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Firestarter (1984)

 -  Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller  -  11 May 1984 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 19,528 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 37 critic

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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Curtis Credel ...
Keith Colbert ...
Dick Warlock ...
Knowles (as Richard Warlock)
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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:

If you get on her bad side...YOU'RE TOAST. 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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$15,100,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of six filmed adaptations of a Stephen King story produced in some capacity by Dino De Laurentiis. The movies include Firestarter (1984), Cat's Eye (1985), Silver Bullet (1985), Maximum Overdrive (1986), The Dead Zone (1983) and Sometimes They Come Back (1991). See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Charlie's abilities are being tested in the lab, she completely incinerates a cinder brick wall. Yet, the ice blocks do not boil until after she turns her attention to them. If the room is hot enough to warp stainless steel doors, wouldn't these ice blocks have been vaporized long before? See more »

Quotes

Charlie McGee: [to Andy] If I do something bad, will you still love me?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the credits, "Special Effects" is misspelled as "Speical Effects". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Christine: Finish Line (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Turkey in the Straw
(uncredited)
Traditional
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An Awkward Adaptation
26 October 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The main problem with "Firestarter" is it tries to adapt the story of the book faithfully, at the expense of character development. It is impossible to cram a five hundred page book into one two hour movie and make it work favourably. For much of the picture, the pacing feels awkward and rushed, more interested in moving the plot along than developing the characters.

Brian De Palma's "Carrie" followed the story of the book just as closely. But seeing as "Carrie" is less than half the length of "Firestarter", it made for a much more comfortable adaptation.

Stanley Kubrick had the right idea with "the Shining". The book was about the same length as "Firestarter", and as a result the plot was butchered heavily to make it work for the screen. Stephen King (and much of his loyal fanbase) have misgivings about Kubrick's adaptation, a lot of people who love film (and recognise it as the different medium that it is) regard it as a masterpiece.

Mark Lester's "Firestarter" isn't all bad however. George C. Scott's John Rainbird is inspired casting, and probably the best thing this film has going for it. The scene at the Manders' farm, and the conclusion at the Shop's headquarters make for enjoyable viewing and are handled capably.

It's a shame, that as a whole, the film doesn't work too well. I'd definitely like to see this re-adapted into another film or a mini-series. The book isn't exactly King's best, but it has a lot of potential for another screen outing. 5/10


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