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   17,967 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:
The original and perhaps the best slasher film ever made. See more (327 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
Syd 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)
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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
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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:
Star Margot Kidder admitted in an interview that she never thought that the film would become a hit and was surprised to learn that it had gained such a large cult following over the years.See more »
Goofs:
Boom mic visible: Shadow of boom mic and reflection of camera equipment visible on wall and pictures during the last tracking shot of the movie down the hall.See more »
Quotes:
Lt. Fuller:[hands Nash a form] What's this?
Sergeant Nash:Oh, that's the number of the sorority house.
Lt. Fuller:Fellatio?
Sergeant Nash:Yeah, it's a new exchange: FE.
Lt. Fuller:[suppressing a laugh] A new exchange?
Sergeant Nash:Yeah, Fellatio. One of the girls that was in this afternoon gave it to me.
Lt. Fuller:[sarcastic] She gave it to you?
Sergeant Nash:Yeah.
Lt. Fuller:Nash, I don't think you could pick your nose without written instructions.
[takes the form and walks back to his disk]
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Off the Air (2014)See more »
Soundtrack:
O Little Town of BethlehemSee 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 »
58 out of 66 people found the following review useful.
The original and perhaps the best slasher film ever made., 28 July 2004
Author: Snake-666 from England

The girls of a sorority house are being tormented by a twisted prank caller who continually calls to convey increasingly vile and abusive sentiments. What at first appears to be a sick joke eventually turns violent for the girls during the season of supposed goodwill and merriment.

The original and maybe even the best, ‘Black Christmas' set the ball rolling for the slasher genre and was the biggest influence for the phenomenally successful John Carpenter classic, ‘Halloween' (1978), which was, in fact, originally conceived as a sequel. Although Italian director, Mario Bava, had previously created what some see as the first slasher movie, ‘Bay of Blood' (1971), it was ‘Black Christmas' that was to become recognised as the catalyst for one of the most lucrative sub-genres of horror cinema. Bob Clark (who previously made the kooky, enjoyable, low-budget zombie film ‘Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things' (1972)), still at this point something of an amateur director, took a simple yet naturally frightening concept and turned it into one of the most unsettling and nerve-wracking one hundred minutes in cinematic history. Only a select few films such as ‘The Haunting' (1963) and ‘Alien' (1979) are atmospheric enough to truly equate to the eeriness and feelings of apprehension that are to be induced by ‘Black Christmas'.

The simplicity of the production is what makes it so endearing. There are no overly bloody death sequences or unlikely, comic-book style events; the viewer is just presented with an unnerving tale which could easily have a strong basis in reality. Inventive camerawork and POV shots as well as a superlative use of lighting are the elements that combine to achieve the desired results. The often pseudo-claustrophobic environment of the sorority house, from where the vast majority of events occur, offers the perfect, vulnerable and unguarded location susceptible to intrusion and thus attributes to the continual foreboding atmosphere. Clark was not afraid to take time building both the story and characterisation as well as introduce the viewer to the aspects that he would use to build the suspense. This is prepared before plunging the viewer into a seemingly uncontrolled nightmare that one experiences along with the protagonists. Another aspect that firmly stands out is the mysterious way that everything is presented; even at the very end, very little has truly been explained yet everything seems like it should have an obvious explanation. Even in its undoubted simplicity, ‘Black Christmas' has complicated facets that require thought from the viewer to entirely comprehend the film. In some ways, the concealing of several key points puts the viewer's knowledge of events on a par with the actual characters.

‘Black Christmas' is also complimented wonderfully by strong acting performances from Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, John Saxon and a highly pleasant and amusing turn from Marian Waldman. Despite the tiny budget, this is a highly polished horror film that genuinely belongs among the elite of the genre. This is where it all started and those familiar with later slasher films such as ‘Halloween', ‘Friday the 13th' (1980), Slumber Party Massacre (1982) and ‘The House on Sorority Row' (1983) should be able to spot several of the now-clichés that first materialized in ‘Black Christmas'. My rating for ‘Black Christmas' - 8½/10.

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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
'Red herring' observations from a long-time fan machfront1
Tracing the call sunznc
Jess was horrible horneddemon
Things the Filmmakers did to MAKE you think Peter is Billy. angelexposed
could Peter have helped the killer? ricky-may1
Do you think Billy killed Jess? BattleRoyale96
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