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Eraserhead (1977)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 51,924 users  
Reviews: 508 user | 125 critic

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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Title: Eraserhead (1977)

Eraserhead (1977) on IMDb 7.4/10

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Storyline

Is it a nightmare or an actual view of a post-apocalyptic world? Set in an industrial town in which giant machines are constantly working, spewing smoke, and making noise that is inescapable, Henry Spencer lives in a building that, like all the others, appears to be abandoned. The lights flicker on and off, he has bowls of water in his dresser drawers, and for his only diversion he watches and listens to the Lady in the Radiator sing about finding happiness in heaven. Henry has a girlfriend, Mary X, who has frequent spastic fits. Mary gives birth to Henry's child, a frightening looking mutant, which leads to the injection of all sorts of sexual imagery into the depressive and chaotic mix. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In Heaven Everything Is Fine. See more »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 December 1978 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

Eraserhead 2000  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(re-release)| (original release)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The soundtrack album was dedicated "...to The Man In the Planet's Sister". The Man In the Planet was played by Jack Fisk, brother of Lynch's then-wife, Mary Fisk. Jack brought his future wife Sissy Spacek to the set to hold the slate during his scenes. See more »

Goofs

The man's hands on the door at the beginning. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Garden (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not really a movie in the classic sense...
23 August 2004 | by (Swarthmore, PA) – See all my reviews

I've watched Eraserhead countless times. In theaters. Off of the infamous Japanese-subtitled VCR copy. Off of the recent Lynch re-release. From around the late 70s onward. Yes, that long.

I have friends who won't let me recommend movies to them any more.

Anyway, the capsule summary, "Can't be summarized," is pretty close.

First, it is not a movie. It is not a film.

It is a piece of art.

All of the comments I read that attempt to describe it as a movie fail for precisely that reason. If you read the ones that can handle it, they handle it as an art review.

So don't even think of it as a movie. Don't recommend it as a movie. It doesn't work.

I'll also admit that I sat in a haze for decades, absorbed in the imagery. In awe of the impressions. And finally, an image crystallized, an image of what this was a portrait of. (And, of course, I expect this image may change with repeated viewings...) And as I watch it, with this in mind, a continuity appears.

We are living in hell, we just don't realize it.


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