7.5/10
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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

R | | Horror | 11 October 1974 (USA)
Trailer
1:40 | Trailer
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 and must survive the terrors of Leatherface and his family.

Director:

Tobe Hooper

Writers:

Kim Henkel (screenplay by), Tobe Hooper (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
231 ( 126)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marilyn Burns ... Sally
Allen Danziger ... Jerry
Paul A. Partain ... Franklin
William Vail ... Kirk
Teri McMinn ... Pam
Edwin Neal ... Hitchhiker
Jim Siedow ... Old Man
Gunnar Hansen ... Leatherface
John Dugan ... Grandfather
Robert Courtin Robert Courtin ... Window Washer
William Creamer William Creamer ... Bearded Man
John Henry Faulk ... Storyteller
Jerry Green Jerry Green ... Cowboy
Ed Guinn ... Cattle Truck Driver
Joe Bill Hogan 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:

America's most bizarre crime! Brutal beyond description! Grisley beyond comprehension! [Australia theatrical] See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After getting into the old-age makeup, John Dugan decided that he did not ever want to go through the process again, meaning that all the scenes with him had to be filmed in the same session before he could take the makeup off. This entire process took about 36 hours (five of which which took to put the makeup on), during a brutal summer heat wave where the average temperature was over 100 degrees, with a large portion of it spent filming the dinner scene, with him wearing a heavy suit and necktie, sitting in a room filled with dead animals and rotting food with no air conditioning or electric fans. Everyone later recalled that the stench from the rotting food and people's body odor was so terrible that some crew members passed out or became sick from the smell. Edwin Neal who played the hitch-hiker claimed: "Filming that scene was the worst time of my life . . . and I had been in Vietnam, with people trying to kill me, so I guess that shows how bad it was." See more »

Goofs

When the group of teenagers pick up the hitchhiker, he goes crazy and cuts Franklin's arm, so they throw him out. As they throw him out, the van-door windows are shut. In the following inside shots, they're open. 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 »

Alternate Versions

A scene was filmed but cut in which Pam and Kirk come across a campground outside the slaughterhouse where people were murdered, and Kirk finds a pocket-watch nailed to a tree. A scene was cut that explained one of the film's continutity errors: During the dinner scene, Leatherface gets up, goes into his bedroom, and fixes up his mask with makeup. In the original cut of the film, there was a closeup shot of Hitchhiker after he's hit by the mac-truck. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Intruder (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Glad Hand
Timberline Rose
(Recorded at Hill on the Moon, Austin, Tx., Engineer: Jim Inmon)
See more »

User Reviews

 
The Best Horror Film
28 October 2003 | by jesusatan2001See 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 October 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Headcheese See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$30,859,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,859,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Vortex See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (new longer Version) | (Unrated Edition)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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