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Poltergeist (1982)

PG | | Horror, Thriller | 4 June 1982 (USA)
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A family's home is haunted by a host of demonic ghosts.

Director:

Tobe Hooper

Writers:

Steven Spielberg (screenplay), Michael Grais (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
1,207 ( 27)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Craig T. Nelson ... Steve Freeling
JoBeth Williams ... Diane Freeling (as Jobeth Williams)
Beatrice Straight ... Dr. Lesh
Dominique Dunne ... Dana Freeling
Oliver Robins ... Robbie Freeling
Heather O'Rourke ... Carol Anne Freeling
Michael McManus ... Ben Tuthill
Virginia Kiser ... Mrs. Tuthill
Martin Casella ... Marty
Richard Lawson ... Ryan
Zelda Rubinstein ... Tangina
James Karen ... Mr. Teague
Lou Perryman Lou Perryman ... Pugsley (as Lou Perry)
Clair E. Leucart Clair E. Leucart ... Bulldozer Driver (as Clair Leucart)
Dirk Blocker ... Jeff Shaw
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Storyline

A young family are visited by ghosts in their home. At first the ghosts appear friendly, moving objects around the house to the amusement of everyone, then they turn nasty and start to terrorise the family before they "kidnap" the youngest daughter. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The first real ghost story. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 June 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Poltergeist See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,896,612, 6 June 1982, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$76,606,280

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$123,606,280
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In addition to the two times that the Beast appeared in the movie (the face that appeared in the closet and the creature that guarded the kid's door), the script had it appearing during the scene where the family and investigators are looking at the tape of the manifestation. The giant ghost that they saw visually slowly resolved itself into the image of a face of a cruel old man known in the sequels as "Reverend Henry Kane." See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 35 mins) When Robbie climbs into bed and stares at the clown (near the end of the movie), the lamp he turns off and the Darth Vader head switch places. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Carol Anne Freeling: Hello? What do you look like? Talk louder, I can't hear you! Hey, hello! Hello, I can't hear you! Five. Yes. Yes. I don't know. I don't know.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits and the logo of the MGM lion is shown, we hear children laughing. Fans of the film have assumed that the laughing children are those who have been released from the beast and have crossed over the threshold into the next life. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1997, 1999 MGM, and 2000 Warner DVDs of "Poltergeist" feature an entirely different end credits sequence. The credits begin roughly 15 seconds earlier, over the tracking shot of the Holiday Inn, and the sequence in which they appear is different entirely, including some re-arranging on the cast list, and Martin Casella's name being changed to "Marty Casella." The 25th Anniversary DVD and Blu-ray Disc restore the original theatrical credits sequence, henceforth making it a more accurate representation of the film's theatrical exhibition than previous DVD releases. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Night of the Beast
(uncredited)
Strings Arranged by Chris Boardman
Written, Music and Performed by Jerry Goldsmith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

They're Here.
15 March 2002 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

Truly spooky and disturbing horror film from the early-1980s that will make you jump from your seat. Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams seem to lead a normal life. He is a successful real estate agent and she is a loving housewife. They have three beautiful children, but one night all that slowly changes. The youngest child (Heather O'Rourke) starts talking to unseen spirits through a scrambled television station. The parents don't think much of it, until furniture starts to move on its own. However, the real terror does not start until O'Rourke is taken to another dimension by "the TV people". Now paranormalists led by Beatrice Straight must come in and try to get O'Rourke back to her family. Tobe Hooper, who is best known for the highly over-rated "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", does an admirable job here with the film's direction. However, it is rumored that Steven Spielberg came in during his "E.T" days and did the bulk of the work. This makes more sense as the film is really frightening and disturbing. The special effects are also impressive and "Poltergeist" ends up being one of those films that just sticks with you for a long time after you first see it. 4 stars out of 5.


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