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Halloween (1978)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  25 October 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 148,962 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 1,179 user | 314 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

On Halloween night of 1963, 6-year old Michael Myers stabbed his sister to death. After sitting in a mental hospital for 15 years, Myers escapes and returns to Haddonfield to kill.



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4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nancy Kyes ...
Annie Brackett (as Nancy Loomis)
John Michael Graham ...
Nancy Stephens ...
Mickey Yablans ...
Brent Le Page ...
Adam Hollander ...
Robert Phalen ...


The year is 1963, the night: Halloween. Police are called to 43 Lampkin Ln. only to discover that 15 year old Judith Myers has been stabbed to death, by her 6 year-old brother, Michael. After being institutionalized for 15 years, Myers breaks out on the night before Halloween. No one knows, nor wants to find out, what will happen on October 31st 1978 besides Myers' psychiatrist, Dr. Loomis. He knows Michael is coming back to Haddonfield, but by the time the town realizes it, it'll be too late for many people. Written by Massive Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The trick was to stay alive. See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Halloween  »

Box Office


$300,000 (estimated)


$47,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:

| (Stereo Scream Sound)



Aspect Ratio:

2.39: 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Carpenter told production designer Tommy Lee Wallace to go out and find a "government-looking" car to be used by Dr. Loomis and Marion in the opening scenes, which Michael Myers ultimately steals and uses throughout the film. Wallace went to the nearest car-rental agency and a 1976 Ford LTD station wagon was the only car there that looked the part. Wallace hired it for two weeks, installing a wire-mesh divider between the front and rear seats, and slapping Illinois state decals on the front doors. Carpenter loved it, and the car-rental agency had no idea of the LTD's use in the film. See more »


The position of the bed sheets and pillows differ between when Laurie runs into the bedroom to find a place to hide and when she leaves the closet to retrieve Tommy and Lindsay. See more »


Laurie: [Tommy's scared of the boogeyman] We're getting nowhere. Look, the boogeyman can only come out on Halloween right? Well I'm here, I'm not about to let anything happen to you.
Tommy Doyle: Promise?
Laurie: Promise.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The music for the film -- written and performed by John Carpenter -- is instead credited to "The Bowling Green Philharmonic Orchestra." Carpenter grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky. See more »


Referenced in The Many Lives of Jason Voorhees (2002) See more »


Halloween Theme Main Title
Written by John Carpenter
Performed by The Bowling Green Philharmonic Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Greatest of the Slasher Flicks
27 February 2005 | by (Stockport, England) – See all my reviews

John Carpenter's Halloween is quite frankly a horror masterpiece. It tells the immortal story of escaped mental patient Michael Myers, who returns to his hometown on Halloween night to stalk and kill a group of babysitters.

This was the first and without doubt the best in the Halloween franchise. Carpenter shows great restraint in pacing the story very slowly and building likable characters; unusual for a horror picture.

Even more unusual is the non-existence of blood and gore, and yet it remains the scariest Halloween to date.

Halloween marked the film debut of Jamie Lee Curtis and a defining point in the late great Donald Pleasence's career. A true classic.

151 of 187 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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