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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

R | | Horror | 4 October 1974 (USA)
Two siblings visit their grandfather's grave in Texas along with three of their friends and are attacked by a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Allen Danziger ...
Paul A. Partain ...
William Vail ...
...
Pam
...
Jim Siedow ...
...
John Dugan ...
Robert Courtin ...
William Creamer ...
John Henry Faulk ...
Jerry Green ...
Ed Guinn ...
Joe Bill Hogan ...
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Storyline

En route to visit their grandfather's grave (which has apparently been ritualistically desecrated), five teenagers drive past a slaughterhouse, pick up (and quickly drop) a sinister hitch-hiker, eat some delicious home-cured meat at a roadside gas station, before ending up at the old family home... where they're plunged into a never-ending nightmare as they meet a family of cannibals who more than make up in power tools what they lack in social skills... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Nothing Cuts Like the Original! [Ultimate Edition DVD] See more »

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Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

4 October 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Headcheese  »

Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$30,859,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (new longer Version) | (Unrated Edition)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Surprisingly, this film is one of the least bloodiest horror films of all time. This is because Tobe Hooper intended to make the movie for a "PG" rating, by keeping violence moderate, language mild, and having most of the horror implied offscreen rather than shown in great detail onscreen. However, this plan had actually backfired, and made the film even more horrifying. Because despite cutting and repeated submissions, the Ratings Board insisted on an "X" rating, and it wasn't until the film received the "R" rating when Hooper gave up and released it. Hooper had a similar ratings problem with the sequel. See more »

Goofs

The blood the hitchhiker smears on the van is gone in the long shot a few seconds later. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to ...
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare.

The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

AUGUST 18, 1973 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dead Teenager Movie (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Daddy's Sick Again
Arkey Blue
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Best Horror Film
28 October 2003 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

The (original) Texas Chainsaw Massacre, is without a doubt in my mind, the most impressive horror film to date. No other horror film stays with you in the same way. You feel not only fearful for the characters, but at times feel afraid for your own safety. The natural lighting and loose, improvised acting style creates a strong sense of reality that no other horror film can possibly achieve. Under a thin layer of dated aesthetics (1973 style of dress) lies the most dangerous, horrifying and psychotic world ever committed to script or screen. As the first of its kind, this movie set the mold for the modern horror film, though none were ever to realize any comparable distinction. It gave birth to the "slasher" genre (for better or for worse) . It is also one of few timeless films that has managed to combine horror and avant-garde styles, successfully. Unlike its remake, this one is more of an exercise in minimalism and simplicity (think even Dogme). The expert subtlety of the filmmakers; Tobe Hooper (writer/director), Kim Henkel (co-writer) and Daniel Pearl (cinematographer) results more in

psychological terror than in gore. The air-tight script, jarring realism and attention to detail are unparalleled in practically any film, horror or otherwise. And last, but by far not the least Marylin Burns PHENOMENAL performance is the only in cinematic history (a close second by that of Shelly Duvall in The Shining) that evokes such a nature of desperate and primal fear. You truly believe in every single one of her screams that her life is hanging by a single, thin thread.


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