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Poltergeist (1982)

PG | | Horror, Thriller | 4 June 1982 (USA)
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2:26 | Trailer

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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
1,348 ( 55)
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:

Some things have to be believed to be seen. 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

The two media scandals that haunt this film are the Poltergeist Curse, concerning the deaths of Heather O'Rourke, Dominique Dunne, and other people associated with the production, as well as the scandal about who actually directed the movie, Steven Spielberg or Tobe Hooper. Most of the people associated with the production say it was a collaborative effort, with Hooper having equal say and input in terms of story development and shot setup, (it was Hooper's idea to do a ghost story in the first place, not Spielberg's); while Spielberg definitely had the upper hand and the final say in terms of editing. The media seems to have already decided it was completely a Spielberg movie and that Hooper was used as a front man so that Spielberg wouldn't break studio contractual commitments which prevented him from directing another movie while he directed E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), though this remains pure speculation. See more »

Goofs

(at around 26 mins) At breakfast, the glass that is about to break in Robbie's hand is leaking considerably, but the amount of milk in the glass is unchanging (considering how much milk is leaking and how much is on the table already). 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

Referenced in The Big Box: Seven Doors of Death (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

It Knows What Scares You
(uncredited)
Written, Music and Performed by Jerry Goldsmith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Likable family is suddenly horrorized by otherworld spirits in its house of terrors
16 March 2009 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This known story deals about the suburban Freeling family(Craig T Nelson,JoBeth Williams,Heather O'Rourque and Dominique Dunne,Griffin Dunne's sister) that encounter its house invaded by weird ghosts who abduct their six years old little girl named Carol Anne(Heather O'Rourke). The parents hire a psychics(Beatrice Straight, Richard Lawson and Zelda Rubinstein) to resolve it.

Excellent terror story plenty of screams,chills,thrills and a little bit of humor. God and dazzling though primitive special effects by Richard Edlund. Suspenseful, frightening musical score by the master Jerry Goldsmith. Colorful and appropriate cinematography by Matthew F. Leonetti.This hight budgeted movie is surprisingly written and well produced by Steven Spielberg. Director Tobe Hooper puts accent on suspense and atmosphere as in terror happenings. What transpires in the two hours longtime is a thriller that will leave you physically and emotionally drained. Horror fans should be entertained.

Followed by two inferior sequels with little common sense and coherence, as Poltergeist II(1986) by Brian Gibson with similar casting and Poltergeist III(1988) by Gary Sherman with Tom Skerrit, Nancy Allen, Lara Flynn Boyle and Heather O'Rourke who died after the movie's release at 12 age, while his sister Dominique Dunne died at 22 years old killed by her boyfriend.


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