7.2/10
34,587
418 user 196 critic

Black Christmas (1974)

During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger.

Director:

Bob Clark

Writer:

Roy Moore (screenplay)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Olivia Hussey ... Jess
Keir Dullea ... Peter
Margot Kidder ... Barb
John Saxon ... Lt. Ken Fuller
Marian Waldman ... Mrs. Mac
Andrea Martin ... Phyl
James Edmond ... Mr. Harrison
Doug McGrath ... Sargeant Nash (as Douglas McGrath)
Art Hindle ... Chris Hayden
Lynne Griffin ... Clare Harrison
Michael Rapport ... Patrick
Leslie Carlson ... Graham (as Les Carlson)
Martha Gibson ... Mrs. Quaife
John Rutter John Rutter ... Laughing Detective
Robert Warner Robert Warner ... Doctor
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Storyline

It's time for Christmas break, and the sorority sisters make plans for the holiday, but the strange anonymous phone calls are beginning to put them on edge. When Clare disappears, they contact the police, who don't express much concern. Meanwhile Jess is planning to get an abortion, but boyfriend Peter is very much against it. The police finally begin to get concerned when a 13-year-old girl is found dead in the park. They set up a wiretap to the sorority house, but will they be in time to prevent a sorority girl attrition problem? Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's beginning to look a lot like...bloodshed! Christmas is almost here, and an axe-wielding psycho is terrorizing a sorority. As it happens, the mad murderer also makes obscene phone calls -- and he lives right above the girls... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The line "Alligators come through the gate but goodbye leg if you get away late" sung by Mrs. Mac while she's preparing her luggage is from Billy Jones and Ernest Hare's 1925 song, "As a Porcupine Pines for Its Pork." See more »

Goofs

Before the search party begins, a man wearing a Canadian beret is visible in a car door window reflection when Mrs. Quaife is looking worried, even though the film is supposed to take place in the USA. See more »

Quotes

Patrick: Bitch!
Barb: Isn't Santa naughty.
Patrick: Ho, ho, ho, fuck.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A telephone is continously ringing throughout the final credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was released 3 different times on DVD. Each disc features a different aspect ratio. The first DVD edition from Critical Mass (25th anniversary) used the full frame format (the film was shot this way). The second DVD release from Critical Mass (listed as being just a special edition) uses a 1:75:1 aspect ratio. It was also noted that director Bob Clark approved of this ratio. The latest DVD special edition from Critical Mass (December, 2006) uses a 1:85:1 ratio. This 1:85:1 ratio also appeared on the special edition laserdisc that was released by Warner Bros. a few years back. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Joy Ride (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
(uncredited)
Written by George Wyle and Eddie Pola
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User Reviews

Amazing
26 September 2005 | by TonyDoodSee all my reviews

It's not often that you find a film in the thriller/horror genre that has something "new" to say, so it's even more exciting to find that one of the original films in the "slasher" genre is actually still one of the freshest, most unique and utterly entertaining of them all. This is the kind of movie you can't wait to tell your friends about, knowing full well they've probably never seen it, but they've heard of it.

Everything about this film is stellar. The acting, to steal the words of a great reviewer who loves this movie, is flawless. The direction is confident and assured. What is Bob Clark's story? How did he go from making quirky, ground-breaking horror to...well..."Baby Geniuses 2?" His black-humored wit is on display in all his movies, and here too. Margot Kidder and Marian Waldman shine as foul-mouthed alcohol abusers. Particularly Kidder--it's hard to believe she did this at the BEGINNING of her career, she's that assured...and fun to watch. Olivia Hussey is alluring as the lead, Jessica, and her beauty, as well as her speaking voice are a welcome presence.

The plot might seem clichéd now, until you understand that it was all the movies that came AFTER that were the clichés--even "He Knows Your Alone," which seemed so vital at the time, can't compare. "Black Christmas" is a FILM, and goes beyond the conventions of a cheap slasher. The key is the ending--only a director with an artistic sensibility would have fought for it (no spoilers here). Suffice to say, in all the slashers I've watched I've never seen the equal. It's a tricky business to sum up a mystery in a plot, and few can maintain the element of surprise, intelligence or creativity required. You will NOT see the ending coming here, and though the end is a surprise, it works well.

If you're like I was and hesitating to watch this because you think it'll just be "another fear film," don't waste anymore time! You will NOT be sorry you spent your Christmas "black..."


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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Silent Night, Evil Night See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$620,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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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