IMDb > Graduation Day (1981)
Graduation Day
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Graduation Day (1981) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
4.2/10   1,454 votes »
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Anne Marisse (written by) and
Herb Freed (written by) ...
View company contact information for Graduation Day on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 May 1981 (USA) See more »
Graduating from high school has never been so deadly... See more »
After a high school track runner, named Laura, suddenly dies from a heart attack after finishing a 30-second 200-meter race... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(85 articles)
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User Reviews:
Not your average 80s slasher pic... See more (51 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Herb Freed 
Writing credits
Anne Marisse (written by) and
Herb Freed (written by)

David Baughn (story)

Produced by
David Baughn .... producer
Herb Freed .... producer
Hal Schwartz .... associate producer
Original Music by
Arthur Kempel 
Cinematography by
Daniel Yarussi (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Martin Jay Sadoff 
Casting by
Aaron Butler 
Art Direction by
Chris Henry 
Makeup Department
Lars Ferguson .... makeup assistant
Sylvia Flores .... makeup assistant
Gail Larsson .... makeup artist (as Gail Larson)
Jill Rockow .... special effects makeup
Production Management
Herman Grigsby .... production manager (as Herman Candler Grigsby)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jan Gunderson .... second assistant director
Hal Schwartz .... assistant director
Art Department
Ellen Freund .... set dresser
Escott O. Norton .... properties (as Escott Norton)
Sound Department
David Etherington .... boom operator
Paul Leimbach .... sound editor
Darryl Linkow .... sound mixer
Paul Martin .... sound re-recording mixer
Hiroaki 'Zom' Yamamoto .... sound re-recording mixer
Robert Brooks Mendel .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Jesse Mestas .... commentary re-recordist (uncredited)
James Winburn .... stunt coordinator (as Jim Winburn)
Camera and Electrical Department
Stacey Codikow .... still photographer
Don Giroux .... best boy
Virgil E. Hammond III .... electrician (as Virgil Hammon)
Buzz Harris .... gaffer
Larry S. Prinz .... second assistant camera (as Larry Prinz)
David Seal .... key grip
Stephen St. John .... first assistant camera (as Steven St. John)
Terry Wimmer .... best boy
Ron Wright .... grip
Massimo Zeri .... assistant camera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jean Conner .... wardrobe assistant
Christine Nicholson .... wardrobe (as Chris Nicholson)
Editorial Department
Barry Dresner .... assistant editor
Lisa Gilhousen .... negative cutter
Other crew
Lance Dickson .... production assistant
Ross Dickson .... production assistant
Cheryl Hall .... production accountant
Patricia Kenny .... production assistant
Cathy Neely .... assistant to producers
Scott Owen .... production assistant
Mark S. Thomas .... script supervisor (as Mark Thomas)
Crew believed to be complete


Additional Details

Also Known As:
96 min | Australia:93 min | UK:92 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:R | Iceland:16 | Norway:18 (video premiere) | UK:18 | UK:15 (DVD rating) | USA:R | West Germany:Not Rated

Did You Know?

The blonde girl in the number 46 track jersey was cut out of the film as much as possible since she was fired due to refusal to fulfill the nudity requirements. Linnea Quigley was hired to replace her.See more »
Continuity: (at around 13 mins) Anne picks up her bag twice in different shots.See more »
[Sally has bungled her gymnastics lesson]
Coach George Michaels:What happened?
Sally:I'm not sure.
Coach George Michaels:What do you mean you're not sure?
Sally:I don't know.
Coach George Michaels:You broke your concentration, that's what happened! I've never seen anything so sloppy!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) (V)See more »
Lucky StrikeSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
5 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Not your average 80s slasher pic..., 7 July 2001
Author: buffyangel from Newcastle, England

I'll start by saying that I am a huge fan of the slasher movies of the early 1980s; flicks such as "Friday The 13th", "Final Exam" and "The House On Sorority Row" hit the spot rather nicely.

"Graduation Day" was one of the first films in this category. Released in 1981, the plotline tells the story of a track-team star runner who drops down dead after a particularly taxing race. Despite the fact that no-one actually killed her (she fell victim to a blood clot), the blame for her death has rested with the track-team coach for the past six months... it appears he worked her too hard.

The runner left behind a loving boyfriend, a loving sister, a loving mother and a hate-filled stepfather. All of these are reunited on Graduation Day, when the sister is invited to receive a special award on behalf of the deceased star. However, the day before graduation -- and literally minutes after the sister appears on campus -- one of the track team is brutally murdered in the college grounds.

Her body is not discovered immediately, and so the usual pre-graduation celebrations are taking place. But, in between these parties and rehearsals, more of the track team are dispatched in truly original style. Still the bodies remain unfound.

So who is this killer? Is it the sister, jealous of the team who survived her younger kin? Could it be the boyfriend, who only true love was taken when an artery burst in her left leg? Has the coach cracked up, after losing his job and being widely blamed for her death? Or is someone else hiding a terrible secret?

"Graduation Day" is a wonderful movie; full of suspense, above average acting and some ingenious plot twists. Various sub-plots are added in an attempt to cloud your prediction of the killer's identity and the ending comes as somewhat of a shock (it did to me, anyway!). When you consider that this is one of the first "campus slashers", it is rather amazing.

Most movies have a few shortcomings, however, and "GD" is no different. I feel that too many 'false scares' were implemented by the director (the first two or three are genuinely scary, but they get rather tiring after this) and about half way through the film we get a five or ten minute 'drag' period which you feel like fast-forwarding through. On the whole, though, these are certainly not major failings and do not impair the film overall.

In summary, I would recommend "Graduation Day" to anyone fond of whodunit slashers like "Final Exam", "Scream", "I Know.." and "Prom Night". Fans of flat-out gore will likely be disappointed as gore is de-emphasised in the movie, but this is all the better IMHO. And whilst "GD" isn't going to win any Oscars, you could do a whole lot worse if you're looking for a fun, scary and clever horror movie.

8 out of 10, BuffyAngel

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