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Firestarter (1984)

A couple who participated in a potent medical experiment gain telekinetic ability and then have a child who is pyrokinetic.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Taxi Driver
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Orville Jamieson
Curtis Credel ...
Bates
Keith Colbert ...
Mayo
...
Knowles (as Richard Warlock)
...
Steinowitz
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Storyline

Andrew and Vicky McGee met while earning money as guinea pigs for an experiment at college. The experiment was shrouded in suspicion and mystery, and seemed to be related to psychic abilities. The two were married and had a daughter Charile, who has the ability to start fires by merely thinking about it. Naturally, the government takes a great interest in Charlie, and operatives from the secret department known as "The Shop" want to quarrantine and study her. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She has the power . . . an evil destructive force. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 May 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$15,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(none)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cast featured three actors who had won Academy Awards for acting. George C. Scott and Art Carney had won Best Actor Oscars for Patton (1970) and Harry and Tonto (1974) respectively whilst Louise Fletcher had won a Best Actress Oscar for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). See more »

Goofs

In Charlie's first test, the technician has to use a card key to run out of the room. You see him use it and hear the doors rumble open. A second later, the focus is on Charlie, and we can hear the rumble of the doors closing. Yet, as Rainbird points out, Charlie walks out the doors which have somehow re-opened without the need for a key. See more »

Quotes

Irv Manders: I don't care if they're wanted for assassinating the president. Show me a warrant, or get the hell off my land!
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Crazy Credits

[unused disclaimer, written for end titles; ended up on cutting-room floor] FIRESTARTER contains a purely fictional account of a small group of ruthless and corrupt scientific researchers and national-intelligence agents. These characters do not represent the United States government, and it would be erroneous and unfair to suggest that they do. The vast majority of North American intelligence and research personnel have demonstrated the utmost moral sense, regard for civilian welfare, and worthiness of the public trust. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Saturday Night Live: Drew Barrymore/Lily Allen (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Turkey in the Straw
(uncredited)
Traditional
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Thrillling story about a little girl whose parents acquired phenomenal mental powers and who herself can set anything on fire
21 October 2012 | by See all my reviews

Suspenseful and terrifying entertainment that goes beyond its genre , dealing with a girl who has the unwanted and often uncontrollable gift of Pyrokinesis, as a result of a government experiment , lighting fires by mere thought . A couple Victoria 'Vicky' Tomlinson McGee (Heather Locklear of Dynasty) and Andy McGee (David Keith , he was 14th choice) who participated in a potent medical experiment gain telekinetic ability and then have a child named Charlene 'Charlie' McGee (Jennifer Connelly , Taylor Neff were considered and Bridgette Andersen, the star of Savannah Smiles, tested for the role of Charlie, ultimately played by Drew Barrymore) who is pyrokinetic . Charlie McGee (whose character was modeled on King's daughter Naomi) has an extraordinary power (or is that haunted) , sometimes uncontrollable and an evil destructive force . Meanwhile a secret government agency known as "The Shop" led by Captain Hollister (Martin Sheen took over at a late stage from Burt Lancaster who had to withdraw following heart surgery) and send a sniper named John Rainbird (George C Scott) and plot to kidnap the duo for study them and testing their abilities.

This exciting tale packs noisy action , explosions , suspense , thriller , chills , poignant plot and results to be an enjoyable though frightening entertainment , including some silly and embarrassing scenes . The movie delivers the goods with hair-rising thrills as when the little girl executes the astonishing abilities . It stars Drew Barrymore in one of her first roles after E.T. , as the gifted child of the title who has the ability to ignite objects around her . David Keith is good as the daddy who attempts to protect her from the nasties . Secondary cast is frankly excellent as Freddie Jones as Doctor Joseph Wanley , Art Carney as Irv Manders , Louise Fletcher as Norma Manders , Moses Gunn as Doctor Pynchot and Antonio Fargas as a Cabman . The fire special effects , themselves , of course , are the real protagonists , and they're surprising , astounding, and quite convincing . The special effects gave work to a great number of technician people and lots of stunts . This film was originally going to be directed by John Carpenter. According to Carpenter, Universal executives removed him from the project in the wake of the box office and critical drubbing they received for The Thing ,Carpenter had reportedly talked to his Assault on Precinct 13 actor, Darwin Joston about taking on the role of John Rainbird, which was ultimately played by George C. Scott . Strange soundtrack by Tangerine Dream was composed and performed by means of synthesizer ,they never actually saw the film and sent filmmaker some music and told him to choose whatever he liked . It was followed by ¨Firestarter 2 : rekindled¨ (2002) by Robert Iscove with Marguerite Moreau as Charlene "Charlie" McGee , Malcolm McDowell , Dennis Hopper and Danny Nucci and in which Charlie has been in hiding for nearly all her life from a top-secret government fringe group headed by a maniacal who wants to find and use her as the ultimate weapon of war.

The motion picture was well produced by Dino Laurentiis and professionally directed by Mark L. Lester. Director Mark L. Lester confirmed that this is his most difficult film that he ever made . He's a cool director and producer -American World Pictures- of B movies , his greatest success was during the 80s when he directed hits , such as ¨Commando¨, ¨Showdown in Little Tokio¨ and ¨Class of 99¨ and this ¨Firestarter¨.


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