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Poltergeist (1982)

PG  |   |  Horror  |  4 June 1982 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 92,108 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 311 user | 204 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

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

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist (1982) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 June 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Juegos diabólicos  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$76,600,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original cut)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though on-screen credit goes to Tobe Hooper, a wealth of evidence suggests that most of the directorial decisions were made by Steven Spielberg. In fact, Spielberg had wanted to direct the film himself, but a clause in his contract stated that while still working on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Spielberg could not direct another film. Members of the cast and crew, including Executive Producer Frank Marshall and actress Zelda Rubinstein, have stated that Spielberg cast the film, directed the actors, and designed every single storyboard for the movie himself. Based on this evidence, the DGA opened a probe into the matter, but found no reason that co-director credit should go to Spielberg. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Carol Anne is being sucked into the closet you can clearly see a fishing line attached to the toy carriage, most likely used to pull it. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Saturday the 14th (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
My favorite film experience
20 March 2007 | by (Philadelphia) – See all my reviews

I noticed that IMDb lists the release dates for films, and laughed here because I could never forget Friday, June 4, 1982, my last day in tenth grade, and about my tenth date with the exceptionally pretty and wonderful young lady I dated throughout most of high school. The weather was perfect, and I took my ladyfriend out for a nice lunch and a walk down Broadway in search of a movie. ET had been the hyped Spielberg film of that summer, but this one was already out, and the thought of a horrified hottie clinging to me for dear life (or vice versa) was irresistible. Poltergeist it was.

Like all Spielberg films, one will not find many weaknesses. The plot will be engaging, the visuals stunning, the acting excellent, and the overall experience first-class. This film did not disappoint.

The restrospectively amusing casting of Craig T. Nelson in the lead. Notable supporting cast include the late Dominique Dunne and the late Healther O'Rourke, both of whom would die tragically in 1988 and 1982, respectively, the earlier by domestic violence and the latter by illness. The loss to Hollywood is still felt to this day as each would likely have Oscars by now. The cast of competent, moderately known talents provided a strong yet muted substance to the special-effects stylings for which Spielberg became so famous.

As I settled in with my date to watch the film, I was equally enthralled both by her touch and the screen. From the moment O'Rourke uttered the to-this-day-chilling "They're here!!," through the amusing plot twist that explains the hauntings (a certain home developer forgot to do something with the gravesite that had previously existed on the land and apparently ticked off some spirits), though the death, destruction, and absolute terror experienced by the hapless protagonist family.

I will never again be fifteen, never again experience the deep cuts to the heart that come with teenage desire, never again wonder if maybe those horror movies could happen in real life, never again will experience the thrill of not having school or any other responsibilities for the next three months, and will never again be as vital or physically capable as I was so effortlessly back then, but to have had that even once, all at the same time, in the greatest city in the world, was absolutely awesome.

Whatever might have been wrong with my life at that age simply did not exist in that theater, during that film, with that date. Anything less than a perfect film would have spoiled what was literally a perfect day. It didn't.


54 of 74 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
Anyone seen the remake? detataandrea
Whispering voices in the TV static? rilian-95781
A little perspective on the "who directed Poltergeist" question sgladwin
Okay I am on record as loving this movie LoneWolfArcher
Dana (the older daughter) may have an eating disorder albert-carpenter
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