The Hearse (1980)

PG  |   |  Horror  |  June 1980 (USA)
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Jane Hardy decides to stay the summer in the house her aunt left her when she died, to try and recoup from a bad divorce. Little does she know, her aunt practiced witchcraft and is still ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Hardy
Walter Prichard
Tom Sullivan
Donald Hotton ...
Reverend Winston
Med Flory ...
Sheriff Denton
Fred Franklyn ...
Mr. Gordon (as Frederic Franklyn)
Mrs. Gordon
Bo Rehnquist
Dominic Barto ...
The Driver
Nicholas Shields ...
Dr. Greenwalt
Chuck Mitchell ...


Jane Hardy decides to stay the summer in the house her aunt left her when she died, to try and recoup from a bad divorce. Little does she know, her aunt practiced witchcraft and is still thought of very badly by the town's citizens. As soon as she moves in, she is haunted by a old black hearse and it's creepy driver. Is she going insane or is she truly being menaced? She meets a friendly young man and becomes involved with him, but is he and the creepy driver one and the same? Written by <VRSC26B@PRODIGY.COM>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Barrier Between Life and Death is no Greater than the Thickness of a Door...and now that Door is Open! See more »




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

June 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Biltur med de døde  »

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Production Co:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


William Bleich originally devised this movie as a more teen-oriented slasher outing when he was first hired to write the script. See more »


When Jane brushes the leaves from her aunt's grave it "bounces". See more »


Jane Hardy: [startled by someone at her back door] Oh!
Reverend Winston: Miss Hardy, please.
Jane Hardy: [laughing, relieved] Oh! You scared the hell out of me!
Reverend Winston: I should probably take that as a compliment. *Ha ha ha ha ha!*
See more »


Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Mixed emotions
16 June 2002 | by (Overland Park, KS) – See all my reviews

I have read reviews good and bad for this film and find that I cannot disagree with any of them, for The Hearse is good in certain respects and not so good in others. Watching this film recently, for the first time in many years, I was reminded of other stories that came both before and after it, 1963's The Haunting and 2001's The Others coming immediately to mind.

There is nothing better than a good ghost story with mood and imagination and The Hearse claims these properties to some degree. That it is an over-cliched film with comic relief that doesn't quite fit counts against it, as does the unlikely and disappointing ending. Trish Van Devere, a competent if not supremely talented actress, and the always pleasing Joseph Cotton are the lead players, although Ms. Van Devere's screen love interest, David Gautreaux as Tom, came close to stealing it from both of them. I did not feel that Joseph Cotton had enough screen time to please his fans, but as they say, `Always leave them wanting more!' The story: Jane, portrayed by Ms. Van Devere, inherits an old house in the country. Jane's aunt had practiced Satan worship in it and the local town folks were not pleased to see her niece move in. In a nice addition to the storyline, we learn that Jane had a nervous breakdown after a messy divorce and her mental stability quickly comes into question. Jane sees images in the house and is convinced that somebody is stalking her in a sinister looking funeral home hearse. Throughout the course of the story she has interesting encounters with such diverse people as the local estate attorney, hardware store operators and their son, an oddball minister and her new love interest. Who was after her, and why did he/she want Jane out of her aunt's house? There are many red herrings and barely enough chills and thrills to attract the younger audiences that were just then, in 1980, two years after Jamie Lee Curtis and Halloween, making their presence felt at the box office and soon-to-be neighborhood video stores. As stated, the ending was a real letdown after it seemed the film had come to a satisfying conclusion.

Perhaps that is why this film generates strong emotions; it tries to be too much to too many. That it has something for everybody and, for the most part, succeeds in putting it all together is one of it's major strengths. The fact that this also causes it to be disjointed and somewhat awkward at times is the downside of this, but remember, The Hearse was never intended to be a summer blockbuster. That a film such as this can still generate intelligent discussion 22 years after its release is remarkable in itself.

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