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Poltergeist (1982)

 -  Horror  -  4 June 1982 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 78,094 users  
Reviews: 289 user | 170 critic

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 ...
Marty (as Marty Casello)
...
...
...
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:

From a dimension beyond the living, a terror to scare you to death. 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:

$6,896,612 (USA) (4 June 1982)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

When questioned about who had the greater control over Poltergeist (1982), Steven Spielberg or Tobe Hooper, Spielberg replied "Tobe isn't... a take-charge sort of guy. If a question was asked and an answer wasn't immediately forthcoming, I'd jump in and say what we could do. Tobe would nod agreement, and that became the process of our collaboration." Co-producer Frank Marshall spoke out to the press and claimed "the creative force of the movie was Steven. Tobe was the director and was on set every day. But Steven did the design for every storyboard and was only absent for three days during the shoot, because he was in Hawaii with (George) Lucas." Hooper later claimed that he did half of the storyboards. Spielberg then sent a letter to Hooper to clarify matters: "Regrettably, some of the press has misunderstood the rather unique, creative relationship you and I shared throughout the making of Poltergeist. I enjoyed your openness in allowing me...a wide berth for creative involvement, just as I know you were happy with the freedom you had to direct Poltergeist so wonderfully. Through the screenplay you accepted a vision of this very intense movie from the start, and as the director, you delivered the goods. You performed responsibly and professionally throughout, and I wish you great success on your next project." Zelda Rubinstein disagreed. While Hooper set up the shots, it was Spielberg who made the adjustments, and most of the time, Hooper was "only partially there" on set. The issue then of who had creative control over Poltergeist (1982) is still a muddy issue even today. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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 Veronica Mars: Charlie Don't Surf (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Steven Spielberg's ghost story
2 June 2004 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

"Poltergeist" is Steven Spielberg's vision of a ghost story, and a great one at that. This is an outstanding movie in every way possible. It has terrific acting, a good story to tell, a nice sense of humor, and astonishing special effects. Plus when I first saw this film, it was pretty scary.

"Poltergeist" tells the story of a suburban family living in a small town in California who's home is abruptly invaded by supernatural forces who are anything but friendly, and proceed to terrorize the entire clan. This is a movie that plays like a roller-coaster ride, and once it gets going it never stops.

Tobe Hooper, who directed the original 1974 cult classic "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", was picked by Spielberg to direct "Poltergeist". He does a fine job of creating scares and tension, even though rumors were floating around that writer/producer Spielberg actually stepped in and directed some of the film (Spielberg went on to say that Hooper was the director of "Poltergeist" even though Spielberg was very much involved with this film from start to finish). To me, it doesn't matter who directed it. This is still an excellent horror movie. Spielberg did a great job as writer/producer, and even if he had directed the whole movie it would still be as good. JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson are wonderful as the head of the Freeling family, with Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, and Heather O'Rourke equally good as their kids. The late Oscar-winning actress Beatrice Straight ("Network") scores points as a parapsycologist investigating the hauntings, and Zelda Rubinstein steals scenes as the mysterious clairvoyant brought in to "clean house". The acting is great, but it's the Oscar-nominated special effects that dominate. Wow! This horror film is a must-see!

***** (out of five)


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