7.4/10
102,554
626 user 183 critic

Eraserhead (1977)

Not Rated | | Fantasy, Horror | 3 February 1978 (USA)
Trailer
0:47 | Trailer
Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child.

Director:

David Lynch

Writer:

David Lynch
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Popularity
1,962 ( 346)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Nance ... Henry Spencer (as John Nance)
Charlotte Stewart ... Mary X
Allen Joseph ... Mr. X
Jeanne Bates ... Mrs. X
Judith Roberts ... Beautiful Girl Across the Hall (as Judith Anna Roberts)
Laurel Near ... Lady in the Radiator
V. Phipps-Wilson V. Phipps-Wilson ... Landlady (long version)
Jack Fisk ... Man in the Planet
Jean Lange Jean Lange ... Grandmother
Thomas Coulson Thomas Coulson ... The Boy
John Monez John Monez ... Bum
Darwin Joston ... Paul
T. Max Graham T. Max Graham ... The Boss (as Neil Moran)
Hal Landon Jr. ... Pencil Machine Operator
Jennifer Lynch ... Little Girl
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Storyline

A film that defies conventional logic and storytelling, fueled by its dark nightmarish atmosphere and compellingly disturbing visuals. Henry Spencer is a hapless factory worker on his vacation when he finds out he's the father of a hideously deformed baby. Now living with his unhappy, malcontent girlfriend, the child cries day and night, driving Henry and his girlfriend to near insanity. Written by Jacob Samuelson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In Heaven Everything Is Fine. See more »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stanley Kubrick made the cast of The Shining (1980) watch this film (among others) to get in the mood for filming a horror picture. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the film, there is a picture of what appears to be the Hiroshima explosion hanging over Henry's nightstand. In the next shot, the picture is gone. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Beautiful Girl Across the Hall: Are you Henry?
Henry Spencer: Yes?
Beautiful Girl Across the Hall: A girl named "Mary" called on the payphone in the hallway about an hour ago. She said that she's at her parents' and that you're invited to dinner.
Henry Spencer: Oh, yeah?
[after a long pause]
Henry Spencer: Well... thank you very much.
[Henry enters his apartment, while the girl slowly closes the door to hers]
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Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits, just a long, tilted close-up of the face of Jack Nance. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original print of the film ran 20m longer and featured a number of characters who are referenced in the credits but do not appear: The people digging in the alley show up in the second half of the movie. Henry comes across two kids excavating rows of dimes from the asphalt in the street. The landlady shows up in the second half, in a scene where Henry goes into the lobby of the apartment building and takes out his anger on a bench. "You stop kicking my bench!" the landlady shouts at him. "That's good wood!" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ralphthemoviemaker: Joker (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

Stompin' the Bug
Written by Mercedes Gilbert and Phil Worde (incorrectly co-attributed to Thomas "Fats' Waller)
Performed by Fats Waller (as Thomas "Fats' Waller)
In 1927.© Peer International Corp. (BMI)
© Copyright 1976. David Lynch.
© 1976 O.K. Paul Music.
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User Reviews

An invitation to David Lynch's World...
14 August 1998 | by ExySee all my reviews

As an admirer of David Lynch's work I think that Eraserhead is the most fitting introduction to this man's World as you are likely to get.

It was on the strength of this film that Mel Brooks chose David to direct Elephant Man. Having said that can't you see the similarities in style and content?

Saying Lynch is weird is like saying the Beatles wrote good pop music. Lynch's weirdness can effect one on a very profound, almost spiritual level, eg Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks.

Eraserhead is a hard film to enjoy but it's well worth the effort, if only for Jack Nance's superb visual performance, and a deeper appreciation of Lynch's mis-en-scene.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 February 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gardenback See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,179
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (re-release)| Mono (original release)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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