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Black Christmas (1974)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  20 December 1974 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 19,511 users  
Reviews: 334 user | 192 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)

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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
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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:

Christmas is coming early this year. And it's murder. 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

The film is regarded as being one of the first slasher films. It set the layout for films such as John Carpenter Halloween (1978). However, director Bob Clark considered it to be more of a psychological horror film than a slasher film. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Barb Coard: Did you know, this is a very little known fact, but... did you know that there's a certain species of turtle that... there's a certain species of turtle that can screw for three days without stopping. You don't believe me, do you? Well, I, I mean, how could I make something like that up?
Mrs. MacHenry: Ah, Barb, dear, ah, I-I-I-ah...
Barb Coard: No, really! They just... three days, 24 hours a day, wha-voom! Wha-voom! Wha-voom! Can you believe that, three days? I'm lucky if I get three minutes! Do you know how I know this...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Night School (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

O Little Town of Bethlehem
(uncredited)
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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
You'll want to unplug the phone before you watch this movie.
24 July 2006 | by (Brentwood, USA) – See all my reviews

Being a big fan of the horror genre, it takes an above average horror film to give me chills. This highly influential horror-thriller does just that, every time I see it!

As a college sorority house empties out for the holidays, the remaining girls are unaware that a warped murderer has just climbed into their attic...

Black Christmas is one of the most shamefully over-looked films in the slasher film genre, it's also been one of the most inspiring films of the genre. The story that drives this film is an extremely creepy one, taught with suspense, mystery, and an undying feeling of dread. It's also an intelligent story that wisely remembers that the unseen is scarier than anything one can put on film. Director Bob Clark builds an atmosphere of almost unnerving tension through out this film. Clark makes even the singing of Christmas carols very chilling. Adding even more to the sheer spookiness of this film is Carl Zitter's bizarre music score, which sounds as twisted as the killer's brain. A number of scenes from this film are simply unforgettable - the insane phone calls from the murderer, the glass unicorn stabbing, and my personal favorite, our heroine turning to see the killer's eye staring at her from behind the bedroom door.

The cast of this film is great and contains a number of stars. The wonderful Olivia Hussey is sympathetic as our leading lady. Keir Dullea is strong as Hussey's boy friend, who's been behaving rather strangely. Margot Kidder provides some comic relief as the sorority bad-girl. John Saxon is solid as the police lieutenant who's trying to solve a murder. Supporting cast Marian Waldman, Andrea Martin, Art Hindle, and Douglas McGrath are terrific as well.

Black Christmas has had a big hand in the slasher genre, such films as Halloween (1978), When a Stranger Calls (1979), and Friday the 13th (1980) were strongly influenced by this forgotten classic. For horror fans, Black Christmas is a must-see terror. I wouldn't recommend that you watch it alone in the dark though.

**** out of ****


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