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The Changeling (1980)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery  |  28 March 1980 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 20,121 users  
Reviews: 279 user | 92 critic

A man staying at a secluded historical mansion finds himself being haunted by the presence of a spectre.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Barry Morse ...
Madeleine Sherwood ...
Mrs. Norman (as Madeleine Thornton-Sherwood)
Helen Burns ...
Frances Hyland ...
Ruth Springford ...
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Bernard Behrens ...
James B. Douglas ...
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Security Guard
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Storyline

It was the perfect family vacation for composer John Russell and his family when a freak automobile accident claims the lives of his wife and daughter. Consumed by grief, John, at the request of friends, rents an old turn of the century house. Mammoth in size, the house seems all the room that John needs to write music and reflect. He does not realize that he is not alone in the house. He shares it with the spirit of a murdered child who has homed in on John's despair and uses him to uncover decades of silence and deceit. With the help of Claire Norman, the one who aided John in procuring the house, they race to find the answers and soon learn that a devious and very powerful man guards them. Written by Vampire-Sharpshooter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Whatever you do...DON'T GO INTO THE ATTIC. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 March 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

House on Chessman Park  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 7,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donald Cammell was initially slated to direct this film, but eventually left due to creative differences with the producers. See more »

Goofs

Even at the time of Joseph's murder - around 1914 or so - there were ways and means to distinguish between two separate boys, even if one of them has taken the place of the other. Joseph's father's plan should not have worked. See more »

Quotes

Minnie Huxley: That house is not fit to live in. No one's been able to live in it. It doesn't want people.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Fatal Instinct (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Rondo in A minor for Piano, K. 511
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Played by Jan Latham-Koenig
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Chilling ghost story
14 June 2005 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

"The Changeling" tells the story of a composer (George C. Scott) who, as the film opens, loses his wife and daughter in a tragic accident. Getting away from it all, Scott buys an old home to get his mind right and to get back to doing the work he loves. Soon he discovers that his house is haunted and filled with secrets waiting to be revealed. To say much more then that would be unfair to the first time viewer.

Suffice to say this is a chilling film with several good scares that aren't achieved by manipulating the audience. By that I mean loud chords of music on the soundtrack or the unexpected cry of a cat or something like that. "The Changeling" works for its scares and succeeds. Another big reason the film is so well done is the performance by Scott. For a change the hero in a ghost story is not a wimp but a strong, self assured man who is going to fight to the bitter end to find the truth and get his life back. Very few actors could have pulled it off better then Scott.

The supporting cast is headed by Melvyn Douglas (in one of his last roles) and Scott's wife, Trish Van Devere who projects a look of total terror as well as anyone I have seen.

Two moments that stand out are the séance scene which is eerie and the unexpected arrival of a child's toy ball. This film will give you shivers. If you are a fan check it out and make sure to watch it with a loved one cuddling up against you with all the lights turned out.


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