A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it.



(novel), (screenplay)
1,427 ( 438)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christine Belford ...
William Ostrander ...
Steven Tash ...
Stuart Charno ...
Marc Poppel ...
Robert Darnell ...


In 1957, in Detroit, a red Plymouth Fury is built and is the cause of two accidents, one of them fatal, still in the assembly line. Twenty-one years later, the outcast and bullied nerd Arnold "Arnie" Cunningham is getting a ride with his best and only friend Dennis Guilder and he sees the wrecked car for sale in a garden. Arnie immediately falls in love with the car. The car was given the name Christine by it's first owner. He brings the car to a repair shop of the despicable Will Darnell and works hard to restore the classic car. While he works in the restoration, he changes his personality to a cocky teenager and he dates the most beautiful girl in the high-school, Leigh Cabot. Soon Arnie becomes selfish and jealous of the supernatural Christine that kills everyone that is a threat to them. Written by Mitchell McCreath.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


How do you kill something that can't possibly be alive? See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 December 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Christine  »

Box Office


$9,700,000 (estimated)


$21,200,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie is set in 1978. Keith Gordon, who plays Arnie, was 17 in that year when he starred in Jaws 2 (1978). See more »


When Arnie brings Christine home to get his parents to register the car in their name, Arnie's mother is standing against the kitchen sink, holding a cigarette which switches hands between shots. See more »


Arnie Cunningham: [after taking hands off the steering wheel at high speed, realizing that Dennis is panicking] Don't be scared.
Dennis Guilder: [Voice begins to crack and mildly begins crying] I'm scared for *you*, man, for what's happened to you. It's this fucking car!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits when the titles are appearing, Christine's engine can be heard. See more »


Referenced in Fever Night aka Band of Satanic Outsiders (2009) See more »


Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay
Written by Dave White
Performed by Danny and the Juniors
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
Singular Publishing Co., Inc. & Golden Egg Music, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Hell hath no fury like a Fury scorned...
14 April 2006 | by (Hellfudge, Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

For my Smart Money, "Christine" is one of John Carpenter's most underrated efforts (up there with "Assault on Precinct 13"), and also one of his most effective. Even though its modest look and relative restraint in gore came as a result of "The Thing"'s box-office failure the previous year, and Carpenter has all but admitted his heart wasn't in the project, it ultimately turned out VERY well (if this is an effort from a sleepwalking Carpenter, he's better than most directors when they're awake). As someone who was knocked out by Rob Bottin's intricately gruesome FX work in "The Thing," but left cold by the shallow characters, "Christine" fills in the gaps of suspense and human story with ease. In retrospect, some of the absurd plot elements ("a haunted car," as Carpenter constantly reiterates) lends the film an odd humor that doesn't detract from things (and indeed, it was Stephen King's own infatuation with cars and rock music that inspired this story of obsession). Scenes are composed with great skill by Carpenter (making wonderful use of the widescreen image), and there are many striking images sprinkled throughout (the most incredible being the flaming Christine speeding after a villain). The excellent cast gives their all in making a potential B-movie premise glow with A-list polish: Keith Gordon's Arnie (the painfully square high-school senior who buys the titular vehicle), John Stockwell's Dennis (the resourceful jock and best friend), Alexandra Paul's Leigh (the earthy girlfriend who sparks Christine's jealousy), and Harry Dean Stanton's Junkins (the snooping P.I.) provide this tale with a lot of propulsive force. In a sense, "Christine" is a nice even ground between the zaniness of "Escape from New York" and the FX extremes of "The Thing," and exemplifies Carpenter's range as a director. A very underrated effort that is very much worth your time.

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