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Eraserhead
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Eraserhead (1977) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   50,404 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Contact:
View company contact information for Eraserhead on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 December 1978 (Poland) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Be warned. The nightmare has not gone away... See more »
Plot:
Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Ask six people exactly what Eraserhead is about, and you will get six different answers See more (498 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jack Nance ... Henry Spencer (as John Nance)

Charlotte Stewart ... Mary X
Allen Joseph ... Mr. X
Jeanne Bates ... Mrs. X

Judith Roberts ... Beautiful Girl Across the Hall (as Judith Anna Roberts)
Laurel Near ... Lady in the Radiator
V. Phipps-Wilson ... Landlady (long version)

Jack Fisk ... Man in the Planet
Jean Lange ... Grandmother
Thomas Coulson ... The Boy
John Monez ... Bum

Darwin Joston ... Paul
T. Max Graham ... The Boss (as Neil Moran)

Hal Landon Jr. ... Pencil Machine Operator

Jennifer Chambers Lynch ... Little Girl (as Jennifer Lynch)
Brad Keeler ... Little Boy
Peggy Lynch ... Person Digging in the Alley (long version)
Doddie Keeler ... Person Digging in the Alley (long version)
Gill Dennis ... Man with Cigar
Toby Keeler ... Man Fighting
Jack Walsh ... Mr. Roundheels (as Raymond Walsh)
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Directed by
David Lynch 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
David Lynch 

Produced by
David Lynch .... producer
Fred Baker .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
David Lynch 
 
Cinematography by
Herbert Cardwell 
Frederick Elmes 
 
Film Editing by
David Lynch 
 
Production Design by
David Lynch 
 
Art Direction by
David Lynch 
 
Production Management
Doreen G. Small .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Catherine E. Coulson .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
David Lynch .... sound effects
Alan Splet .... location sound (as Alan R. Splet)
Alan Splet .... sound editor (as Alan R. Splet)
Alan Splet .... sound effects (as Alan R. Splet)
 
Special Effects by
Frederick Elmes .... special photographic effects
David Lynch .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Catherine E. Coulson .... assistant camera
 
Other crew
Jeanne Field .... crew
Michael Grody .... crew
Stephen Grody .... crew
Toby Keeler .... crew
Roger Lundy .... crew
John Lynch .... crew
John Lynch .... crew
Dennis Nance-Kivell .... crew (as Dennis Nance)
Anatol Pacanowsky .... crew
Carol Schreder .... crew
 
Thanks
Ron Barth .... special thanks
Mars F. Baumgardt .... special thanks
Ron Culbertson .... special thanks
Frantisek Daniel .... special thanks (as Frank Daniel)
Richard Einfeld .... special thanks
Jack Fisk .... special thanks
Mary Fisk .... special thanks
Kenneth E. Fix .... special thanks (as Ken Fix)
Marvin Goodwin .... special thanks
Andre R. Guttfreund .... special thanks (as Andre Guttfreund)
Randy Hart .... special thanks
Roman Harte .... special thanks
George T. Hutchison .... special thanks
David Khasky .... special thanks
Jim King .... special thanks
Margit Fellegi Laszlo .... special thanks
Paul Leimbach .... special thanks
David Lunney .... special thanks
Peggy Lynch .... special thanks
Sarah Pillsbury .... special thanks
Sidney P. Solow .... special thanks
Sissy Spacek .... special thanks
George Stevens Jr. .... special thanks
Antonio Vellani .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Eraserhead 2000" - USA (DVD box title)
See more »
Runtime:
85 min | 90 min (Blu-ray edition)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Dolby (re-release) | Mono (original release)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Canada:R (Manitoba/Nova Scotia/Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Québec) | Chile:14 | Finland:K-14 | France:-16 | Germany:16 (re-rating) (2012) | Iceland:16 | Ireland:18 | Japan:R-18 | Netherlands:16 | Norway:15 | Portugal:M/16 (Qualidade) | Singapore:PG | South Korea:15 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:18 (video rating: 1986) | UK:15 (re-rating) (2008) | USA:Unrated | West Germany:18

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:
Continuity: Towards the end of the film, there is a picture of what appears to be the Hiroshima explosion hanging over Henry's nightstand. In the next shot, the picture is goneSee 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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Blackened Reveries (2009)See more »
Soundtrack:
In HeavenSee more »

FAQ

Who is the Man in the Planet?
What is David Lynch's interpretation of this film?
What are the "Glen or Glenda" references?
See more »
208 out of 261 people found the following review useful.
Ask six people exactly what Eraserhead is about, and you will get six different answers, 1 June 2005
Author: B-J-C (benjconway79@yahoo.co.uk) from Ipswich, England

I sometimes dream of waking to a completely dark world, a world with no sunlight and minimal artificial light. My vision is blurred, but there is nothing to see. The streets are virtually empty, and my friends and family are lifeless; sitting, standing or even walking, but with nothing to do or say, and nowhere to go. No questions are asked because there is nothing to learn, nothing is discussed because nothing is interesting. And it is this dismal reality I am faced with, only partially aware that there is anything better.

The existence I dream of is somewhat reminiscent of the world of Henry Spencer, the main character in Eraserhead, who becomes father to a hideously deformed baby. That's what the film is about at face value, but the very style in which it is portrayed is the real beauty of it. The setting and scenery makes the film one of the most desperately depressing I have ever seen. And although Henry seems to be devoid of any spark of personality, we can't help but sympathise with him throughout the film.

Similar to my dream, the only form of light is artificial, the streets are virtually empty, and the only person in the entire film who has any personality is the father-in-law, and the only thing he has to talk about is his poor health. He also seems to be the only one with any link to better times. ("I've watched this city turn from pastures to the hell-hole it is now.") The city they live in is completely industrialized, and the only plant life seen is dead, and in a pile of soil on Henry's bedside table.

Some have suggested it is based after a nuclear holocaust, but nothing is explained to any conclusion. One of the beauties of this film is that it practically begs the viewer to decide for themselves what any of it means, and there are many theories. I warn you not to read the message board of Eraserhead before you see the film, as it is so much more powerful and chilling to experience it first-hand.

The first time I saw Eraserhead, I was completely confused. It is possible that David Lynch just put a load of random imagery together and called it a film. Maybe he wanted the viewers to put it all together and make their own sense of it (or not). On the other hand, there might actually be a set formula behind it and only the very open-minded and discerning audience can properly decipher it.

One viewing of Eraserhead is enough to raise about a dozen questions, and to leave you gasping for answers. Two viewings are probably enough to give you theories about some of the cryptic depictions hauntingly portrayed. Three viewings might be enough to give you a completely different set of theories, battling persistently against your previous conceptions, but still leaving just a few details that don't quite seem to fit in. The truth is that there may be parts that don't make sense in one interpretation, but fit in perfectly to another. You could probably watch Eraserhead several times, and each time see a slightly different story. Or if you were to ask six different people exactly what Eraserhead is about, you would get six different answers, each equally correct in their own right, and each equally confused.

That being said, this definitely isn't a film for everyone. This is the first Lynch film I have seen, and it certainly won't be the last. But there will no doubt be many who see this purely as a lot of clever mind tricks and special effects (for its time, anyway.) There will be those who don't like much to think about, and want it all explained bit by bit in perfect detail. Well, Eraserhead is an epitome of everything such moviegoers will hate. I will say this for certain: If your favourite films are 'Love Actually' or 'Dude, Where's My Car?', you probably won't get much out of Eraserhead. But for those who like their concepts challenged once in a while, this film will probably be one to watch again and again until you understand. This is also not a film to be forgotten easily. Love it or hate it, Eraserhead will stay with you for a very long time.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Eraserhead (1977)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Pretentious Bull**** GoinOutWest-93
the importance of sound in Eraserhead weepingwillow314
Watched it 3 times Eddmike
Awful dbo78912
lady in the radiator song NightOfTheLivingBread
It's one of my favourite movies, but I never want to see it again. agwoodliffe
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