7.4/10
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22 user 9 critic
Documentary on Charles Manson and his family. Has a number of insightful interviews with many family members most notably Squeaky and Sandy (Blue and Red). There is also a history of Manson... See full summary »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mary Brunner Mary Brunner ... Herself
Vincent Bugliosi ... Himself
Bruce Davis Bruce Davis ... Himself
Lynette Fromme Lynette Fromme ... Herself
Sandra Good Sandra Good ... Herself
Steve Grogan Steve Grogan ... Himself
Ronnie Howard Ronnie Howard ... Herself
Charles Manson ... Himself
Jesse Pearson ... Narrator (voice) (as Jess Pearson)
Phil Phillips Phil Phillips ... Himself
Nancy Pitman Nancy Pitman ... Herself
Brooks Poston Brooks Poston ... Himself
Catherine Share Catherine Share ... Herself
George Spahn George Spahn ... Himself
Paul Watkins Paul Watkins ... Himself
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Storyline

Documentary on Charles Manson and his family. Has a number of insightful interviews with many family members most notably Squeaky and Sandy (Blue and Red). There is also a history of Manson from his birth to the family formation to the Tate/La Bianca murders. Plenty of footage of the family playing at Spahn Ranch. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Manson is the word... for MURDER See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Manson and Squeaky Fromme See more »

Filming Locations:

Shoshone, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brooks Poston and Paul Watkins, who provided the musical score for the film, were both former members of the "Manson Family". See more »

Quotes

Charles Manson: Most of the people at the ranch that you call "The Family" were just people that you did not want, people that were alongside the road, that their parents had kicked them out or they did not want to go to Juvenile Hall, so I did the best I could and I took them up on my garbage dump and I told them this that in love there is no wrong.
See more »

Connections

References Rosemary's Baby (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Never Say Never to Always
by Manson Family Jams
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant, often overlooked documentary
17 April 2004 | by planet_mamooSee all my reviews

"Manson" was filmed in the early 1970s, when Charles Manson and several of his followers were in jail (still on death row at the time of filming, though their terms were later commuted to life imprisonment). At that time many members of the "family" were free and still sticking together, and were, amazingly, willing to appear in this documentary.

This documentary offers a fascinating window into their world; at times frolicking, childlike in the wilderness, dancing, singing, laughing, swimming, riding horses ... but at other times looking at the camera, brandishing large rifles, shotguns and hunting knives, talking about love and killing and, of course, Manson.

Perhaps the most mesmerizing of them is Squeaky Fromme, who a few years later would be sent to prison for trying to assassinate President Gerald Ford, though all of them are fascinating. The producers are careful to point out the solid, often highly educated backgrounds of these women.

Also interviewed are a couple of men who fled the family around the time of the Tate-La Bianca murders, who talk about life inside the family. There are also interviews with past cellmates of the women, who tell often harrowing stories of things the murderous women told them.

Underlying the movie is the stark generational divide of those times. While the past and present members of the family are young, expressive and with a loose, casual look, the appearance of the prosecutor who tried the case -- and whose own account of the trial, "Helter Skelter," (also a movie) is the main source of information on the case -- appears in a three-piece suit, an earnest tone of voice, and melodramatic mannerisms.

If you're wondering why the Manson phenomenon happened, don't watch this hoping for an answer. And if you're looking for more information, don't bother. But if you want to see the people involved, hear them speak and find out how they thought, by all means give it a watch.

An excellent documentary, largely forgotten nowadays (alas).


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