IMDb > A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street
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A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) More at IMDbPro »

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A Nightmare on Elm Street -- In the dreams of his victims, a specteral child murderer stalks the children of the members of the lynch mob that killed him.
A Nightmare on Elm Street -- In the dreams of his victims, a specteral child murderer stalks the children of the members of the lynch mob that killed him.
A Nightmare on Elm Street -- In the dreams of his victims, a specteral child murderer stalks the children of the members of the lynch mob that killed him.

Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   110,326 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Wes Craven (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Nightmare on Elm Street on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 November 1984 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
She is the only one who can stop it... if she fails, no one survives. See more »
Plot:
In the dreams of his victims, a spectral child murderer stalks the children of the members of the lynch mob that killed him. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
You'll never want to fall asleep again See more (606 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
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Directed by
Wes Craven 
 
Writing credits
Wes Craven (written by)

Produced by
John H. Burrows .... associate producer (as John Burrows)
Stanley Dudelson .... executive producer
Sara Risher .... co-producer
Robert Shaye .... producer
Joseph Wolf .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Charles Bernstein 
 
Cinematography by
Jacques Haitkin 
 
Film Editing by
Patrick McMahon (co-editor) (as Pat McMahon)
Rick Shaine 
 
Casting by
Annette Benson 
 
Production Design by
Gregg Fonseca  (as Greg Fonseca)
 
Set Decoration by
Anne H. Ahrens  (as Anne Huntley)
 
Costume Design by
Dana Lyman 
 
Makeup Department
Kathryn Fenton .... makeup artist (as Kathy Logan)
RaMona Fleetwood .... key hair stylist (as RaMona)
David B. Miller .... special makeup effects artist (as David Miller)
Mark Bryan Wilson .... makeup effects assistant (as Mark Wilson)
Louis Lazzara .... special makeup effects artist (uncredited)
Mark Shostrom .... foam latex technician (uncredited)
 
Production Management
John H. Burrows .... production manager (as John Burrows)
Amy Rabins .... production supervisor
Rachel Talalay .... assistant production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nicholas Batchelor .... first assistant director (as Nick Batchelor)
Peter C. Graupner .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Dorree Cooper .... set dresser
Don Diers .... art department assistant
Bill Kroyer .... storyboard artist
Kara Lindstrom .... assistant props
Michael Listorti .... swing gang (as Michael E. Listorti)
Timaree McCormick .... assistant props
Gavin McCune .... swing gang
Barbara Metzenbaum .... art department assistant
Mix .... set carpenter
John Krenz Reinhart Jr. .... construction coordinator (as John Reinhart)
John Stadelman .... prop master
Craig Clark .... storyboard artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Jack Cooley .... sound re-recording mixer
James LaRue .... sound mixer
Al Nahmias .... sound editor (as Albert Nahmias)
Greg Nave .... boom operator
Abe Nejad .... assistant sound editor
Jess Soraci .... supervising sound editor
Karen I. Stern .... looping editor
Ron Kalish .... sound editor (uncredited)
Holger M. Thiele .... additional sound designer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Tassilo Baur .... special effects assistant
Charles Belardinelli .... special effects assistant
Lou Carlucci .... special effects assistant
Jim Doyle .... mechanical special effects design
Peter Kelly .... special effects assistant
Larry Lapointe .... special effects assistant
Christina Rideout .... special effects assistant
Jim Rynning .... special effects assistant
Jamie Upham .... special effects assistant (as James Upham)
William Guest .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Cynthia Brannon .... stunts
Bruce Carson .... stunts
Anthony Cecere .... stunt coordinator
Anthony Cecere .... stunts
Kerrie Cullen .... stunts
Jeff Habberstad .... stunts
Leslie Hoffman .... stunts
Christina Johnson .... stunts
Maggie Koehnen .... stunts
Larry Phillips .... stunts
Don Pike .... stunts
Christina Rideout .... stunts
Tanya Russell .... stunts (as Tanya Lee Russell)
Paul Shaver .... stunts
Jim Stern .... stunts (as Jim Stearns)
Cindy Wills .... stunts
Sandy Wilson .... stunts
Debby Porter .... stunts (uncredited)
George A. Sack Jr. .... stunt driver (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Joseph Adolph .... best boy grip
Scott Buttfield .... gaffer
Anne S. Coffey .... first assistant camera (as Anne Coffey)
Stephen Crawford .... gaffer: second unit (as Steve Crawford)
Nelson Elwell .... grip
Rowdy Herrington .... best boy electric
Warren Kroeger .... grip
Cindy Lagerstrom .... key grip: second unit
Joyce Rudolph .... still photographer
Henning Schellerup .... camera operator: second unit
Toni Semple .... electrician
Thomas Vanghele .... second assistant camera (as Tom Vanghele)
Craig Horwitz .... set lighting (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Lauren Roman .... casting assistant
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lisa Jensen .... costume supervisor
Terence McCorry .... costumer
 
Editorial Department
James Flatto .... apprentice editor
Kevin Krasny .... editorial assistant: Los Angeles
Alison Paul .... apprentice editor
Valerie Schwartz .... assistant editor
John Dowdell .... hd colorist (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Michael Arciaga .... music supervisor (uncredited)
Jeff Vaughn .... score mixer (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Chuck Clarke .... transportation coordinator
Brian Delahanty .... transportation captain
 
Other crew
Stephen Abramson .... production executive
Steve Cassling .... production assistant
Lisa C. Cook .... production coordinator
Lillian Fuentes .... craft service
Steve Harris .... production assistant
David B. Householter .... set production assistant (as David Householter)
Sheridan Liu .... assistant accountant
Anita Luccioni .... assistant to producers
Steve McAfee .... production assistant
Dan Perri .... title designer
Jim Picciolo .... animal wrangler
Craig Pointes .... location manager
Wally Uchida .... production assistant
Kathryn Weygand .... script supervisor (as Kathy Weygand)
Benjamin Zinkin .... legal consultant
John Burrows III .... blood sweeper (uncredited)
Sean S. Cunningham .... director: chase scene (uncredited)
Don Wyse .... fire safety (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Sean S. Cunningham .... special thanks (as Sean Cunningham)
Sam Raimi .... special thanks
Jack Sholder .... special thanks
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
91 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:18 | Australia:R (original rating) | Australia:MA (re-rating) (2005) | Canada:R (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:14A (Alberta) (2010) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) (2009) | Finland:K-18 | France:12 | Germany:16 (re-rating) (2007) | Iceland:16 | Ireland:18 | Italy:VM18 (DVD re-rating) | Italy:VM18 (original rating) | Italy:VM14 (re-rating) | Mexico:C | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:R16 (DVD rating) | Norway:18 (video premiere) (1987) (cut) | Peru:18 | Portugal:M/18 | Singapore:M18 | Singapore:PG (heavily cut) | South Korea:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | USA:R | West Germany:18 (original rating) (1984)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Johnny Depp accompanied his friend Jackie Earle Haley to auditions for the film. Instead of Haley being chosen for a role, it was Depp who was spotted by director Wes Craven, who asked him if he would like to read for a part. Depp got a part in the film, Haley didn't, but Haley would go on to play Freddy in the remake 26 years later (A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)).See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Nancy is by the bush with Rod, his hand and chest are covered with blood, but when he runs out and is surrounded by the police, which is supposed to be moments later, his chest is clean.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Freddy Krueger:Tina.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
NightmareSee more »

FAQ

What exactly happens at the end of the film?
I've heard about other deleted scenes? What are they, and where can I see them?
Where is the film set?
See more »
83 out of 105 people found the following review useful.
You'll never want to fall asleep again, 24 October 2005
Author: kylopod (kylopod@aol.com) from Baltimore, MD

While I love horror films, I am not a big fan of the slasher genre, which has come to dominate and indeed practically to define horror since the late 1970s. While I do love the original "Psycho," most slasher films follow a different, and far more predictable, formula. The idea of a faceless killer going around stabbing teenagers just doesn't frighten me a whole lot, though some of these films do fill me with disgust--a rather different sort of emotion.

I am far more frightened by films that deal with distortions of reality, where it's hard for the characters to tell what's real and what's not. Admittedly, that genre isn't always so lofty either. Dreams are one of the most overused devices in the movies, having a whole set of clichés associated with them. We are all familiar with the common scene in which a character awakens from a nightmare by jerking awake in cold sweat. This convention is not only overused, it's blatantly unrealistic, for people waking up from dreams do not jerk awake in such a violent fashion. Moreover, these scenes are usually nothing more than little throwaway sequences designed to amuse or frighten the audience without advancing the plot.

What makes "Nightmare on Elm Street" so clever is how it creates an entirely new convention for representing dreams on screen. The dreaming scenes are filmed with an airy, murky quality, but so are many of the waking scenes, making it very difficult to tell whether a character is awake or asleep. Indeed, the movie never shows any character actually fall asleep, and as a result we are constantly on guard whenever characters so much as close their eyes for a moment. In crucial scenes, it is impossible to tell whether what we are seeing is real or happening only in a character's mind. But the movie ultimately suggests that the difference doesn't matter. The premise of the movie, in which a child-killer haunts teenager's dreams and has the capability of killing them while they're asleep, turns the whole "It was all just a dream" convention on its head: in this movie, the real world is safe, and the dream world is monstrously dangerous.

The movie finds a number of ways to explore this ambiguity, including a bathtub scene that invites comparisons with the shower scene in "Psycho" without being a cheap ripoff. My personal favorite scene, and one of the scariest I've ever seen in a movie, is the one where Nancy dozes off in the classroom while a student is standing up in front of the class reading a passage from Shakespeare. The way the scene transitions from the real classroom to a nightmarish version of it is brilliantly subtle.

The director, Wes Craven, understood that the anticipation of danger is usually more frightening than the final attack. There are some great visual shots to that effect, including one where Freddy's arms becomes unnaturally long in an alleyway, and another where the stairs literally turn into a gooey substance, in imitation of the common nightmare where it is hard to get away from a pursuer. The movie continually finds creative ways to tease the audience, never resorting to red herring, that tired old convention used in almost all other slasher films.

Despite the creativity in these scenes, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is still a formula movie, with relatively one-dimensional characters and no great performances. This was Johnny Depp's first role, as Heather Langenkamp's boyfriend, and although he does get a few neat lines of exposition (his speech about "dream skills"), his personality is not fleshed out, and there is no sense of the great actor Depp would go on to become.

Within the genre, however, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is a fine work. My main criticism isn't its failure to transcend the formula, but its confusing and obtuse ending, apparently put there in anticipation of sequels, but managing to create a mystery that the sequels were unable to clear up. The climactic confrontation between Freddy and Nancy is weakly handled. The crucial words she says to him are surprisingly clunky, and her father's muted behavior during that scene is almost inexplicable. It has led me to consider an alternative interpretation of the scene, but one that feels like a cop-out. The scene that follows, and where the movie ends, is anticlimactic and unnecessary. These clumsily-made final two scenes come close to ruining the movie, and it is a testament to the film's many good qualities that it still stands as an unusually effective horror film that invites repeat viewings.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Who would watch a prequel/reboot TV series? ScarletSkier
Deserves higher than 7.5 lynchislife95
Why exactly did the mother put the bars on the house? mylookskill88
How did Glen died? hucampos
Someone explain the end? DameBirdie
Why did Nancy's mom keep the glove? BallersClub870
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