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Black Christmas (1974)

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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 18,286 users  
Reviews: 328 user | 189 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 7.2/10

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After a seemingly innocent prank goes horribly wrong, a group of sorority sisters are stalked and murdered one by one in their sorority house while throwing a party to celebrate their graduation.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Peter
...
...
Marian Waldman ...
...
Phyl
James Edmond ...
...
Sargeant Nash (as Douglas McGrath)
...
Chris
...
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:

Twas the Night, Before Christmas, and All Through the House, a Creature was stirring. The Stockings were Hung by the Chimney with care, but it was Hard to Say that St. Nick would be there. A Christmas of another Colour, brings a Killer on the Loose. See more »


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

Composer Carl Zittrer said in an interview that he created the bizarre music score for the film by tying forks, combs, and knives to the strings of his piano so the sound would warp as he struck the keys. Zittrer also said he would distort the sound further by recording audio tape while putting pressure on the reels of the machine to make it turn slower. See more »

Goofs

The outside of the sorority house says pi kappa sigma. A picture hung inside the house says pi beta phi. See more »

Quotes

Sergeant Nash: [Jess has managed to keep the caller on the line for almost a full two minutes, allowing the phone company to trace the call] Uh, Lt. Fuller?
Lieutenant Kennet Fuller: Yeah, Nash, what is it?
Sergeant Nash: The phone company's on the other line sir, they say they got a trace on this one.
Lieutenant Kennet Fuller: Yeah, let's have it!
Sergeant Nash: He says the calls are coming from #6 Belmont Street.
Lieutenant Kennet Fuller: For Christ's sakes, Nash, you got it wrong, that's where the calls are going into.
Sergeant Nash: That's where they're coming from too, sir.
Lieutenant Kennet Fuller: [pause] Oh shit...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The House on Sorority Row (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr (1818)
Heard during opening credits
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..."


57 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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