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Black Christmas (1974)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  20 December 1974 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 20,002 users  
Reviews: 334 user | 193 critic

A sorority house is terrorized by a stranger who makes frightening phone calls and then murders the sorority sisters during Christmas break.

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Title: Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas (1974) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Peter
...
...
Marian Waldman ...
...
Phyl
James Edmond ...
...
Sargeant Nash (as Douglas McGrath)
...
...
Michael Rapport ...
Patrick
Leslie Carlson ...
Graham (as Les Carlson)
Martha Gibson ...
Mrs. Quaife
John Rutter ...
Laughing Detective
Robert Warner ...
Doctor
Edit

Storyline

It's time for Christmas break, and the sorority sisters make plans for the holiday, but the strange anonymous phone calls are beginning to put them on edge. When Clare disappears, they contact the police, who don't express much concern. Meanwhile Jess is planning to get an abortion, but boyfriend Peter is very much against it. The police finally begin to get concerned when a 13-year-old girl is found dead in the park. They set up a wiretap to the sorority house, but will they be in time to prevent a sorority girl attrition problem? Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Christmas of another colour brings a killer on the loose! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Christmas  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 686,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Regarded among horror fans as the first film to come up with the popular convention of a killer calling from inside the house. However, shortly before production on this film began, the TV movie Mousey (1974) premiered in the US on the 9th of March, 1974, itself a psychological thriller. Towards its conclusion, star Kirk Douglas terrorizes his ex-wife (Jean Seberg) with phone calls (threatening to kill her) that the police attempt to trace. Eventually it is discovered that he is calling from inside her house, and a dialogue between the police inspector and Seberg is almost identical to the one between Jess and Sgt Nash in this film. It likely set the precedent for this convention popularized by Black Christmas (1974). See more »

Goofs

Before the search party begins, we see a man wearing a Canadian beret in a car door window reflection when Mrs Quaife is looking worried even though the film is supposed to take place in the USA. See more »

Quotes

Clare Harrison: [about the obscene phone call] Could that really be just one person?
Barb Coard: No Claire, it's the Mormon Tabernacle Choir making their annual obscene phone call.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A telephone is continously ringing throughout the final credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Night School (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
Jingle Bells and Choral Effects performed by the Counterpoint Singers
Conducted by Paul Feheley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Amazing
26 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's not often that you find a film in the thriller/horror genre that has something "new" to say, so it's even more exciting to find that one of the original films in the "slasher" genre is actually still one of the freshest, most unique and utterly entertaining of them all. This is the kind of movie you can't wait to tell your friends about, knowing full well they've probably never seen it, but they've heard of it.

Everything about this film is stellar. The acting, to steal the words of a great reviewer who loves this movie, is flawless. The direction is confident and assured. What is Bob Clark's story? How did he go from making quirky, ground-breaking horror to...well..."Baby Geniuses 2?" His black-humored wit is on display in all his movies, and here too. Margot Kidder and Marian Waldman shine as foul-mouthed alcohol abusers. Particularly Kidder--it's hard to believe she did this at the BEGINNING of her career, she's that assured...and fun to watch. Olivia Hussey is alluring as the lead, Jessica, and her beauty, as well as her speaking voice are a welcome presence.

The plot might seem clichéd now, until you understand that it was all the movies that came AFTER that were the clichés--even "He Knows Your Alone," which seemed so vital at the time, can't compare. "Black Christmas" is a FILM, and goes beyond the conventions of a cheap slasher. The key is the ending--only a director with an artistic sensibility would have fought for it (no spoilers here). Suffice to say, in all the slashers I've watched I've never seen the equal. It's a tricky business to sum up a mystery in a plot, and few can maintain the element of surprise, intelligence or creativity required. You will NOT see the ending coming here, and though the end is a surprise, it works well.

If you're like I was and hesitating to watch this because you think it'll just be "another fear film," don't waste anymore time! You will NOT be sorry you spent your Christmas "black..."


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Weird Idea For Who Billy Is michaelbull31
IMO The Ambiguous Ending Adds to This Movie's Cult Status ret_cpo
Jess was horrible horneddemon
Do you think Billy killed Jess? BattleRoyale96
FUN LITTLE THRILLER...BUT NOT 'HALLOWEEN!!' BogieandBacallfan
Lets Get This a Criterion Release ML1125
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