Novelist Paul Sheldon crashes his car on a snowy Colorado road. He is found by Annie Wilkes, the "number one fan" of Paul's heroine Misery Chastaine. Annie is also somewhat unstable, and Paul finds himself crippled, drugged and at her mercy.
Max Baron is a Jewish advertising executive in his 20s who's still getting over the death of his wife. Nora Baker is a 40-something diner waitress who enjoys the wilder side of life. Mismatched or not, their attraction is instant and smoldering. With time, however, their class and age differences become an obstacle in their relationship, especially since Max can't keep Nora a secret from his Jewish friends and upper-crust associates forever.
The comic strip detective finds his life vastly complicated when Breathless Mahoney makes advances towards him while he is trying to battle Big Boy Caprice's united mob.
The wife and mistress of a cruel school master collaborate in a carefully planned and executed scheme to murder him. The plan goes well until the body, which has been strategically dumped, disappears. The psychological strain starts to weigh on the two women when a retired police investigator begins looking into the man's disappearance on a whim.
Arthur, that irrepressible drunk, tries to sober up and get a job. Meanwhile, Ralph Marolla is conniving to trick the hapless boozer into marrying his daughter so he can gain entrée to Arthur's $750 million fortune.