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Eraserhead (1977)

Unrated  |   |  Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  31 December 1978 (Poland)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 64,304 users  
Reviews: 524 user | 147 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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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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France, 1719. Louis 14th died four years ago, Philippe d'Orleans is the regent. He is a liberal and a libertine. His right-hand man, Dubois, an atheistic and cupid priest, as libertine as ... See full summary »

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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 ...
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


Be warned. The nightmare has not gone away... See more »


Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

31 December 1978 (Poland)  »

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
See  »

Did You Know?


During production, David Lynch began experimenting with a technique of recording dialogue that had been spoken phonetically backwards and reversing the resulting audio. Although the technique was not used in the film, Lynch returned to it for Twin Peaks: Episode #1.3 (1990). See more »


Camera shadow visible, tracking into the light towards the end of the film. 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 »


Referenced in Lost Highway (1997) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Amazing masterpiece of filmmaking!
27 December 1998 | by (NYC, USA) – See all my reviews

You have to dissect it, watch it more than once, eat, breathe it and live it before you can get it. There are lots of explanations for all of the things that "make no sense"... it's art in it's purest form - you take away from it what you want! You can see Henry struggling with suddenly being thrust into the role of father and husband, his sin, his temptation, his life, his death, his dreams... too much symbolism to even get into here... anyone who dismisses this film as "junk that makes no sense" will never get it, and that's OK. But for the rest of us, it's on our "Top Ten Films of All Time" list. Brilliant and beautiful and horrifying! Makes you think for weeks... YEARS. I love it. Highly recommended to those who are open-minded! AMAZING FILM!!

112 of 188 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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