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I don't know. Maybe it's just that for the first time l've found something uglier than me. And l know l can fix her up.
~ Arnie Cunningham about himself and Christine.
Let me tell you a little something about love, Dennis. It has a voracious appetite. It eats everything. Friendship. Family. It kills me how much it eats. But I'll tell you something else. You feed it right, and it can be a beautiful thing, and that's what we have. You know, when someone believes in you, man, you can do anything, any f--king thing in the entire universe. And when you believe right back in that someone, then watch out world, because nobody can stop you then, nobody! Ever!
~ Arnie Cunningham to Dennis Guilder.

Arnold Richard "Arnie" Cunningham is the secondary antagonist of Stephen King's Christine after the deaths of the Repperton gang including the local teens' leader Buddy Repperton himself one by one of Christine, the other two in the former role being Dennis Guilder and Leigh Cabot.

He was portrayed by Keith Gordon.

Biography

Novel

In the novel, Arnie is myopic (near-sighted) and has only one friend, the popular high school jock named Dennis Guilder, and both of them are students at Libertyville High in Libertyville, Pennsylvania.

He notices Christine and urges Dennis to go back so he can look at it. After he wants to buy it, he hastily writes Roland D Lebay, a cheque. After his parents refuse to let him keep the car at the house he is forced to store it at a Do-It-Yourself garage run by Will Darnell and later the airport.

Later he restores the car to its natural beauty but the more time he spends with Christine the more she takes over his mind. Now obsessed with the car, his personality changes and he no longer wears his glasses as if his vision has improved greatly and he becomes humorless and prideful but also assertive and cruel. After Leigh Cabot becomes his girlfriend Arnie gets into a fight with Buddy Repperton which results in Repperton being suspended.

Later on when Buddy and his posse co-trash Christine, Arnie is shocked to discover all the hard work he put into restoring the car has been ruined and is determined to restore her back to normality. Later on, even before or after the deaths of his parents Regina and Richard and Michael Cunningham, Arnie strains his back and starts wearing a back brace and later on Dennis and Arnie have an argument in which he goes against his own friends and in the process is killed in a motorway accident.

Film

In the film, Arnie is best friends with Dennis Guilder and a student at Rockbridge High in Rockbridge, California. On September 12, 1978, he purchases Christine from Mr. George D Lebay, brother of the late Roland D. LeBay, who was Christine's previous owner. After an argument with his mother and father, Arnie was forced to keep it at the Darnell's Do-It-Yourself Garage run by Will Darnell. Soon Dennis learns that LeBay's wife named Rita (Veronica in the novel with their daughter named Rita) died in Christine of carbon monoxide poisoning after the recent death of their 5-year old daughter, though she wanted die the same suicidal way her careless husband died because of his obsession with Christine.

Later on Arnie falls under Christine's influence and after Buddy and Co trash her he takes his anger out on Leigh, his girlfriend. After his parents tell him they will buy him a new car since now his current vehicle has been vandalized by Repperton and his teen thugs, he fights verbally and physically with his parents and even goes as far as to strangle his father. He swore revenge on the people who trashed Christine and is determined to repair her but she repairs herself in front of him as Christine shows her regenerative powers to her new "lover".

Arnie then goes against his own two friends Dennis and Leigh and attacks them at Darnell's garage that night but is killed after being ejected through the windscreen and being impaled on a hard shard of glass.

Gallery

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A Good Marriage
Robert Bob Anderson

An Apt Pupil
Kurt Dussander | Todd Bowden

Big Driver
Lester Norville

Carrie
Billy Nolan | Carrie White | Chris Hargensen | Donna and Mary Lila Grace Thibodeau | Helen Shyres | Margaret White | Mark Bing | Rachel Lang | Ralph White | Ruth Gogan | Tina Blake | Tommy Erbter

Cat's Eye
Troll

Cell
Phone Crazies | Raggedy Man

Children of the Corn
Children of the Corn | He Who Walks Behind the Rows | Isaac Chroner | Malachai Boardman

Christine
Arnie Cunningham | Christine | Repperton Gang

Creepshow
Nathan Grantham | Richard Vickers | Upson Pratt | Wilma Northrup

Cujo
Cujo

Cycle of the Werewolf
Lester Lowe

Desperation
Sheriff Collie Entragian | Tak

Doctor Sleep
Rose the Hat | The True Knot

Dolan's Cadillac
Jimmy Dolan

Dolores Claiborne
Joe St. George

Dreamcatcher
Byrus | Mr. Gray

Firestarter
Captain Hollister | Doctor Herman Pynchot | John Rainbird

From a Buick 8
The Buick

Insomnia
Atropos | Crimson King

IT
Alvin Marsh | Bowers Gang (Belch Huggins | Henry Bowers | Marcia Fadden (novel only) | Patrick Hockstetter | Peter Gordon | Vic Criss) | Butch Bowers | It | Richard Macklin | Tom Rogan

Lunch at the Gotham Café
Guy

Maximum Overdrive
Bubba Hendershot | Camp Loman | Happy Toyz Truck | Ice Cream Truck | M274 Mule | Vending Machine

Misery
Annie Wilkes

Mr. Mercedes
Brady Hartsfield | Morris Bellamy

Needful Things
Leland Gaunt

Pet Sematary
Church | Ellie Creed (2019 film only) | Gage Creed | Wendigo | Renee Hallow | Timmy Baterman

Quitter's Inc.
Mr. Donatti

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption
Bogs Diamond | Byron Hadley | Elmo Blatch | Samuel Norton

Rose Madder
Norman Daniels

Rose Red
Professor Joyce Reardon

Salem's Lot
Kurt Barlow | Richard Straker

Secret Window, Secret Garden
John Shooter

Sleepwalkers
Charles Brady | Mary Brady | Sleepwalkers

Storm of the Century
André Linoge

The Body
John "Ace" Merrill | Milo Pressman

The Crate
Fluffy the Crate Beast

The Dark Half
George Stark

The Dark Tower
Blaine the Mono

The Dead Zone
Frank Dodd | Greg Stillson

The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer
Ellen Rimbauer

The Drawing of Three
Jack Mort

The Green Mile
William Wharton | Percy Wetmore

The Langoliers
Craig Toomey | Langoliers | Roger Toomey

The Mangler
Bill Gartley | Lin Sue | The Mangler | The Mangler Virus

The Mist
Mrs. Carmody | The Mist

The Monkey
The Monkey

The Night Flier
Dwight Renfield

The Raft
Lake Blob

The Running Man
Damon Killian | United States of America

The Shining
Jack Torrance | Hotel Caretaker | Lorraine Massey

The Stand
Barry Dorgan | Bobby Terry | Harold Lauder | Julie Lawry | Lloyd Henreid | Nadine Cross | Randall Flagg | The Kid | The Rat Man | Trashcan Man | Whitney Horgan

The Tailsman
Heck Bast | Sonny Singer

The Tommyknockers
Tommyknockers

Trucks
Westway Refrigerated Truck

Under the Dome
Christine Price | Dawn Sinclair-Barbara | Jim Rennie | Junior Rennie | Phil Bushey

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