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Eraserhead (1977)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 56,830 users  
Reviews: 522 user | 141 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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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:

A dream of dark and troubling things See more »


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

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 »

Goofs

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 »

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 »


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

how weird can you get?
6 May 1999 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

I needed to read all the other reviews here before I was game to make a comment. I'm a great fan of Lynch's Wild at Heart having seen it four times, and recently loved Lost Highway. But this one left me baffled. I'd heard of it for years, but can make little sense of it. It certainly didn't bore me, in fact I was fascinated to see where the plot led. Tried to analyse it in terms of symbolism, but decided that if I have to do that the film isn't really speaking to me. The dark broodiness is impressive, the squishiness repulsive, and Henry's hairdo is unforgettable!


14 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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