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Eraserhead (1977)

Unrated  |   |  Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  31 December 1978 (Poland)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 63,166 users  
Reviews: 525 user | 146 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 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


In Heaven Everything Is Fine. 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?


Though only released at first as a "midnight movie," a number of Hollywood A-list directors saw the film and were impressed by it. John Waters, whose Pink Flamingos (1972) and Female Trouble (1974) played the same venue, often mentioned Eraserhead as a favorite film, urging viewers to see it. Stanley Kubrick reportedly said the same; this was one of the films he made the cast and crew of The Shining (1980) watch to get in the right frame of mind for. Mel Brooks saw it and offered Lynch the chance to direct The Elephant Man (1980); Lynch accepted. George Lucas asked Lynch to direct Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983); Lynch turned it down. See more »


Henry takes off the wrong shoe/sock to dry off. 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 Exhumed (2003) See more »


In Heaven
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!

16 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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