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Eraserhead (1977)

Unrated | | Fantasy, Horror | 3 February 1978 (USA)
Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child.



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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Spencer (as John Nance)
Allen Joseph ...
Beautiful Girl Across the Hall (as Judith Anna Roberts)
V. Phipps-Wilson ...
Landlady (long version)
Jean Lange ...
Thomas Coulson ...
John Monez ...
Darwin Joston ...
T. Max Graham ...
The Boss (as Neil Moran)
Little Girl (as Jennifer Lynch)


A film that defies conventional logic and storytelling, fueled by its dark nightmarish atmosphere and compellingly disturbing visuals. Henry Spencer is a hapless factory worker on his vacation when he finds out he's the father of a hideously deformed baby. Now living with his unhappy, malcontent girlfriend, the child cries day and night, driving Henry and his girlfriend to near insanity. Written by Jacob Samuelson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Where your nightmares end... See more »


Fantasy | Horror


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 February 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eraserhead 2000  »

Box Office


$20,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(re-release)| (original release)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


David Lynch had a lot of trouble getting financial assistance from the AFI, because the script was only 20 pages long. He received a grant from AFI but after about 3 years of production, ran out of money. At one point Terrence Malick screened the film for a potential financial backer, who walked out, calling the movie "bullshit". See more »


The boy who brings Henry's head to the pencil-making shop suddenly has glasses on when he faces away from the camera to enter the side door. See more »


[first lines]
Beautiful Girl Across the Hall: Are you Henry?
Henry Spencer: Yes?
Beautiful Girl Across the Hall: A girl named "Mary" called on the payphone in the hallway about an hour ago. She said that she's at her parents and that you're invited to dinner.
Henry Spencer: Oh, yeah?
[after a long pause]
Henry Spencer: Well... thank you very much.
[Henry enters his apartment, while the girl slowly closes the door to hers]
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits, just a long, tilted close-up of the face of Jack Nance. See more »


References Wild Strawberries (1957) See more »


In Heaven
Music by Peter Ivers
Lyrics by David Lynch
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Open your eyes, if you dare
31 January 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

How frightening. How unnerving. What a spectacular piece of film-making. I saw the film for the first time with a tiresome former colleague who kept turning to me and whispering : "Please exhale" "Are you breathing?" "Please breathe" or "Please stop breathing" I wanted to run away but I couldn't I was glued, stacked, hooked. The world of David Lynch is made of kindly horrors, normal monsters, poetic nightmares. I wonder what planet is he from. I think it would important to know so we can all avoid it. That's what any average Joe may say because every average Joe, me included, finds something familiar in this fascinating, peculiar, horrifying vision of the world. You want to close your eyes, but you can't. Even if you could, you still can hear. the whimpering of the thing, the child, the figment of David Lynch's imagination. How can you recommend a nightmare to a friend? Well you must, if friendship involves sharing every possible experience. "Earserhead" will put you to the test in a way no other film has ever done. Go! I dare you.

133 of 199 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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