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Poltergeist (1982)

PG | | Fantasy, Horror | 4 June 1982 (USA)
2:26 | Trailer

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



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
539 ( 71)
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 »


Fantasy | Horror


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?


After telling a reporter that he basically directed the movie himself ("Tobe Hooper is not a take charge type guy") Spielberg walked back the comments and issued an apology to Hooper, saying his contribution to the film was invaluable. See more »


When Steven, Diane and Dana are moving furniture out of the way to get into Carol Anne and Robbie's closet, the two beds have had the bed skirts sucked off while the mattresses are undisturbed. 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 »


Referenced in The Real Ghostbusters: Egon on the Rampage (1987) See more »


Carol Anne's Theme
Choir Arranged and Conducted by Paul Samunovich
Orchestra by The London Symphony Orchestra
Choir by The Children's Educational Choir and Elin Carlson
Written, Music and Performed by Jerry Goldsmith
[The music plays over during the ending credits]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

They're Here.
15 March 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Truly spooky and disturbing horror film from the early-1980s that will make you jump from your seat. Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams seem to lead a normal life. He is a successful real estate agent and she is a loving housewife. They have three beautiful children, but one night all that slowly changes. The youngest child (Heather O'Rourke) starts talking to unseen spirits through a scrambled television station. The parents don't think much of it, until furniture starts to move on its own. However, the real terror does not start until O'Rourke is taken to another dimension by "the TV people". Now paranormalists led by Beatrice Straight must come in and try to get O'Rourke back to her family. Tobe Hooper, who is best known for the highly over-rated "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", does an admirable job here with the film's direction. However, it is rumored that Steven Spielberg came in during his "E.T" days and did the bulk of the work. This makes more sense as the film is really frightening and disturbing. The special effects are also impressive and "Poltergeist" ends up being one of those films that just sticks with you for a long time after you first see it. 4 stars out of 5.

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