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Helter Skelter (1976)

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The investigation and trial of the horrific Tate-LaBianca mass murders orchestrated by the psychotic pseudo-hippie cult leader, Charles Manson.

Director:

Tom Gries

Writers:

Vincent Bugliosi (based on the book by), Curt Gentry (based on the book by) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George DiCenzo ... Vincent Bugliosi
Steve Railsback ... Charles Manson
Nancy Wolfe Nancy Wolfe ... Susan Atkins
Marilyn Burns ... Linda Kasabian
Christina Hart ... Patricia Krenwinkel
Cathey Paine Cathey Paine ... Leslie Van Houten
Alan Oppenheimer ... Aaron Stovitz
Rudy Ramos ... Danny DeCarlo
Sondra Blake ... Ronnie Howard
George Garro George Garro ... Rosner
Vic Werber Vic Werber ... Lt. Brenner
Wright King Wright King ... Friend
Jon Gries ... William Garretson
Edward Bell Edward Bell ... Sgt. Hank Kruger
Roy Jenson ... Punchy
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Storyline

Chilling story of the investigation and trial of Charles Manson, leader of a strange cult which under his direction and 'control' committed numerous murders. Written by Jerry Milani <jmilani@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Murder is their religion. And everything you see is true! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 April 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Massacre in Hollywood See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lorimar Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original broadcast) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film almost was not shown in Los Angeles because network executives were afraid that it would stir up bad memories, especially since it had been only seven years since the murders. See more »

Goofs

The Tate/LaBianca homicides took place in 1969. Yet some of the squad cars that are shown when the LAPD responds to the Tate house are 1971 Dodge Polaras. Besides being incorrect for the year of the murders, the LAPD patrol cars of the era were 1968 and 1969 Plymouth Belvederes. See more »

Quotes

Dist. Atty. Vincent Bugliosi: Good Evening, you're about to see a dramatization based on actual facts. We may not like to accept the fact that those in the story of Helter Skelter exist in our lives. Yet, they do. And while they do we can not say that the story of Helter Skelter has ended.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Shorty Shea's responce to Manson's comment, "It ain't nice to snitch, Shorty!" differs between the two-part TV movie and the home video release. In the TV film, Shorty says "Horse manure!". In the home video release, he says "Go fuck yourself, Charlie!" See more »

Connections

Referenced in 5ive Minutes with Marilyn (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Garbage Dump
Written by Charles Manson
Performed by Steve Railsback
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Still Chilling 30 Years Later
21 April 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

I found this to be one of the more interesting made-for-TV films I'ever watched, thanks to the sensationalism of the true-life story and the mesmerizing performances of the lead villain (Steve Railsback) and his followers. Railsback's eyes alone are frighteningly haunting to this viewer, 30 years after first seeing it. By the way, my VHS tape has one f-word in the film, which would never be allowed on TV. What gives with that?

Actually, the most frightening people, as a whole, were the women who did Manson's killing for him. I was creeped out more by Nancy Wolfe's chilling performance of Susan Atkins than I did was by anyone else, including the famous "Charlie."

The film has turned out to be a pretty good piece of American history, the kind of crime history we'd like to forget.


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