Christine
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Christine can be found here.

Geeky Arnold 'Arnie' Cunningham (Keith Gordon) buys a rusted out, 20 year old, 1958 Plymouth Fury named 'Christine'. As Arnie works on restoring the car, he starts to change, becoming distant from his friends, obsessed with Christine, and developing a cocky arrogance totally opposite from himself. Arnie's girlfriend Leigh Cabot (Alexandra Paul) and best friend Dennis Guilder (John Stockwell) become worried about Arnie when they learn that he is becoming like Christine's previous owner, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning six weeks earlier while in the car. Convinced that the car has supernatural tendencies, Leigh and Dennis decide that the only way they can help their friend is to destroy Christine. But Christine has other plans.

Yes. Christine is a 1983 novel by American horror writer Stephen King. The novel was adapted for the screen by American screenwriter Bill Phillips.

According to the movie, Christine was evil from the day she rolled off the assembly line, injuring an inspector and killing another worker who dropped cigar ashes on her seat. In the book, Christine was just a normal '58 Plymouth Fury that was purchased by Roland LeBay, brother of George LeBay (Roberts Blossom), the man who sold Christine to Arnie in the movie. It's Roland LeBay who made Christine evil, his love for Christine overriding even his love for his wife and daughter, both of whom died in the car. Thus, Roland's evil spirit became one with Christine. In both the movie and the book, Christine could drive herself and repair any damage so long as she was kept moving. When Roland died and with no one to love her and drive her around, Christine ceased 'living' and began to show her age...until Arnie came along. Roland's evil spirit and love for Christine was then transferred to Arnie.

Although he might have suspected, Arnie becomes certain when Christine begins to repair her engine after it is smashed by Buddy Repperton (William Ostrander) and his gang. That's when Arnie stands back and says to Christine, 'Show me.' In the book, Arnie is probably aware much sooner because Will Darnell (Robert Prosky), the garage owner, says that he often saw Arnie not working on the car, just pushing it around the junkyard. When the car was in good enough condition to be driven, then Arnie would just drive it in circles around the junkyard in back of Darnell's. Arnie must have figured out that Christine was capable of regenerating herself if she was kept in motion.

How does the movie end?

Leigh and Dennis meet at Darnell's. Dennis hotwires a caterpillar, and they wait for Christine to come through the garage door. Dennis tells Leigh to go into the office and lower the door after Christine enters in order to trap her inside. Leigh gets out of the cat and heads for the office. Suddenly, Christine barrels out from under a pile of old wood. Leigh runs to the office door but finds it locked. Dennis starts up the cat while Leigh tries to evade Christine. Christine smashes into the office and back out, parking at the opposite end of the garage in order to repair herself. It now becomes apparent that Arnie is driving. Leigh takes refuge in the office, and Christine comes at her again. When Christine slams into the office a second time, Arnie comes flying through the window in front of Leigh. He makes a grab for her, then slides forward and caresses Christine's bumper instead. As Arnie dies, Christine's headlights go out. Leigh exits the office to tell Dennis that Arnie is dead. Suddenly Christine's light and radio come back on, and she goes into reverse. Leigh just manages to get out of the way in time. Dennis latches onto Christine's rear end with the cat, and she eventually stops. Leigh climbs into the cat to hug Dennis. Suddenly Christine starts up again and starts repairing herself. 'NO,' says Dennis and runs the cat over Christine again and again, smashing her until she is totally demolished. In the final scene, Dennis, Leigh, and Detective Junkins (Harry Dean Stanton) watch Christine get compacted into a square and dumped into the junkyard. They hear music playing, but it is only a man with a portable radio. As the camera focuses on the compacted Christine and the credits roll, a piece of the grill slowly begins to bend.

When Christine is out murdering people, the windows are blackened out so no one can see in. The producers did this to easily hide the stunt drivers. However, this raises the question of whether Arnie was performing the murders with Christine's help or the car was doing it all by herself. Arnie always has an alibi for where he was when the people were dying, but the audience never sees him during these times. In the end battle, Christine's window breaks, and everyone can see Arnie inside. The question is ultimately up to the viewers to decide. The strongest case against him being in the car is the scene where Christine returns to Darnell's and is empty. Arnie could have snuck out when Darnell was on the phone, though he definitely would have been severely burned giving the condition of the inside. In the book, it is made quite clear that the car is empty, except for the ghost of Christine's previous owner Roland LeBay, and Arnie was definitely elsewhere during these times.

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 9 months ago
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