A novelist and a young horror fan attempt to save a small New England town which has been invaded by vampires.
2,132 ( 221)




Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »





Complete series cast summary:
David Soul ...  Ben Mears 2 episodes, 1979
James Mason ...  Richard K. Straker 2 episodes, 1979
Lance Kerwin ...  Mark Petrie 2 episodes, 1979
Bonnie Bedelia ...  Susan Norton 2 episodes, 1979
Lew Ayres ...  Jason Burke 2 episodes, 1979
Julie Cobb ...  Bonnie Sawyer 2 episodes, 1979
Elisha Cook Jr. ...  Gordon 'Weasel' Phillips 2 episodes, 1979
George Dzundza ...  Cully Sawyer 2 episodes, 1979
Ed Flanders ...  Dr. Bill Norton 2 episodes, 1979
Clarissa Kaye-Mason ...  Majorie Glick 2 episodes, 1979
Geoffrey Lewis ...  Mike Ryerson 2 episodes, 1979
Barney McFadden Barney McFadden ...  Ned Tebbets 2 episodes, 1979
Kenneth McMillan ...  Constable Parkins Gillespie 2 episodes, 1979
Fred Willard ...  Larry Crockett 2 episodes, 1979
Marie Windsor ...  Eva Miller 2 episodes, 1979
Barbara Babcock ...  June Petrie 2 episodes, 1979
Bonnie Bartlett ...  Ann Norton 2 episodes, 1979
Joshua Bryant ...  Ted Petrie 2 episodes, 1979
James Gallery James Gallery ...  Father Donald Callahan 2 episodes, 1979
Robert Lussier Robert Lussier ...  Deputy Constable Nolly Gardner 2 episodes, 1979
Brad Savage ...  Danny Glick 2 episodes, 1979
Ronnie Scribner ...  Ralphie Glick 2 episodes, 1979
Ned Wilson Ned Wilson ...  Henry Glick 2 episodes, 1979


The successful writer Benjamin "Ben" Mears returns to his hometown Salem's Lot, Maine, expecting to write a new novel about the Marsten House. Ben believes that the manor is an evil house that attracts evil men since the place has many tragic stories and Ben saw a ghostly creature inside the house when he was ten. Ben finds that the Marsten House has just been rented to the antique dealers Richard K. Straker and his partner Kurt Barlow that is permanently traveling. Ben meets the divorced teacher Susan Norton that is living with her parents and they have a love affair. Ben also gets close to her father Dr. Bill Norton and his former school teacher Jason Burke. When people start to die anemic, Ben believes that Straker's partner is a vampire. But how to convince his friends that he is not crazy and that is the truth? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The town was ripped apart by a terrifying battle of good against evil! See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The line where Mike Ryerson says to Jason Burke "you'll sleep like the dead, teacher..." is a reference to the poetry of George Seferis. See more »


Bonnie tells Larry that Cully will be in Portland before Cully is actually hired to go to Portland. See more »


Straker: You'll enjoy Mr. Barlow. And he'll enjoy you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The text of the opening credits appear and dissolve piece by piece into each other in a jigsaw puzzle fashion. See more »

Alternate Versions

Salem's Lot originally aired as a 2-night mini-series with the first episode airing on November 17, 1979 and the second episode airing the following week on November 24, 1979. See more »


Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

User Reviews

See the mini-series version if at all possible
2 July 2002 | by t_pellmanSee all my reviews

First let me suggest to see the original miniseries version if at all possible. The "movie" version is horribly chopped. The remaining pieces don't fit together and leave gaping holes (such as, "what happened to Susan?")

Salem's Lot is an almost unknown milestone in horror films. This superb combination of the talents of Tobe Hooper and Stephen King bridges the gap between the Hammer-style films of the 60's and the modern vampire films. Two things to especially note:

(1) This takes place in Everytown, USA and the cinematography reflects the ordinary turned extraordinary (which is the same effect achieved by Bram Stoker's original writing for the audience of his time.) It begins looking almost like a Rockford Files episode and goes dark from there. But even the climax in the evil Marsten house looks *real*, just as you would imagine an old decrepit house to look. You can almost smell the dust. Hey, this was the seventies, the decade of naturalistic lighting. Everything coming out of Hollywood now looks just that - like Hollywood.

(2) It is a shame that anyone today viewing Salem's Lot already knows that is about vampires because when it first aired on TV, the unknown aspect is what made the first half so creepy. Now you just sit there waiting for the vampires to show up. (If I thought that even one person might read this without knowing it was about vampires, I wouldn't write this.) The advertising for the show made no mention of vampires and the effect worked well. I was ten years old when I first saw this. I had seen at least a dozen other vampire flicks - Noseratu, Lugasi, the Hammer films - and I had no clue that this was about vampires. All I knew was that something creepy was going in this town and it was getting creepier and creepier. Only in the second episode when you see someone get bit in the neck did it finally click, "Oh my god, they're vampires." You realize it right about the same time that the main characters do. Highly effective.

Also, superb performances by David Soul, Lew Ayres, James Mason.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 234 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »






Release Date:

17 November 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Salem's Lot: The Movie See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(uncut) | (DVD) | (TV) | (movie)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed