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Halloween (1978)

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Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.



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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Annie (as Nancy Loomis)
Brian Andrews ...
John Michael Graham ...
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


Everyone is entitled to one good scare See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

27 October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Halloween  »


Box Office


$300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (Extended TV Version)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Tommy Lee Wallace had worked second unit for John Carpenter on this film and was originally chosen by Carpenter and the producers to direct Halloween II (1981). His approach was more of a Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) approach, where it' s five years later and Lorie was in graduate school when Michael resurfaces. But Carpenter insisted this had to be a very next day kind of sequel, and the studio and producers were insisting on a lot more blood due to the success of Friday the 13th (1980). Because of all this Wallace decided he wasn't comfortable with the sequel, and he declined. He did direct Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) however. See more »


(at around 4 mins) When Michael Myers, as a child, walks through the living room with the knife, the clock above the stove shows 9:25 and the clock on the wall reads 9:40, but just 5-7 seconds later, the clock chimes 10 times. See more »


Loomis: He came home!
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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 »


Don't Fear The Reaper
Written by Donald Roeser
Performed by Blue Öyster Cult
Courtesy C.B.S. Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Scary as hell.
9 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

My personal favorite horror film. From the lengthy first tracking shot to the final story twist, this is Carpenter's masterpiece.

Halloween night 1963, little Michael Meyers murders his older sister. All-hallows-eve 1978, Michael escapes from Smith's Grove sanitarium. Halloween night, Michael has come home to murder again.

The story is perfectly simple, Michael stalks and kills babysitters. No bells or whistles, just the basics. It's Carpenter's almost over-powering atmosphere of dread that generates the tension. Like any great horror film, events are telegraphed long in advance, yet they still seem to occur at random, never allowing the audience to the chance to second guess the film.

The dark lighting, the long steady-cam shots, and (most importantly) that damn eerie music create the most claustrophobic and uncomfortable scenes I have yet to see in film. There is a body count, but compared to the slew of slashers after this it's fairly small. That and most of the murders are nearly bloodless. The fear is not in death, but in not knowing.

The acting is roundelay good. PJ Soles provides much of the films limited humor (and one of the best deaths), Nancy Loomis turns in a decent performance and then there is the young (at the time) Jamie Leigh-Curtis. Her performance at first seems shy and un-assured, yet you quickly realize that it is perfect for the character, who is herself shy and un-assured and not at all prepared for what she is to face. And of course there is the perfectly cast Donald Pleasence as the determined (perhaps a little unstable) Dr. Sam Loomis. Rest in peace Mr. Pleasence.

If the film has a detrimental flaw, it would be the passage of time. Since the release of this film so many years ago nearly countless clones, copies, rip-offs, and imitators have come along and stolen (usually badly) the films best bits until nearly everything about it has become familiar. Combined with the changes for audience expectations and appetites, one finds much of the films raw power diluted. To truly appreciate it in this day and age, it must be viewed as it once was, as something unique.

Never the less, I have no reservation with highly recommending this film to anyone looking for a good, scary time. Highest Reguards.


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