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Helter Skelter (1976)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | TV Movie 1 April 1976
The investigation and trial of the horrific Tate-LaBianca mass murders orchestrated by the psychotic pseudo-hippie cult leader, Charles Manson.

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(based on the book by), (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:
... Vincent Bugliosi
... Charles Manson
Nancy Wolfe ... Susan Atkins
... Linda Kasabian
... Patricia Krenwinkel
Cathey Paine ... Leslie Van Houten
... Aaron Stovitz
... Danny DeCarlo
... Ronnie Howard
George Garro ... Rosner
Vic Werber ... Lt. Brenner
Wright King ... Friend
... William Garretson
Edward Bell ... Sgt. Hank Kruger
... 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:

His name is Charles Manson. His disciples call him God. HE PREACHED DEATH! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 April 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Massacre in Hollywood  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original broadcast) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In preparation for the role of Charles Manson Steve Railsback locked himself in a closet for two hours every day. See more »

Goofs

When the police take a man to identify the body of Sharon Tate, she is fully dressed in a blue house dress and shoes. Minutes later, two hippies are seen watching a news report about the Tate-LaBianca murders and the anchorman on the television states that Sharon Tate's body was found dressed only in a pair of flowered panties and bra. The news report wasn't real, it was reenacted for the movie. See more »

Quotes

Dist. Atty. Vincent Bugliosi: Boots is no longer with us.
Danny DeCarlo: What do you mean, Boots is no longer with us?
Dist. Atty. Vincent Bugliosi: He's among the dead. He shot himself the other night, playing Russian Roulette.
Danny DeCarlo: Oh, terrific. Who was with him?
Dist. Atty. Vincent Bugliosi: Cisco Budge.
Danny DeCarlo: Cisco Budge. That's it. I ain't talking no more. I'm riding out of here on the wind, mister.
Dist. Atty. Vincent Bugliosi: There are a couple of warrants outstanding against you, Danny. I don't think you'd feel very safe in prison. That's where Charlie is.
Danny DeCarlo: [slight pause] That sure is cold, man.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Book of Manson (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Scary and always will be
22 September 2001 | by See all my reviews

A quarter century after it was made, and over thirty years since the actual crimes took place, Helter Skelter is still a very chilling movie to watch. As stated in the on-screen introduction, the crimes would not have been believable if they were not true, and having them be the focus of a film inherently makes for a frightening tale. Told mainly from the perspective of the prosecutor, it covers events from the discovery of the victims through Manson heading off to prison. Railsback is absolutely faultless in his portrayal of Manson; the scene where he recreates Manson's speech to the courtroom is very chilling and will stay with you after the movie ends. The storyline spends perhaps a little too much time in the courtroom and maybe should have built up the events leading to the murders more, but it is still well written. Railsback is the obvious star of the film, but everyone else also does a lot better job than you'd expect for a TV-movie from 1976. Watch Helter Skelter anytime you can find it; it's a movie that teaches the lesson that truth is stranger than fiction and reality is more frightening than any Hollywood horror film.


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