6.0/10
24,902
103 user 61 critic

Firestarter (1984)

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel),

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Taxi Driver
...
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:

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 »


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

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 »

Goofs

When Andy is walking with Captain Hollister and is about to 'push' him, you can see a dark bloody line under Andy's nose. But this only occurs after he 'pushes' someone. This would appear to indicate the scene was shot repeatedly. See more »

Quotes

Charlie McGee: Where's my father?
Captain Hollister: He's fine. He's happy, and he sends his love, and he wants you to cooperate with us.
Charlie McGee: You're a liar!
Captain Hollister: Now, what kinda talk is that from a nice little girl like you?
Charlie McGee: GO TO HELL!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Final Twist (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Turkey in the Straw
(uncredited)
Traditional
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not spectacular, but good
2 February 1999 | by See all my reviews

Firestarter is one of those movies that bores critics and often appears as weekend or late night filler on TV. Even so, the movie does have its moments. Give it a chance, and Firestarter will grow on you.

Fans of the X Files will be at home with the movie's plot about an experimental drug given to 60s college students by a secret government agency, known as The Shop. Two of the students (portrayed by David Keith and Heather Locklear) eventually marry and a child is born; a "firestarter" (played by Drew Barrymore) who can set anything ablaze with just one angry thought. Martin Sheen and George C. Scott round out the cast as heads of The Shop, who are now bent on capturing the girl and harnessing her power as a weapon, not to mention using her as a way to get funding for more experiments.

The acting and dialogue certainly aren't award-winning, but they do carry the movie along. The music, written and performed by Tangerine Dream, is perfectly suited to the movie, and in my opinion is some of Tangerine Dream's best work. The special effects are convincing, and at times, chilling. Readers of Stephen King's best-selling novel will be happy to know that this movie is, for the most part, faithful to his original story, despite a rather clipped ending.

In all, if you have a taste for conspiracy thrillers with a healthy dose of science fiction thrown in, you'll like this one, though it probably won't be your favorite.


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