Black Christmas (1974)

R  |   |  Horror  |  20 December 1974 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 20,471 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


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




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
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Did You Know?


The audio for the demented phones calls was edited into the film during post-production. While shooting the footage for the phone call scenes the actresses were actually just reacting to threatening dialog being spoken from director Bob Clark from off-camera. See more »


Before the phone call from Barb's mother, her shirt goes from 3 buttons undone, then after the call, it has one button undone and then 3 buttons undone for the next scene. See more »


The Killer: [to Barb, while on the phone]
The Killer: I'm going to kill you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Welshy Reviews: Scream 2: Part 1 (2011) 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

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..."

60 of 74 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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IMO The Ambiguous Ending Adds to This Movie's Cult Status ret_cpo
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