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Firestarter (1984)

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



2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Taxi Driver
Curtis Credel ...
Keith Colbert ...
Dick Warlock ...
Knowles (as Richard Warlock)


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


Charlie McGee is a happy, healthy eight-year-old little girl. Normal in every way but one. She has the power to set objects afire with just one glance. It's a power she does not want. It's a power she can't control. And, each night, Charlie prays to be just like every other child. But there are those who will do everything in their power to find her... or destroy her. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 May 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)


$15,100,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 (1982). Carpenter had reportedly talked to his Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) actor, Darwin Joston about taking on the role of John Rainbird, which was ultimately played by George C. Scott. See more »


When Charlie is destroying The Shop's mansion you can clearly see where the set was cut so it could destroyed easily. Right after Charlie sends the second fire ball into the house the shot pans up to the balcony where a man is burning. In that shot you can see where the balcony has been set to be destroyed. You can also see the detcord explosives wrapped around the pillars to cause them to break off at predetermined places. See more »


Irv Manders: I got some tall apologizing to do. There's a line of cars coming up the road. I'll stand with you, if you want. I'll get my deer gun.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in The Simpsons: E Pluribus Wiggum (2008) See more »


Turkey in the Straw
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Take "Carrie" one step further...
16 January 2007 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

If you thought that "Carrie" made incredible use of conflagrations, you ain't seen nothing yet! In Stephen King's other combustion-themed story, "Firestarter" portrays the daughter (Drew Barrymore) of a experimental guinea pig (David Keith) using her ignition abilities to get her way. When the government kidnaps her and her father, things really get ugly.

On one level, this movie seems a little preachy, with the shadowy agents going after the man and his daughter. But I would call that an accurate depiction of things. And you gotta agree with what the girl does, no matter how extreme she gets (and I'm talking really extreme). So I definitely recommend this movie. But if you're a pyromaniac, don't let this movie encourage you.

Also starring Heather Locklear, Martin Sheen, George C. Scott, Art Carney and Louise Fletcher.

18 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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IF a remake ever does happen.... marieheather10
So 'Firepower' means you're immune to bullets? shawnw007
I loved the score by Tangerine Dream. girlloveshorror
Has ANYONE in this film ever heard of... Viv70
Was young Jim Carrey in this? aortta
Remake... effedup
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