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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 20,383 users  
Reviews: 279 user | 93 critic

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

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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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:

...an experience beyond total fear. 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

Although Rick Wilkins is the credited film composer, the music box composition is actually written by Howard Blake. The unabridged composition is featured in his Lifecycle collection of 24 piano works in 24 keys. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) In the beginning of the movie when John Russell is shown walking across the road to the phone booth, the road is packed solid with snow. When it shows him reaching the phone booth, in the background you can see that cars have cleared a path with their tires. 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

Referenced in Kokkuri (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony #1 in C minor, Opus 68
Composed by Johannes Brahms (as Brahms)
Performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Kazuyoshi Akiyama
See more »

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User Reviews

First-Rate Haunted Horror
10 November 2001 | by (NC) – See all my reviews

George C. Scott loses his wife and daughter in a car accident, moves to Seattle, and rents a gigantic old mansion with a haunted secret past. This film is skillfully directed by Peter Medak who gets more that even he probably bargained from a solid cast of actors, a wonderful script, and one great-looking eerie old house. Medak creates tons of suspense with the barest sight of blood. This film reeks atmosphere. The house reeks atmosphere. Scott's performance and that of veteran Melvyn Douglass reek atmosphere. Doors creak, balls mysteriously bounce, water runs, windows break in the old house trying to tell Scott about the secret of a young child that once lived there. The script is fanciful yet well-written and very creative. Scott gives an atypically subdued performance that suggests passion, heartbreak, and tenacity. The rest of the performers are very good too. I cannot remember the last time Mr. Douglass gave a poor performance. Some of the scenes that really stand out in my mind are flashback sequences showing the terrible secret that has been hidden in the house for over 70 years. Medak doesn't have a huge budget to work with here, but this movie beats out newer haunted house films like the remake of The Haunting by leaps and bounds. This is one classy scare film!


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