, Ed Harris and Kathy Bates both had small, uncredited roles in the early parts of the series. Bates's character, Rae Flowers, was originally a man (Ray Flowers), but when Bates became available, King - who wanted her to play the part - rewrote the role as a woman. Harris plays the Army general in charge of the original bio-weapons project who kills himself after the failure of the disease containment.

Rob Lowe had been originally considered for the role of Larry Underwood, but Garris felt that having him in the more unusual role of the deaf and mute Nick Andros would better suit the production (Lowe has been deaf in his right ear since childhood). Adam Storke ended up with the role of Underwood, where his musical skills were an asset.[2]

Miguel Ferrer, who played Lloyd Henreid, was originally interested in the role of Randall Flagg, but the sights for that part were initially set on actors such as Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, and James Woods. Stephen King wanted someone the audience "wasn't terribly familiar with". After Ferrer heard that Jamey Sheridan had been offered the part but wasn't sure it was something he wanted to do, Ferrer convinced him to take the part.[2]


Production Designer Nelson Coates, who garnered an Emmy nomination for his design work, created all 225 sets for the miniseries. Faced with prices of $40 per stalk for New York-made fake cornstalks, Coates opted instead to grow 3,250 cornstalks as a cost-cutting measure; when a winter storm hit Utah, the reproduction of a Nebraska house with cornfield became complicated by the fact that the harsh weather did not allow the corn crop to grow taller than 4 feet.[3]

Signs at Rae Flowers' radio station feature the logo of WZON, a real-life radio station in Bangor, Maine, owned by King.

Originally, parts of the miniseries were to be filmed on location in Boulder, Colorado. After the passage of Colorado Amendment 2, which nullified local gay rights laws, the production was moved to Utah due to protests.[4]


Original broadcast

Part Title Directed by Written by Original air date[1]
1 "The Plague" Mick Garris Stephen King May 8, 1994 (1994-05-08)
2 "The Dreams" Mick Garris Stephen King May 9, 1994 (1994-05-09)
3 "The Betrayal" Mick Garris Stephen King May 11, 1994 (1994-05-11)
4 "The Stand" Mick Garris Stephen King May 12, 1994 (1994-05-12)


Stephen King's The Stand (Original Television Soundtrack)
The Stand (soundtrack)-.jpg
Soundtrack album (Digital download)/Audio CD by W. G. Snuffy Walden
Released May 24, 1994
Length 46:40
Label Varèse Sarabande

Credits and personnel

  • Music composed by W. G. Snuffy Walden
  • Executive producer: Robert Townson
  • Produced by W. G. Snuffy Walden
  • Music recorded and mixed by Ray Pyle and Avram Kipper at O'Henry Studios, Devonshire Studios and Taylor Made Studios
  • Music editor: Allan K. Rosen
  • Synclavier programming by Mark Morgan
  • Orchestrations by Don Davis and John Dickson
  • Scoring contractors: Paul Zimmitti and Debbi Datz
  • Principal musicians:
    • Guitar: W. G. Snuffy Walden and Dean Parks
    • Piano: Randy Kerber
    • Percussion: Michael Fisher
    • Woodwinds: Jon Clarke
    • Violin: Charlie Bisharat


The film was met with generally positive reviews.[citation needed]

John J. O'Connor at the New York Times wrote, "A great deal of time and money has gone into this production, and it's right up there on the screen... The nagging problem at the heart of "The Stand" is that once the story settles early on into its schematic oppositions of good versus evil, sweet old Mother Abagail versus satanic Flagg, monotony begins to seep through the superstructure... Muddled, certainly, but Stephen King's 'The Stand' is clever enough to keep you wondering what could possibly happen next."[1]

Awards and nominations

1994 Casting Society of America (Artios)

  • Won – Best Mini Series Casting: Lynn Kressel

1994 Emmy Awards

  • Won – Outstanding Makeup For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special:
    Steve Johnson, Bill Corso, David Dupuis, Joel Harlow, Camille Calvet
  • Won – Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Miniseries or a Movie:
    Grand Maxwell, Michael Ruschak, Richard Schexnayder, Don Summer
  • Nominated – Outstanding Art Direction For A Miniseries, Or Movie:
    Nelson Coates, Burton Rencher, Michael Perry, Susan Benjamin
  • Nominated – Outstanding Cinematography For A Miniseries Or Movie: Edward J. Pei
  • Nominated – Outstanding Miniseries: Richard P. Rubinstein, Stephen King, Mitchell Galin, Peter R. McIntosh
  • Nominated – Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Dramatic Underscore): W.G. Walden

1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards

  • Nominated – Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Gary Sinise


  1. ^ a b c O'Connor, John J. (May 6, 1994). "TV Weekend; A Plague and Its Effects". New York Times. 
  2. ^ a b c Stephen King, Mick Garris (1999). Stephen King's The Stand (DVD). Artisan. 
  3. ^ Michael Booth. "5 Points a star: Hollywood action invades Denver neighborhood", The Denver Post, August 27, 1994, page A1.
  4. ^ Dusty Saundes. "Amendment 2 Drives Film's Makers Away" Rocky Mountain News, May 8, 1994

External links

See also

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