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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Not Rated | | Horror | 4 October 1974 (USA)
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Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sally
... Jerry
... Franklin
... Kirk
... Pam
... Hitchhiker
... Old Man
... Leatherface
... Grandfather
Robert Courtin ... Window Washer
William Creamer ... Bearded Man
... Storyteller
Jerry Green ... Cowboy
Ed Guinn ... Cattle Truck Driver
Joe Bill Hogan ... Drunk
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Storyline

En route to visit their grandfather's grave (which has apparently been ritualistically desecrated), five teenagers drive past a slaughterhouse, pick up (and quickly drop) a sinister hitch-hiker, eat some delicious home-cured meat at a roadside gas station, before ending up at the old family home... where they're plunged into a never-ending nightmare as they meet a family of cannibals who more than make up in power tools what they lack in social skills... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Once you stop screaming, then you'll start talking about it. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

4 October 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Headcheese  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$30,859,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (new longer Version) | (Unrated Edition)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's original distributor was Bryanston Distribution Company, which turned out to be a Mafia front operated by Louis Peraino ("Butchie"), who used the movie to launder profits he made from Deep Throat (1972). In return, the production received only enough money to reimburse the investors and pay the cast and crew $405 apiece. The producers eventually discovered that Peraino had lied to them about the film's profits; after he was arrested on obscenity charges when his role in "Deep Throat" was revealed, the cast and crew filed suit against him and were awarded $25,000 each. New Line Cinema, which obtained the rights to the film from the now-bankrupt Bryanston, paid off the cast and crew as part of the purchase agreement. See more »

Goofs

The blood the hitchhiker smears on the van is gone in the long shot a few seconds later. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to ...
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare.

The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

AUGUST 18, 1973 See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 'Burbs (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Misty Hours of Daylight
Arkey Blue
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Best Horror Film
28 October 2003 | by See all my reviews

The (original) Texas Chainsaw Massacre, is without a doubt in my mind, the most impressive horror film to date. No other horror film stays with you in the same way. You feel not only fearful for the characters, but at times feel afraid for your own safety. The natural lighting and loose, improvised acting style creates a strong sense of reality that no other horror film can possibly achieve. Under a thin layer of dated aesthetics (1973 style of dress) lies the most dangerous, horrifying and psychotic world ever committed to script or screen. As the first of its kind, this movie set the mold for the modern horror film, though none were ever to realize any comparable distinction. It gave birth to the "slasher" genre (for better or for worse) . It is also one of few timeless films that has managed to combine horror and avant-garde styles, successfully. Unlike its remake, this one is more of an exercise in minimalism and simplicity (think even Dogme). The expert subtlety of the filmmakers; Tobe Hooper (writer/director), Kim Henkel (co-writer) and Daniel Pearl (cinematographer) results more in

psychological terror than in gore. The air-tight script, jarring realism and attention to detail are unparalleled in practically any film, horror or otherwise. And last, but by far not the least Marylin Burns PHENOMENAL performance is the only in cinematic history (a close second by that of Shelly Duvall in The Shining) that evokes such a nature of desperate and primal fear. You truly believe in every single one of her screams that her life is hanging by a single, thin thread.


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