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Poltergeist (1982)

PG | | Horror, Thriller | 4 June 1982 (USA)
Trailer
2:25 | Trailer
A family's home is haunted by a host of demonic ghosts.

Director:

Tobe Hooper

Writers:

Steven Spielberg (screenplay by), Michael Grais (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
884 ( 8)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The highest grossing horror film of 1982, and the eighth highest grossing film of the year. The film was reissued in October, 1982 to take advantage of the Halloween weekend. It was also shown in theaters for one night only on October 4, 2007 to promote the new restored and remastered 25th anniversary DVD, released five days later. The event also included a documentary about poltergeist phenomena, which is available on the DVD. See more »

Goofs

(at around 52 mins) Dr. Lesh asks "Where was Carol Ann playing when she disappeared?" to which Diane responds (incorrectly) "her bedroom closet." The last time Diane - or anyone - was in the room with Carol Anne before she disappeared, she was sitting in her bed, pulling her covers up. 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.
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Crazy Credits

The initial end credits has the closing shot of the Holiday Inn as a backdrop. See more »

Alternate Versions

For ABC's 1985 network television premiere, Marty's hallucination is altered so instead of him ripping his own face off, he sees his face rapidly deteriorate briefly. See more »


Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
My favorite film experience
20 March 2007 | by ray-280See all my reviews

I noticed that IMDb lists the release dates for films, and laughed here because I could never forget Friday, June 4, 1982, my last day in tenth grade, and about my tenth date with the exceptionally pretty and wonderful young lady I dated throughout most of high school. The weather was perfect, and I took my ladyfriend out for a nice lunch and a walk down Broadway in search of a movie. ET had been the hyped Spielberg film of that summer, but this one was already out, and the thought of a horrified hottie clinging to me for dear life (or vice versa) was irresistible. Poltergeist it was.

Like all Spielberg films, one will not find many weaknesses. The plot will be engaging, the visuals stunning, the acting excellent, and the overall experience first-class. This film did not disappoint.

The restrospectively amusing casting of Craig T. Nelson in the lead. Notable supporting cast include the late Dominique Dunne and the late Healther O'Rourke, both of whom would die tragically in 1988 and 1982, respectively, the earlier by domestic violence and the latter by illness. The loss to Hollywood is still felt to this day as each would likely have Oscars by now. The cast of competent, moderately known talents provided a strong yet muted substance to the special-effects stylings for which Spielberg became so famous.

As I settled in with my date to watch the film, I was equally enthralled both by her touch and the screen. From the moment O'Rourke uttered the to-this-day-chilling "They're here!!," through the amusing plot twist that explains the hauntings (a certain home developer forgot to do something with the gravesite that had previously existed on the land and apparently ticked off some spirits), though the death, destruction, and absolute terror experienced by the hapless protagonist family.

I will never again be fifteen, never again experience the deep cuts to the heart that come with teenage desire, never again wonder if maybe those horror movies could happen in real life, never again will experience the thrill of not having school or any other responsibilities for the next three months, and will never again be as vital or physically capable as I was so effortlessly back then, but to have had that even once, all at the same time, in the greatest city in the world, was absolutely awesome.

Whatever might have been wrong with my life at that age simply did not exist in that theater, during that film, with that date. Anything less than a perfect film would have spoiled what was literally a perfect day. It didn't.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

Gross USA:

$77,142,388

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$77,142,388
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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