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Poltergeist (1982)

PG  |   |  Horror  |  4 June 1982 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 97,482 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 318 user | 213 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Diane Freeling (as Jobeth Williams)
Virginia Kiser ...
Martin Casella ...
Lou Perryman ...
Pugsley (as Lou Perry)
Clair E. Leucart ...
Bulldozer Driver (as Clair Leucart)
Jeff Shaw


A young family are visited by ghosts in their home. At first the ghosts appear friendly, moving objects around the house to the amusement of everyone, then they turn nasty and start to terrorise the family before they "kidnap" the youngest daughter. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Some things have to be believed to be seen. See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 June 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Juegos diabólicos  »

Box Office


$10,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,896,612 (USA) (4 June 1982)


$76,600,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (original cut)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints) (as Dolby Stereo)| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


(at around 34 mins) There is a 'jump cut' from the scene where Diane is explaining to Steven about the feeling you get when the spirit pulls you across the floor. The scene jumps mid sentence to the scene where they are both on their neighbours doorstep, again in mid sentence. The reason for the cut was because in the original scene Steven says how he hates Pizza Hut. The scene was edited (rather crudely) after Pizza Hut took offence. See more »


After Carol Anne's abduction, when he brings the parapsychologists to the house for the first time, Steve tells them that they keep the kids' room locked at all times and is seen using a key to unlock it when showing it to them. Yet later Diane is seen briefly opening the door without using a key. See more »


[first lines]
Carol Anne: Hello? What do you look like? Talk louder, I can't hear you! Hey, hello! Hello, I can't hear you! Five. Yes. Yes. I don't know. I don't know.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits and the logo of the MGM lion is shown, we hear children laughing. Fans of the film have assumed that the laughing children are those who have been released from the beast and have crossed over the threshold into the next life. See more »


The Star-Spangled Banner
(1814) (uncredited)
Music based on "The Anacreontic Song" by John Stafford Smith
Arranged by Arturo Toscanini
[Played as TV sign-off music several times]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good Scary Fun!!!
8 April 2004 | by (New England) – See all my reviews

I am not going to go into all the controversy surrounding this movie...everybody knows about the various deaths of cast members, as well as questions over who actually directed "Poltergeist". What I will decribe in this review are my feelings concerning the movie.

"Poltergeist" is a good scary picture which will not only entertain you, but will make you wonder what originally occupied the land where your home is currently standing. This movie makes good use of foreshadowing and building of tensions to move a viewer to believe what they are actually seeing is really happening. While giving the "funeral" for the pet bird, Robbie asks if they can later dig it up so they can "see the bones". At the end of the film he is indeed treated to seeing "dug up bones", only they were not ones he had in mind.

Great movie, great acting, great scary fun! A+

34 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
15 year old daughter, underwear and no brah? Old men hitting on her lol DreadFox
Does the ending cemetery reveal make sense? Domzer
What happened to the dog? tapio_hietamaki
Whispering voices in the TV static? rilian-95781
Anyone seen the remake? detataandrea
Twilight Zone "Little Lost Girl" 1962 original idea for Poltergeist? teresah233
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