IMDb > Happy Birthday to Me (1981)
Happy Birthday to Me
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Happy Birthday to Me (1981) More at IMDbPro »

Happy Birthday to Me -- Virginia (Melissa Sue Anderson) is proud that she belongs to a clique. The best students at a private school. But before her 18th birthday, a grueling set of murders take place and her friends are the ones who are falling prey. Could it be her? She suffers from balckouts due to a freak accident oneyear earlier. We soon learn the truth behind her accident and what is going on....


User Rating:
6.0/10   5,335 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
No change in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John C.W. Saxton (screenplay) &
Peter Jobin (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Happy Birthday to Me on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 May 1981 (USA) See more »
It'll be a killer party! [DVD] See more »
At the snobby Crawford Academy, Virginia's group of friends start to go missing years after horrible events that happened to her as a child around her birthday. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 nominations See more »
(127 articles)
Drive-In Dust Offs: Curtains
 (From DailyDead. 6 February 2016, 11:47 AM, PST)

200 Greatest Horror Films (190-181)
 (From SoundOnSight. 2 October 2015, 9:44 PM, PDT)

Perry Remembers Late Mom
 (From Access Hollywood. 13 September 2015, 3:23 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Reasonable slasher with a silly finalé that takes the cake! See more (117 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Melissa Sue Anderson ... Virginia Wainwright

Glenn Ford ... Dr. David Faraday

Lawrence Dane ... Hal Wainwright
Sharon Acker ... Estelle Wainwright
Frances Hyland ... Mrs. Patterson

Tracey E. Bregman ... Ann Thomerson (as Tracey Bregman)
Jack Blum ... Alfred Morris

Matt Craven ... Steve Maxwell

Lenore Zann ... Maggie
David Eisner ... Rudi

Lisa Langlois ... Amelia
Michel-René Labelle ... Etienne Vercures (as Michel Rene Labelle)
Richard Rebiere ... Greg Hellman

Lesleh Donaldson ... Bernadette O'Hara
Earl Pennington ... Lieutenant Tracy
Murray Westgate ... Gatekeeper
Jérôme Tiberghien ... Prof. Heregard (as Jerome Tiberghien)
Maurice Podbrey ... Dr. Feinblum

Vlasta Vrana ... Bartender
Walter Massey ... Conventioneer Leader
Griffith Brewer ... Verger
Allan Katz ... Ann's Date (as Alan Katz)

Ron Lea ... Amelia's Date
Terry Haig ... Feinblum's Assistant
Karen Stephen ... Ms. Calhoun
Louis Del Grande ... Surgeon
Nicholas Kilbertus ... Anesthetist (as Nick Kilbertus)
Damir Andrei ... Junior Surgeon
Gina Dick ... Waitress Ingrid
Stephanie Miller ... Hospital Nurse
Stephen Mayoff ... Police Officer (as Steven Mayoff)
Aram Barkev ... Conventioneer
Alan Barnett ... Conventioneer
Paul Board ... Conventioneer
Marc DeGagne ... Conventioneer
Bruce Gooding ... Conventioneer
Victor Knight ... Conventioneer
Rollie Nincheri ... Conventioneer
Keith Sutherland ... Conventioneer
Herbert Vool ... Conventioneer
Len Watt ... Conventioneer
Joe Wertheimer ... Conventioneer
Nancy Allan ... Cheerleader
Karen Hynes ... Cheerleader
Tracy-Marie Langdon ... Cheerleader
Debbie McGellin ... Cheerleader
Kathy Reid ... Cheerleader
Lori Timmons ... Cheerleader
Debbie Tull ... Cheerleader
Lynn Wilson ... Cheerleader
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michael Santiago ... Voice (uncredited)
Mark Zilbert ... Crawford Student (uncredited)

Directed by
J. Lee Thompson 
Writing credits
John C.W. Saxton (screenplay) (as John Saxton) &
Peter Jobin (screenplay) &
Timothy Bond (screenplay)

John C.W. Saxton (story) (as John Saxton)

John Beaird  uncredited

Produced by
John Dunning .... producer
Stewart Harding .... line producer
André Link .... producer (as Andre Link)
Lawrence Nesis .... associate producer
Original Music by
Bo Harwood 
Lance Rubin 
Cinematography by
Miklós Lente (director of photography) (as Miklos Lente)
Film Editing by
Debra Karen 
Production Design by
Earl G. Preston  (as Earl Preston)
Costume Design by
Huguette Gagné  (as Hugette Gagne)
Makeup Department
Jocelyne Bellemare .... makeup artist
Thomas R. Burman .... special makeup effects artist
Normande Campeau .... assistant makeup artist
Monique Cogez .... assistant makeup artist
Bob Pritchett .... hairdresser
Benjamin Robin .... assistant hairdresser
Production Management
Ginette Hardy .... production manager
Estelle Lemieux .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles Braive .... assistant director
Charles Braive .... second unit director
Robbie Ditchburn .... third assistant director (as Robert Ditchburn)
François Ouimet .... second assistant director (as Francois Ouimet)
Art Department
Claude Benoît .... second assistant art director (as Claude Benoit)
Charles Bernier .... set props
Andre Brochu .... construction manager (as André Brochu)
Brian Campbell .... art department assistant
Ryal Cosgrove .... assistant set props
Michel Dernuet .... assistant art director
Jim Hodgson .... art department assistant
Mark Montebello .... art department assistant
Réal Paré .... art department assistant (as Real Paré)
David Phillips .... property-vehicle coordinator
Armand Thomas .... assistant set dresser
Katherine Wadas .... set buyer
Sound Department
Jeff Bushelman .... sound effects
Robert Fernandez .... sound re-recording mixer
Les Fresholtz .... sound re-recording mixer (as Les Fresholz)
Peter Lee-Thompson .... sound supervisor (as Peter Thompson)
Richard Lightstone .... production sound mixer
Jean-Claude Matte .... boom operator (as Jean Claude Matte)
Stanley H. Polinsky .... sound re-recording mixer (as Stan Polinsky)
Susan Schneir .... sound: second unit
Pat Somerset .... sound effects
Jim Thompson .... boom operator
Special Effects by
Gilles Aird .... special effects technician
France Belisle .... special effects technician
Louis Craig .... special effects technician
Bill Doane .... special effects coordinator
Jacques Godbout .... special effects technician
King Hernandez .... special effects coordinator
Warren Keillor .... special effects coordinator
Ron Ottesen .... special effects coordinator (as Ron Otteson)
Brad Bovee .... stunt performer
Susan Charest .... stunt performer
Bennie E. Dobbins .... stunt performer (as Bennie Dobbins)
Lyne Fournier .... stunt performer
Tony Jefferson .... stunt performer
Max Kleven .... stunt coordinator
Jean Lysight .... stunt performer
Dwayne McLean .... stunt performer
Karen Pike .... stunt performer
Eve Robin .... stunt performer
Ben Scott .... stunt performer
John-Clay Scott .... stunt performer (as John Clay Scott)
Jérôme Tiberghien .... stunt performer (as Jerome Tiberghien)
Tim Rabbitt .... stunt location manager (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
François Aubry .... lighting technician
Michel Bernier .... second assistant camera
Don Burgess .... camera operator: second unit
Pierre Charpentier .... grip
Jean-Louis Daoust .... key grip
David Douglas .... camera operator
Mathieu Décary .... focus puller (as Mathieu Decary)
Claude Gingras .... grip
Charles Hughes .... best boy
Michael A. Jones .... camera operator: second unit (as Michael Jones)
Jacques LeFlaguais .... grip
Emmanuel Lepine .... grip
Moshe Levin .... camera operator: second unit (as Mosh Levine)
John Lewin .... electrician
Ernst Michel .... camera operator: second unit
Piroska Mihalka .... still photographer
Walter Nichols .... electric: second unit
Jacques Paquet .... electrician
Gérald Proulx .... electrician (as Gerald Proulx)
Guy Rémillard .... generator operator (as Guy Remillard)
Don Saari .... gaffer (as Donald Saari)
Eddy Trempe .... generator operator
Casting Department
Francine Brasseur .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marie-Hélène Gascon .... wardrobe mistress (as Marie Helene Gascon)
Élisabeth Lamy .... wardrobe assistant (as Elizabeth Lamy)
Denys Proulx .... wardrobe assistant
Editorial Department
Jacqueline Carmody .... assistant editor (as Jaki Carmody)
Michaël Karen .... assistant editor (as Michael Karen)
Music Department
Dan Wallin .... music scoring mixer
Shinichi Yamazaki .... music editor
Transportation Department
Neil Bibby .... transportation captain
Michael Borlace .... driver
Michel Cote .... driver
Jim Disensi .... driver
John Ellis .... driver
Victoria Frodsham .... driver
Christopher Gilmore .... driver
Sidney Goldberg .... driver
Marc Hébert .... driver
Edward Sanden .... driver
Other crew
David Bailey .... assistant location manager
Giselle Bolduc .... craft service (as Gisele Bolduc)
Linda Browne .... script supervisor
Monique Champagne .... continuity
Alain Desrosiers .... production assistant
Lucie Drolet .... production accountant
Gregory Dunning .... production assistant
Kathy Flynn .... secretary to the director
Leo Gregory .... production controller
Michael Klingbell .... animal trainer: Winston and George (as Mike Klingbell)
Carole LaFlamme .... production secretary
Beverly Lev .... production assistant
Trudi Link .... production accountant
Irene Litinsky .... executive assistant to producer
Marilyn Majerczyk .... assistant to line producer
Elizabeth Morris .... unit publicist
Cary Ross .... location manager
Danae Vilandre .... production typist
Kathy Wolf .... production typist
Stuart Woolley .... production assistant
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:110 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:18 | Australia:R | Canada:R (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Canada:14A (Ontario) (re-rating) (2009) | Chile:18 (original rating) | Finland:(Banned) | France:12 | Iceland:(Banned) | Ireland:18 | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:R16 | Norway:(Banned) (1981) | Peru:18 | Singapore:NC-16 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (video re-rating) (2004) | UK:18 (video rating) (1986) | USA:R | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

No official soundtrack was ever manufactured for the movie.See more »
Continuity: Virginia remembers a car hitting the water upside down. We are shown this memory several times in quick succession, but in the final shot of that succession, the car is right side up.See more »
[first lines]
Mrs. Patterson:[to her attacking dog] Winston! Winston! Winston, just stop it, bad boy. Sit down. Sit!
Bernadette O'Hara:Oh, Mrs. Patterson.
Mrs. Patterson:Bernadette O'Hara, do you have any idea what time it is? Where are you going?
Bernadette O'Hara:Well, I, I was just going up to the village to meet some of the kids at the inn.
Mrs. Patterson:You mean the second home for the Crawford top 10, don't you?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Mr. Jingles (2006) (V)See more »
Happy Birthday to MeSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
8 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Reasonable slasher with a silly finalé that takes the cake!, 4 December 2008
Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England

With seasoned pro J. Lee Thompson behind the camera, well known TV actress Melissa Sue Anderson in the lead role (hoping to make the transition from the small screen star to movie star), and veteran actor Glenn Ford giving able support, Canadian slasher Happy Birthday To Me is a far more competently made film than many of its contemporaries: the direction, cinematography, editing, lighting and acting are all top notch.

Unfortunately, it is this very slickness, along with the rather convoluted plot, lack of gore, and very silly finalé, that prevented this from being as enjoyable as I had hoped; I guess I just prefer my 80s slashers to be simpler, cheaper, nastier, and just a little more willing to shock!

Anderson plays Virginia Wainwright, newest member of the 'Top Ten', a clique of rich kids at exclusive private school, The Crawford Academy. After a game of chicken almost results in a terrible accident, Virginia begins to have flashbacks to a similar incident which claimed the life of her mother and left her with terrible injuries to her brain. When a gloved killer starts to stalk and kill the 'Top Ten', Virginia begins to wonder if she is the person responsible for the grisly murders...

Thompson, the director of highly regarded classic Cape Fear, puts his obvious skills to use, making the most of the silly script and delivering some well executed scenes of mayhem: the road race at the beginning wouldn't have looked out of place in a modern action movie, whilst the first death is worthy of an Argento giallo. However, the plot is so silly that even a skilled director like Thompson, with over thirty years experience, struggles to hold things together. The film eventually becomes a mess of disappointing gore-less deaths (the MPAA apparently cut some of the bloodier moments before its original release) and silly red herrings, and at times it also feels rather restrained (there is no nudity, despite there being the obligatory shower scene).

Thankfully, there is a sufficiently twisted ending, with the manky murder victims assembled around a table to take part in a macabre birthday party, although the final revelation is so daft that any suspense or terror is quickly dissipated.

After Happy Birthday To Me, Anderson returned to TV, Ford was given flack from critics for his appearance, and Thompson's career went downhill (King Solomon's Mines, anyone?); despite all this, the film isn't THAT awful, and should be of some interest to fans of the genre, if only for the infamous shish-kebab scene that featured on the excellent poster.

5.5 out of 10, rounded up to 6 for IMDb.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (117 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Happy Birthday to Me (1981)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I MEET MAGGIE supermark3434
Amelia badabing1
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Black Christmas Terror Train Torso Phenomena Like Minds
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Horror section IMDb Canada section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.