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Black Christmas (1974)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  20 December 1974 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 20,179 users  
Reviews: 333 user | 194 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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marian Waldman ...
James Edmond ...
Sargeant Nash (as Douglas McGrath)
Michael Rapport ...
Leslie Carlson ...
Graham (as Les Carlson)
Martha Gibson ...
Mrs. Quaife
John Rutter ...
Laughing Detective
Robert Warner ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Black Christmas will ROCK you too! See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 December 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Christmas  »

Box Office


CAD 686,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When NBC showed the film during prime time (under the title "Stranger in the House"), it was deemed 'too scary' for network television and was pulled off the air. See more »


When Claire enters the closet to check Claud the cat the camera points to Claire and you can see moving in the background to her right a crew member and cord. See more »


Lt. Fuller: [hands Nash a form] What's this?
Sergeant Nash: Oh, that's the number of the sorority house.
Lt. Fuller: Fellatio?
Sergeant Nash: Yeah, it's a new exchange: FE.
Lt. Fuller: [suppressing a laugh] A new exchange?
Sergeant Nash: Yeah, Fellatio. One of the girls that was in this afternoon gave it to me.
Lt. Fuller: [sarcastic] She gave it to you?
Sergeant Nash: Yeah.
Lt. Fuller: Nash, I don't think you could pick your nose without written instructions.
[takes the form and walks back to his disk]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in When a Stranger Calls (1979) See more »


O Little Town of Bethlehem
Text written by Phillips Brooks (c. 1865)
Lewis composed "Redner's Tune"
Combined words and music first published 1906
Played on church bells
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Gothic suspense film noir at its best
17 April 2004 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

"Black Christmas" is truly a forgotten gem. Even though the producers intended the film for cinema, "Black Christmas" has the look and feel of its precursors, the made-for-television gothic suspense thrillers between 1969 and early 1974. This four year period featured inexpensively-produced but having hi-quality production values that older viewers will remember. These include, "A Howling In the Woods", "When Michael Calls", "How Awful About Allen", "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark", "Home for the Holidays", et al. "Black Christmas", produced at the tail-end of this short-lived genre, clearly displays the same suspenseful and moodily atmospheric elements involving human angst, fears, anxieties, and complicated, sometimes destructive relationships. In one small aspect, "Black Christmas" is a transitional film set between the television gothic supsense thrillers and the onset of the slasher genre epitomized by 1978's "Halloween" and 1979's "Friday the 13th". The violence was certainly more graphic than its television precursors, but not gratuitous. Foul language sprinkled throughout "Black Christmas" would never have made it past the television censors. And look again at "Halloween". It's reliance on atmosphere, moodiness, suspense, and the fright of awaiting something that is surely around the next dark bend of the house harkens back to the early 70s gothic thrillers. "Black Christmas" is from a unique genre long gone and will probably not return, but for those seeking quality shockers without the schlock will no doubt find repeat viewings of this suspense film noir satisfying.

24 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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