IMDb > Black Christmas (1974)
Black Christmas
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Black Christmas (1974) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   18,251 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Roy Moore (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Black Christmas on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 December 1974 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Black Christmas will ROCK you too! See more »
Plot:
A sorority house is terrorized by a stranger who makes frightening phone calls and then murders the sorority sisters during Christmas break. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(229 articles)
Video: 'Orphan Black' creators share their Origin Stories
 (From EW.com - Inside TV. 21 June 2014, 7:54 AM, PDT)

Thn Advent Calendar Day 23: Christmas Evil
 (From The Hollywood News. 23 December 2013, 3:30 AM, PST)

What Is the Best Christmas Movie of All Time?
 (From Fandango. 20 December 2013, 10:27 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
"If this movie doesn't make your skin crawl... then it's on too tight!" See more (328 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Olivia Hussey ... Jess

Keir Dullea ... Peter

Margot Kidder ... Barb

John Saxon ... Lt. Fuller
Marian Waldman ... Mrs. Mac

Andrea Martin ... Phyl
James Edmond ... Mr. Harrison

Doug McGrath ... Sargeant Nash (as Douglas McGrath)

Art Hindle ... Chris

Lynne Griffin ... Clare
Michael Rapport ... Patrick
Leslie Carlson ... Graham (as Les Carlson)
Martha Gibson ... Mrs. Quaife
John Rutter ... Laughing Detective
Robert Warner ... Doctor
Sydney Brown ... Farmer
Jack Van Evera ... Search Party
Les Rubie ... Search Party
Marcia Diamond ... Woman
Pam Barney ... Jean
Robert Hawkins ... Wes
David Clement ... Cogan (as Dave Clement)
Julian Reed ... Jennings
Dave Mann ... Cop
John Stoneham Sr. ... Cop (as John Stoneham)
Danny Gain ... Cop
Tom Foreman ... Cop
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John 'Frenchie' Berger ... Man on snowmobile (uncredited)

Bob Clark ... Prowler Shadow / Phone Voice (uncredited)

Nick Mancuso ... The Prowler / Phone Voice (uncredited)
Debi Weldon ... Sorority Girl (uncredited)

Directed by
Bob Clark 
 
Writing credits
Roy Moore (screenplay)

Produced by
Gerry Arbeid .... co-producer
Bob Clark .... producer
Findlay Quinn .... executive producer
Richard Schouten .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Carl Zittrer 
 
Cinematography by
Reginald H. Morris (director of photography) (as Reg Morris)
 
Film Editing by
Stan Cole 
 
Casting by
Karen Hazzard (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Karen Bromley 
 
Makeup Department
David R. Beecroft .... hairdresser (as David Beecroft)
Bill Morgan .... makeup artist
Katherine Southern .... assistant makeup artist (as Kathy Southern)
 
Production Management
Gary Goch .... assistant production
David M. Robertson .... production supervisor (as Dave Robertson)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Don Brough .... third assistant director
John M. Eckert .... second assistant director (as John Eckert)
Tony Thatcher .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Keath Barrie .... property buyer
John 'Frenchie' Berger .... property master (as John {Frenchie} Berger)
 
Sound Department
David Appleby .... sound mixer (as Dave Appleby)
Patrick Drummond .... assistant sound editor
Rod Haykin .... soundman
Kenneth Heeley-Ray .... sound editor (as Ken Heeley-Ray)
Herb Heritage .... boom
Bill O'Neill .... sound mixer
Charles Owens .... assistant sound editor
 
Special Effects by
Warren Keillor .... special effects props (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Albert J. Dunk .... camera operator (as Bert Dunk)
Peter Luxford .... first assistant camera
Carmen McDermaid .... key grip
Bob Milligan .... gaffer
David Petty .... second assistant camera
Bev Rockett .... still photographer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Debi Weldon .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Rick Clarke .... assistant editor
 
Other crew
Melody Greene .... production assistant (as Melady Greene)
Barry Leyland .... production comptroller
Sandra Marley .... script supervisor (as Sandra Ulosevich)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Silent Night, Evil Night" - USA
"Stranger in the House" - USA (TV title)
See more »
Runtime:
98 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:X (original rating) | Argentina:18 (re-rating) | Australia:R | Canada:PA (Manitoba) | Canada:R (Nova Scotia) (original rating) | Canada:A (Ontario) | Canada:18A (Ontario) (Re-rated 2012) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Canada:18+ (TV rating) | Canada:14A (Nova Scotia) (re-rating) (2008) | Finland:K-18 (DVD) (self applied) (2004) (2007) | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:12 | Norway:16 | Singapore:NC-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) (cut) | UK:18 (video rating) (2003) | USA:R | USA:TV-MA | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Director Clark claims that he re-wrote half of Roy Moore's script, adding some humor into the film. Moore was also against the idea of never seeing the killer however when he saw the finished film, he was very pleased with it.See more »
Goofs:
Boom mic visible: About seven minutes into the film, when "the moaner" calls, you can very clearly see the boom mic at the top of the frame as everyone gathers around the phone to listen.See more »
Quotes:
Mrs. MacHenry:[on her nightgown gift] Well, thank you, girls. It's lovely really...
[muttering]
Mrs. MacHenry:Got about as much use for this as I do a chastity belt.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the YearSee more »

FAQ

What is the body count?
I just watched the movie and I'm confused about the ending. Who was the murderer??
See more »
97 out of 111 people found the following review useful.
"If this movie doesn't make your skin crawl... then it's on too tight!", 3 November 2003
Author: fdpedro from Miami, Florida

Released and ignored in 1973, "Black Christmas" became a forgotten classic. The Canadian shocker was eventually re-released as "Silent Night, Evil Sight" in order to avoid confusion with the blaxploitation films of the time, but it bombed once again. In the early 80s, it was broadcast on cable as "Stranger in the House" in order to snatch up some rantings. Right when the movie seemed dead, NBC decided to cancel a prime-time airing of it because it was deemed "too scary" for network television. This was all film-buffs needed to go back and discover the wonderful "cool movie that you never heard of" that is "Black Christmas".

Before I go on, here it goes: "Black Christmas" is one of the scariest (and finest) horror films ever made. Major credit must go to director Bob Clark (who went on to direct the epic "Citizen Kane" remake and because of legal reasons had to change it's title to "Porky's") who like John Carpenter in "Halloween", is able to create a current and simplistic creepy atmosphere. "Black Christmas" is indeed very similar to "Halloween": Both movies are themed with a particular time of year, both movies feature a killer with breathing problems who loves POV shots, and both movies have a long and slow build-up that makes the audience care for the characters that are about to get slashed. The difference is that "Black Christmas" does it much better, in fact, I think it is a superior film.

The movie begins with a shaky POV shot of a stranger who decides to sneak inside a sorority house in order to get some fresh meat. That's it! Plain and simple. There is no "your father killed my cousin's cat" motive, the killer wants to kill because he simply wants to. Isn't it much scarier like that? No motive at all?

The cast is not your usual teen slasher stereotypes: There is the not-so-virginal sweet leading lady Jess (Olivia Hussey) who is having trouble because she wants to have an abortion. Her boyfriend Peter (Keir Duella) eventually disagrees. In the sorority house there are many other odd characters, including chain-smoking, foul-mouthed, heavy-drinking Barb (ironically played by Margot Kidder) who steals the show with the much-needed humor. Unlike the countless other slashers out there, "Black Christmas" takes time for the audience to get used to these characters and actually care for them. Unlike in "Halloween", the entire top-notch cast in "Black Christmas" give excellent performances. Olivia Hussey is perfect as not-so-innocent Jess, Keir Duella is scary and misleading as her deranged boyfriend. And of course, Margot Kidder steals the show with an excellent and amusing take playing herself. Also noticeable is cult star John Saxon as Lt. Fuller who many years later started showing his personal love for "Black Christmas" on interviews.

The well-balanced doses of drama and comedy connects the audience to the characters on screen so strongly that they sometimes we forget it is a horror movie. And when something scary eventually happens, it comes as a total shock. Bob Clark eventually became famous for his comedies, and you can sense his upbeat sense of humor though the entire film. Recent movie audiences lost their patience, so movies like that can't be made anymore. And there is a good reason "Black Christmas" is currently labeled as a comedy at the IMDb, it is really funny. So many memorable quotes here: "These broads could hump the Leaning Tower of Pisa if they could get to top of it!" or "I'm a drunk? Here we have the queen of vodka herself!" and of course, the whole Fellatio address.

But isn't this a horror film? It really lives up to it's tagline. To begin with, the killer is not a silent invincible maniac on a Santa Claus costume. Instead, he is never seen. Most of his moments come from POV shots and dark takes. He is confined to the sorority house's attic for most of the time. How is that scary? Sound comes to play. The killer calls the sorority girls though the phone many times (early shades of "Scream" and "When a Stranger Calls") and uses some of the most disturbing voices you will ever hear. He imitates pigs squeaking, perverted dirty talk, animal noises, screaming, heavy breathing, and many other weird sounds. Does it work? Of course. This guy makes Norman Bates look like Richard Simmons.

These disturbing elements are all put together though the brilliant cinematography by Reg Morris, who is able to capture the silent Christmas atmosphere perfectly with the wonderful use of silent snow-covered streets and decoration. Let's face it, Christmas is a bit creepy, isn't it? It certainly will be after watching this flick. The piano score by Carl Zittrer is simplistic and effective as well. The repetitive use of Christmas carols also add up to the tension.

Ignored over the years and unknown outside the cult horror fans, this is an underrated classic that deserves much more attention that it ever got. Everything is perfect in this Canadian chiller: The atmosphere, the music, the overall spooky look, and one of the scariest villains in history. No gore (although the killings are so disturbingly shot they don't really need any) no sex, no nudity, just plain old-fashioned horror. This is "Black Christmas": Snow-covered silent streets, creepy Christmas carols, spooky use of lightening and color, scary atmosphere and the overall look of the plastic bag suffocated victim in a rocking chair staring from the attic window. Trust me, you will never go to your attic the same way again.

"Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, a creature was staring..."

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Black Christmas (1974)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Weird Idea For Who Billy Is michaelbull31
Things the Filmmakers did to MAKE you think Peter is Billy. angelexposed
Do you think Billy killed Jess? BattleRoyale96
FUN LITTLE THRILLER...BUT NOT 'HALLOWEEN!!' BogieandBacallfan
Jess was horrible horneddemon
'Red herring' observations from a long-time fan machfront1
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