7.2/10
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Black Christmas (1974)

During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger.

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Marian Waldman ...
...
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:

The sort of Christmas you don't dream of. 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:

$620,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is regarded as being one of the first slasher films (with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), A Bay of Blood (1971), Psycho (1960), and Peeping Tom (1960) preceding this film). 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

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?
Lt. 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.
Lt. Fuller: Yeah, let's have it!
Sergeant Nash: He says the calls are coming from #6 Belmont Street.
Lt. 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.
Lt. Fuller: [pause] Oh, shit...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

O Little Town of Bethlehem
(uncredited)
Words by Phillips Brooks (c. 1865)
Music by Lewis H. Redner
Combined words and music first published 1906
Played on church bells
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Lovers of John Carpenter's Halloween will love this film even more.
17 April 2000 | by See all my reviews

When I rented this film around the Christmas season of 1999, I did not know what to expect. The only reason why I rented it was that Olivia Hussey and Keir Dullea were in the leading roles (I have a strange and sick obsession with Olivia Hussey and I liked Keir Dullea in 2001). But then when I first watched it that dark and cold Saturday night, I was amazed.

The film's style was very dark and mysterious, as well as bizarre. While watching the film, I saw where John Carpenter might have gotten a lot of his filming technique from his 1978 classic, Halloween (one of my personal favorites). It, like Halloween, involves the murders of young women. And in the case of Black Christmas, it's sorority girls.

What set this apart from Halloween is that the killer is less human than Michael Myers. You saw Michael Myers, but you do not see the killer in Black Christmas. Plus the killer is insane, especially when he rants. His rants make no sense, making his intentions unknown. He just kills, not for revenge like most horror films. But he just kills. I don't know about you, but that is what makes this film even scarier, aside from the spooky musical score.

They say that Jamie Lee Curtis is the "scream queen." Well whoever thinks that obviously has not heard Olivia Hussey's lungs in action. That woman can SCREAM.

It's best if you watch this film alone in a quiet house at night during the Christmas season. I did that the second time I watched it. I tell you the truth, I had a hard time walking downstairs to go to the bathroom I was so scared. And no horror film has ever done that to me since the first time I saw Scream about three years ago.

Some may argue that the characters in the film are not very developed, but that does not matter because most of them die anyway. One of the few characters that stood out in this film was Barb (Margot Kidder). She is a drunk, trash-talking sorority girl who manages offend just about everybody. The woman who played the sorority house mother, Mrs. Mac (Marion Waldman), also stood out as a trash-talking, drunken woman. Olivia Hussey's character is a bit snobbish, like any sorority girl, but not to her other sisters. Keir Dullea's character is high-strung and unpredictable, which adds to the film mysterious style. But as for the rest, there really was no room for them to grow. Besides, like I just stated, most of them get killed off anyway.

The end really surprised me. I mean, really. No questions asked. It even shocked me, but I'm going to spoil it for anyone. But if you loved John Carpenter's Halloween, you'll love this film even more. I guarantee it.


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