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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 ghosts.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
1,626 ( 37)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Steve Freeling
... Diane Freeling (as Jobeth Williams)
... Dr. Lesh
... Dana Freeling
... Robbie Freeling
... Carol Anne Freeling
... Ben Tuthill
... Mrs. Tuthill
Martin Casella ... Marty
... Ryan
... Tangina
... Mr. Teague
Lou Perryman ... Pugsley (as Lou Perry)
Clair E. Leucart ... Bulldozer Driver (as Clair Leucart)
... 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:

It knows what scares you. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 June 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Juegos diabólicos  »

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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  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original cut)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two of the film's cast members were subsequently murdered: (1) Dominique Dunne (Dana Freeling) was strangled by her former boyfriend John Thomas Sweeney in the driveway of her West Hollywood home on October 30, 1982 and, having been declared brain dead, died five days later at the age of 22 and (2) Lou Perryman (Pugsley) was killed with an axe by a 26-year-old man named Seth Christopher Tatum in Austin, Texas on April 1, 2009. He was 67 years old at the time of his death. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the movie, Steve is watching a live football game on TV with his friends. Despite their reactions to the live game, the game play on TV is in slow motion, making it previously recorded footage. 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

The Star Spangled Banner, playing on the Freeling's TV set is heard over the initial opening credits. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star-Spangled Banner
(1814) (uncredited)
Music based on "The Anacreontic Song" by John Stafford Smith
Arranged by Arturo Toscanini
[Played as TV sign-off music several times]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Steven Spielberg's ghost story
2 June 2004 | by See all my reviews

"Poltergeist" is Steven Spielberg's vision of a ghost story, and a great one at that. This is an outstanding movie in every way possible. It has terrific acting, a good story to tell, a nice sense of humor, and astonishing special effects. Plus when I first saw this film, it was pretty scary.

"Poltergeist" tells the story of a suburban family living in a small town in California who's home is abruptly invaded by supernatural forces who are anything but friendly, and proceed to terrorize the entire clan. This is a movie that plays like a roller-coaster ride, and once it gets going it never stops.

Tobe Hooper, who directed the original 1974 cult classic "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", was picked by Spielberg to direct "Poltergeist". He does a fine job of creating scares and tension, even though rumors were floating around that writer/producer Spielberg actually stepped in and directed some of the film (Spielberg went on to say that Hooper was the director of "Poltergeist" even though Spielberg was very much involved with this film from start to finish). To me, it doesn't matter who directed it. This is still an excellent horror movie. Spielberg did a great job as writer/producer, and even if he had directed the whole movie it would still be as good. JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson are wonderful as the head of the Freeling family, with Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, and Heather O'Rourke equally good as their kids. The late Oscar-winning actress Beatrice Straight ("Network") scores points as a parapsycologist investigating the hauntings, and Zelda Rubinstein steals scenes as the mysterious clairvoyant brought in to "clean house". The acting is great, but it's the Oscar-nominated special effects that dominate. Wow! This horror film is a must-see!

***** (out of five)


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