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Salem's Lot (1979)

TV Movie  -   -  Horror | Mystery | Thriller  -  17 November 1979 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 12,959 users  
Reviews: 200 user | 52 critic

Vampires are invading a small New England town. It's up to a novelist and a young horror fan to save it.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Salem's Lot (TV Movie 1979)

Salem's Lot (TV Movie 1979) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bonnie Sawyer
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Gordon 'Weasel' Phillips (as Elisha Cook)
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Cully Sawyer
Ed Flanders ...
Dr. Bill Norton
Clarissa Kaye-Mason ...
Majorie Glick (as Clarissa Kaye)
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Barney McFadden ...
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Storyline

The successful writer Benjamin "Ben" Mears returns to his hometown Salem's Lot, Maine, expecting to write a new novel about the Marsten House. Ben believes that the manor is an evil house that attracts evil men since the place has many tragic stories and Ben saw a ghostly creature inside the house when he was ten. Ben finds that the Marsten House has just been rented to the antique dealers Richard K. Straker and his partner Kurt Barlow that is permanently traveling. Ben meets the divorced teacher Susan Norton that is living with her parents and they have a love affair. Ben also gets close to her father Dr. Bill Norton and his former school teacher Jason Burke. When people start to die anemic, Ben believes that Straker's partner is a vampire. But how to convince his friends that he is not crazy and that is the truth? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The ultimate in terror!


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 November 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Salem's Lot: The Movie  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical) | (uncut) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the vampire levitation scenes, the actors played on a boom crane rather than on wires. See more »

Goofs

As Ned drives away after the first meeting with Ben, there is a white car in the corner. The camera cuts to Ben and Susan, and the car is no longer there. See more »

Quotes

Straker: English
Ben Mears: [holding antique fork in hand] Georgian.
Straker: You have some expertise.
Ben Mears: No, not really. I just happen to know something about silver. My aunt had some Georgian and we had to sell it when she died.
Straker: What an unfortunate way to acquire knowledge.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The text of the opening credits appear and dissolve piece by piece into each other in a jigsaw puzzle fashion. See more »

Connections

Version of 'Salem's Lot (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Worth a Look

Without a doubt this television movie based on Stephen King's grand horror opus pales in comparison to its literary counterpart. But isn't that usually the case? Although missing some subplots, many characters, and having some major script changes here and there, Tobe Hooper's Salem's Lot is indeed enjoyable. I watched it right after having read the book, and although I spent a lot of time seeing what it did not have...I have to confess that there were many good points. For starters, let me list some of my major complaints. The whole framed narrative story in the movie is ridiculous and very clumsily made. I also have a big problem with the gaping holes in the script with regard to characters popping up here and there with little or no expository introduction. Some characters were used to help move the plot and then discarded. Names were needlessly changed from the novel. That being said there was a great sense of style to the picture which must be credited to Hooper. Overall the acting is quite good. David Soul is very credible in his leading role, as are Lance Kerwin, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres and Ed Flanders. James Mason makes a stunning villain. Mason uses charm as a weapon and eats up the scenery with subtlety and wit. The vampire is played by horror veteran Reggie Nalder, and although he says not one word...he is very effective. The make-up on him is very reminiscent of Nosferatu. The lead-ins to commercials show the film to be dated by today's standards, but it has enough in it to be an entertaining diversion. However, PLEASE read the book first as it is one of the best of its kind and will make the film all the more enjoyable if for no other reason than seeing its defects.


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