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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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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:

Mommy, Daddy, where are 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(At 34 minutes into the film) There is a "jump cut" from the scene where Diane is explaining to Steven about the feeling you get when the spirit pulls you across the floor. The scene jumps mid sentence to the scene where they are both on their neighbor's doorstep, again in mid sentence. The reason for the cut was because in the original scene, director Steven Spielberg says how he hates Pizza Hut. The scene was edited (rather crudely) after Pizza Hut took offence. See more »

Goofs

During the initial investigation, when the ghost comes down the staircase, nothing appears on the monitor, but when reviewed, the tape does appear to have captured the incident. This is part of ghost lore. 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

Referenced in Luigi's Mansion (2001) 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

 
My favorite film experience
20 March 2007 | by See 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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