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Gremlins (1984)

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A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.

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7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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John Louie ...
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Grandfather (Mr. Wing)
Don Steele ...
Susan Burgess ...
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Arnie Moore ...
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Man on Street (as Don Elson)
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Storyline

Minature green monsters tear through the small town of Kingston Falls. Hijinks ensue as a mild-mannered bank teller releases these hideous loonies after gaining a new pet and violating two of three simple rules: No water (violated), no food after midnight (violated), and no bright light. Hilarious mayhem and destruction in a town straight out of Norman Rockwell. So, when your washing machine blows up or your TV goes on the fritz, before you call the repair man, turn on all the lights and look under all the beds. 'Cause you never can tell, there just might be a gremlin in your house. Written by James Craver

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Cute. Clever. Mischievous. Intelligent. Dangerous. [Crossed Out] We're Here! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

8 June 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gremlini  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$148,170,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Santa speech proved to be controversial, and studio executives insisted upon its removal because they felt it was too ambiguous as to whether it was supposed to be funny or sad. Joe Dante stubbornly refused to take the scene out, saying it represented the film as a whole, which had a combination of horrific and comedic elements. Steven Spielberg did not like the scene but, despite his creative control, he viewed Gremlins as Dante's project and allowed him to leave it in. See more »

Goofs

Mogwai can't eat after midnight, yet it's never established when they can start eating again (some find it safe to assume they can eat at some point around sunrise). See more »

Quotes

Mr. Jones: [seeing a picture of Ruby Deagle Billy had drawn] The old bat never looked better.
Mr. Jones: It's great. You're doing fine.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the closing credits, once the theme has ended, you can hear the sounds of gremlins laughing. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Diff'rent Strokes: Blue Collar Drummond (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Do You Hear What I Hear?
Performed by Johnny Mathis
Provided courtesy of CBS Records
Written by Noel Regney (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Nobody's got a story like this one. Nobody!
4 August 2000 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

A dark, crazy, twisted, inventive, and violent Christmas classic. There's really no way to classify or categorize Gremlins. It's too mean-spirited to be a kid's film, but not quite intense enough to justify a higher rating (but the 15-rated UK version makes a mockery of the BBFC guidelines).

Gremlins has long been an annual tradition for movie fans. The cozy, snowy atmosphere of Kingston Falls (which appears to be in upstate New York somewhere) is the perfect small town that we all wish we came from. Even when the Gremlins invade it's a homely place to be envious of.

I was frightened of the Gremlins when I was a kid, but they're really nothing more than gigantic smiles with arms and legs. They exist only to have fun at the expense of human life and private property. I suppose they could be a metaphor for hedonism or apathy.

Originally a much more evil script (intended to be an anti-Wonderful Life), Chris Columbus was inspired to write Gremlins as he listened to the rats in his apartment scurry about in the dark during the night. He lightened the material somewhat before filming began, but Joe Dante's wild vision makes it a twisted, festive reality.

Special mention must be made of Jerry Goldsmith's outrageous score and that famous theme tune 'The Gremlin Rag', a demented circus fanfare of anarchy and mayhem. It's crazy to think that over 26 years later it's still never been released on CD.

Gremlins sparked the rise of Chris Columbus as a creative force in Hollywood. Only 25 at the time of filming his career has been made up of classics, and Christmas classics, such as The Goonies, Young Sherlock Holmes, Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Harry Potter, and Bicentennial Man. Joe Dante never scored a bigger hit, but his subsequent career significant;y defined 80s and 90s cinema with movies such as Innerspace, The 'burbs, Gremlins 2, and Small Soldiers. Goldsmith scoring every one of them until his death in 2004.

Neither of them knew the massive franchise and fan-following which Gremlins would provoke, but it certainly deserves it's place in pop culture history.


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