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Helter Skelter
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Helter Skelter (2004) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Popularity: ?
Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Vincent Bugliosi (book) and
Curt Gentry (book) ...
View company contact information for Helter Skelter on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 May 2004 (USA) See more »
Based on the true story of the Manson murders. See more »
A new take on the Manson Family murders, with a keen focus on Charles Manson himself. | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Primetime Emmy. Another 5 nominations See more »
(11 articles)
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User Reviews:
Tastelessly Commercial and Pointless See more (58 total) »


  (in credits order)

Jeremy Davies ... Charles Manson

Clea DuVall ... Linda Kasabian

Allison Smith ... Patricia 'Katie' Krenwinkle

Eric Dane ... Charles "Tex" Watson

Mary Lynn Rajskub ... Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme

Michael Weston ... Bobby Beausoleil

Hal Ozsan ... Joey Dimarco

Rick Gomez ... Milio

Robert Joy ... Detective Morrisy

Graham Beckel ... Jerry

Chris Ellis ... Sgt. Whiteley

Isabella Hofmann ... Rosemary LaBianca

Robert Costanzo ... Leno LaBianca

Yvonne Delarosa ... Catherine 'Gypsy' Share (as Yvonne De La Rosa)

Cheselka Leigh ... Kathryn 'Kitty' Lutesinger

Keith Szarabajka

John Pleshette ... Mr. Krenwikle

Whitney Dylan ... Sharon Tate

Susan Ruttan ... Mrs. Kasabian

Marguerite Moreau ... Susan 'Sadie' Atkins

Bruno Kirby ... Vincent Bugliosi

Catherine Wadkins ... Leslie Van Houten

Kai Lennox ... Steve 'Clem' Grogan

Hopwood DePree ... Paul Watkins (as Hopwood Depree)
Matthew J. Williamson ... Bruce Davis (as Matt Williamson)

Nick Jameson ... Gary Fleishman

Kirk B.R. Woller ... Detective Kleinman

Robert Pine ... Judge Keene
Wolf Muser ... Chief Davis

Marek Probosz ... Roman Polanski

Elizabeth Ann Bennett ... Abigail Folger (as Elizabeth Bennett)

George Tasudis ... Voytek Frykowski

Patrick Fabian ... Jay Sebring

Jaimz Woolvett ... Gary Hinman

Lance Ohnstad ... Steve Parent
Kelly Nyks ... Will Garretson

François Chau ... Dr. Noguchi

Jeffrey Johnson ... Terry Melcher
Chris Jacobs ... Dennis Wilson (as Christopher Jacobs)

Chad Morgan ... Suzanne LaBianca
Jeanette O'Connor ... Ronni

Kim Strauss ... Sgt. William Gleason

Gwen McGee ... Winifred Chapman
Mark Thompson ... L.A. Newscaster
Patricia Del Rio ... Local TV Reporter
Kevin London ... Richard Caballero

P.J. Byrne ... Man With Thick Glasses
Paul Kent ... Van Nuys Judge

John Lacy ... CHP Officer
Ted Garcia ... Stand Up Reporter at Tate House
Abner Genece ... Jail Guard

Apesanahkwat ... Guard Duty Cop
Patricia Herd ... Woman on the Street
Susannah L. Brown ... College hippie #1
John K. Anderson ... Officer Pursell (as J.K. Anderson)

David Ackert ... Jerry Rubin

Danielle DiCerbo ... Bernardine Dohrn (as Danielle Di Cerbo)

Endre Hules ... Polish Man

Maura Soden ... Gossip Queen
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Crystal Rivers ... Diane (scenes deleted)
Jessalyn Waldron ... Sandra Good
Samuel DeClan Anderson ... Manson Family Baby (uncredited)
Susie Castaneda ... Cashier (uncredited)

Chris Corpus ... Neighbor (uncredited)
Joseph Dowd ... Family Member (uncredited)

Michael Gabriel Goodfriend ... Detective (uncredited)

Daniel V. Graulau ... Driver (uncredited)

Greg Hutto ... CHP Officer (uncredited)
Fred Kelly ... Roman Polanski's friend (uncredited)

Ricky Lewis Jr. ... Family Member (uncredited)

Lorelei Llee ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Adrian Morales ... Family Member (uncredited)

Christian Reeve ... Manson's Public Defender (uncredited)
Frank Zieger ... Clem Watkins (uncredited)

Directed by
John Gray 
Writing credits
Vincent Bugliosi (book "Helter Skelter") and
Curt Gentry (book "Helter Skelter")

John Gray (written by)

Produced by
Vincent Bugliosi .... executive producer
Vincent Bugliosi .... producer
Desiree J. Cadena .... associate producer
Peter Miller .... executive producer
Mark Wolper .... executive producer
Original Music by
Mark Snow 
Cinematography by
Don E. FauntLeRoy 
Film Editing by
Scott Vickrey 
Casting by
Phyllis Huffman 
Art Direction by
Robert W. Henderson 
Roy Forge Smith 
Set Decoration by
Julie Bolder 
Costume Design by
May Routh 
Makeup Department
Judy Crown .... hair department head
RaMona Fleetwood .... hair stylist
Dennis Liddiard .... makeup department head
Gary Liddiard .... makeup artist (as G. Dennis Liddiard)
Yesim 'Shimmy' Osman .... assistant hair stylist
Elizabeth Rabe .... additional hair stylist (2004)
Tegan Taylor .... makeup artist
Production Management
Desiree J. Cadena .... post-production supervisor
Carla Corwin .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Anne Berger .... second assistant director
Drew Ann Rosenberg .... first assistant director
Art Department
Sandy Adams .... on-set dresser
Melissa Bartley .... art assistant
Chuck Courrieu .... lead man
Tracy Farrington .... property master
Terry Kempf .... propmaker foreman
Ricky Lewis Jr. .... storyboard artist
Mark Richardson .... set dresser
Harlan Spatz .... props
Sound Department
Beau Biggart .... adr mixer
Sean Byrne .... assistant sound editor
Tim Chilton .... foley artist (2004)
Bob Costanza .... sound effects editor
Tommy Goodwin .... foley mixer
G. Michael Graham .... supervising sound editor
Robert L. Harman .... sound re-recording mixer
Allen Hurd .... sound recordist
Kristi Johns .... adr supervisor
Kevin Maloney .... boom operator
Kevin Meltcher .... assistant sound editor
Gaetano Musso .... foreign version
Dean Okrand .... sound re-recording mixer
Steuart Pearce .... sound mixer
Timothy Pearson .... foley artist
David Torres .... foley mixer
Gunnar Ted Walter .... boom operator (as Gunnar Walters)
Ian Wright .... boom operator
Lou Thomas .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Roland Friedrich .... digital compositor
Miro Gal .... Inferno artist
Vít Komrzý .... visual effects producer
Peter Nemec .... Inferno artist
Jan Vseticek .... visual effects coordinator
David Vána .... visual effects supervisor
Bruce Paul Barbour .... stunt player
Jennifer Brusciano .... stunt team member
Alex Daniels .... stunt coordinator
Brett Gassaway .... stunt double
Tanner Gill .... stunts
Hubie Kerns Jr. .... stunts
Peewee Piemonte .... stunts
Nicole Randall .... stunts
Tony Snegoff .... stunt double
Camera and Electrical Department
Eddie Avila .... film loader: day player
Charles John Bukey .... key grip
Matthew A. Del Ruth .... film loader
Tim Durr .... electrician
Sean P. Fickert .... best boy grip
Daniel Kauahi .... grip
Christopher Kiso .... electrician
Ron Peterson .... assistant camera
Brendon Phillips .... electrician
Peyton Skelton .... rigging gaffer
Casting Department
Geoffrey Miclat .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jeannie Flynn .... costume supervisor
Meredith Korn .... costumer
Silvia Raiano .... key set costumer
Editorial Department
Josh Beal .... assistant editor
Scott Burnette .... assistant editor
George Koran .... telecine colorist
Frank Pass .... colorist
Music Department
Jeff Charbonneau .... music editor
Ray Evans .... composer: song "Whatever Will Be, Will Be"
Jay Livingston .... composer: song "Whatever Will Be, Will Be"
Mark Morgan .... composer: additional music score
Transportation Department
Gina August .... driver
Lonnie Craig .... driver
Other crew
Julie Adams .... dialect coach
Tina Bennett .... production coordinator
Jan Bickler .... first assistant accountant
Coriedus Brown .... production assistant
Tracy Browne .... accounting clerk (as Tracey Browne)
Laura Elizabeth Cannon .... assistant to executive producer
Rosemary Gearheart .... stand-in
Jeffrey Gladu .... payroll accountant
Lisa Howard .... production accountant
Deborah Laub .... location manager
Suzan Lowitz .... script supervisor
Franka Mavrides .... production assistant
Jess Place .... production secretary
Beth Theriac .... assistant: Mr. Friedgen
Catherine H. Vlasuk .... assistant production coordinator
Christopher H. Warner .... accounting clerk
Christopher H. Warner .... production accounting assistant

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:180 min (including commercials) | 137 min (DVD)
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »

Did You Know?

In this "Helter Skelter" film, Manson is shown with an "X" mark on his forehead. In real life Manson wore a Nazi Swastika tattoo on his forehead. (During the trial he carved the x to represent "his being x'd out of society" it wouldn't be until sometime later he turned it into the swastika.See more »
Continuity: During Susan Atkin's testimony, Bugliosi approaches her with two photographs in his hand and asks her if she can identify the car belonging to victim Steve Parent. As he approaches, the photograph visible in his hand is clearly a black and white photo of a car parked in front of a building. However, when he hands the photo to her, the insert shot is a color photo of a car parked in a wooded drive. The other photo is that of Parent slumped dead behind the wheel and there were no other photos.See more »
Voytek Frykowski:What time is it?
Charles "Tex" Watson:Be quiet. Don't move or you're dead.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Valley of the Dolls (1967)See more »

22 out of 40 people found the following review useful.
Tastelessly Commercial and Pointless, 21 July 2005
Author: eht5y from United States

Having long nurtured a fascination with the Manson Family murder spree, when I heard CBS was airing a new film version of 'Helter Skelter,' co-produced by Vincent Bugliosi and starring the gifted Jeremy Davies as Manson, I couldn't resist tuning in. Boy, was I disappointed.

Davies is a superb actor, but, despite his previously demonstrated ability to play twisted, mentally unstable characters ('Solaris,' 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Ravenous'), his Manson is sort of silly and not particularly persuasive. The casting in general is fairly abysmal--especially Bruno Kirby as Bugliosi, who was at least 15 years younger than Kirby when he tried the case and at least 30 pounds lighter--though there are some small exceptions (Clea Duvall is persuasively haunting as Linda Kasabian, the key witness against the defense). In general, the whole project just seems cheap and crass: the clothes, makeup, and especially the hair on the Manson family look perversely fake and costume-ish, the story offers absolutely no new insights or perspectives on the case, and, worst of all, the direction perpetuates the fetishization of Manson that has contributed to his continued popularity among confused young people who see him as something more than a screwed-up con artist who went nuts because he couldn't get anybody to help him make a record.

Why would Bugliosi sign on for this project, given that he has continued to lament Manson's continuing appeal and expressed remorse for his part in helping to enlarge Manson's myth? He couldn't possibly need the money--'Helter Skelter' is the best-selling true crime book of all time, and all of Bugliosi's subsequent literary efforts have also sold well. Initially I had thought that the film would shed light on how Manson became who he was--his history of incarceration and institutionalization, his horrific childhood, the influence of Scientology and the 'Church of the Process' on his new-agey philosophy, which he later wielded to woo his acolytes into worshiping him to the point that they lost their independent will and would be willing to murder on his order--but instead, we get a retread of facts that will be familiar to anyone who has paid the slightest attention to this case in the past.

There was an opportunity here to add to the story, and to at least make a stab at unpacking the various forces which led up to Manson's bizarre, apocalyptic vision. Perhaps the most overlooked detail of Manson's history is that he is a product of the failures of society, particularly in relation to our child welfare and penal systems. The son of a 'bad girl' who abandoned him to the state, Manson suffered horrific physical and sexual abuse at the hands of older inmates before he reached his teens. By the time he showed up in the Haight in '67, he'd spent over half of his life in prison, and had even begged not to be released, acknowledging himself that he'd been 'institutionalized'--that he'd spent so much of his life in prison culture that he was neither willing nor able to make the transition back into society. Worst of all, Manson would have been the first person to tell anyone that he was far from rehabilitated when he was let loose on the world for the last time.

There's no forgiving Charles Manson for his crimes, nor is there really any way of knowing if his hold over his followers was due to anything more than a shrewd con-man's instincts for exploiting vulnerable marks. But it could be argued that, had he been treated more humanely as a child, he might not have evolved into the man he became.

But this film overlooks the possibility of adding something constructive to this sensational story and chooses instead to roll around in the same old dirt. It's awfully hypocritical of Bugliosi to facilitate this garbage, especially given that the product suggests that his only motives were to make a quick buck and maybe sell a few more books. It's also disrespectful to the families of the victims and the other, secondary victims of Manson--Charles Watson, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, and Patricia Krenwinkle--who were seduced into becoming murderers and, thanks to the continuing public fascination with Manson, will likely never see the outside of a prison, while far more sinister and dangerous killers are regularly paroled after serving half as much time as Manson's unlucky followers.

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