6.1/10
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Firestarter (1984)

Trailer
2:03 | Trailer
A couple who participated in a potent medical experiment gain telekinetic ability and then have a child who is pyrokinetic.

Director:

Mark L. Lester

Writers:

Stephen King (novel), Stanley Mann
2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Keith ... Andrew 'Andy' McGee
Drew Barrymore ... Charlene 'Charlie' McGee
Freddie Jones ... Doctor Joseph Wanless
Heather Locklear ... Victoria 'Vicky' Tomlinson McGee
Martin Sheen ... Captain Hollister
George C. Scott ... John Rainbird
Art Carney ... Irv Manders
Louise Fletcher ... Norma Manders
Moses Gunn ... Doctor Pynchot
Antonio Fargas ... Taxi Driver
Drew Snyder ... Orville Jamieson
Curtis Credel Curtis Credel ... Bates
Keith Colbert Keith Colbert ... Mayo
Dick Warlock ... Knowles (as Richard Warlock)
Jeff Ramsey ... Steinowitz
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Storyline

Andrew and Vicky McGee met while earning money as guinea pigs for an experiment at college. The experiment was shrouded in suspicion and mystery, and seemed to be related to psychic abilities. The two were married and had a daughter, Charlie, who has the ability to start fires by merely thinking about it, also known as pyrokinesis. Naturally, the government takes a great interest in Charlie, and operatives from the secret department known as "The Shop" want to quarantine and study her. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If you get on her bad side...YOU'RE TOAST. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dick Warlock and George P. Wilbur both portrayed killer Michael Myers a.k.a The Shape in the Halloween films franchise. Warlock in HALLOWEEN II and Wilbur in HALLOWEEN 4 and 6. See more »

Goofs

When he first visits Charlie in quarantine, Captain Hollister removes his code-key badge twice as he prepares to leave the room. See more »

Quotes

Irv Manders: Norma, those men came here without any warrants at all. Tried to take them off our land. One of them shot me. What do you want me to do? Sit here and turn them over to the secret police, if they ever get their peckers up enough to come back? Be a good Nazi?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the credits, "Special Effects" is misspelled as "Speical Effects". See more »

Connections

Spoofed in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Turkey in the Straw
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

User Reviews

 
Young prodigy starts fires in one of the best Stephen King adaptations!
19 July 2006 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Despite the fact that the films usually revolve around good and interesting stories, film adaptations of Stephen King's works are often not the best horror movies. Firestarter isn't the best known of his books, and that's slightly odd as this film adaptation is one of the best based on his stories. The film takes obvious influence from Brian De Palma's 'The Fury', as aside from the fact that this one is about a young girl that can start fires, and De Palma's film features a boy with psychic abilities; the way that both plots play out is very similar indeed. The plot has a number of problems, and the characters don't always act logically; but this is offset by the likable nature of the film, and characters that are easy to get along with due to their relatively simplistic nature. The film follows the aftermath of an experiment in which people were given an experimental drug. The ultimate result of this experiment was a child born of Andy and Vicky McGee; a child with a unique ability known as 'pyrokinesis' - the ability to start fires at will.

The film benefits from a range of cult stars. A young Drew Barrymore takes the title role, and although her acting skills hadn't been honed by the time this film was released, and she is more than a little bit wooden; she provides an interesting lead. David Keith and Martin Sheen back her up well in supporting roles, but the main acting plaudits go to the great George C. Scott who is good in what is probably the meatiest role of the piece. The running time is a little long for a film like this, but it's well used and the fact that the story doesn't get caught up with needless elements such as the girl's mother and father falling in love is definitely a good thing. The plot is very relaxed for most of the way through, and director Mark L. Lester seems content to just let things play out. That is until the last fifteen minutes; when the plot reaches its full potential and explodes with a fun and exciting finale. The film does feel more than a little bit like a TV movie at times; and the dumbed down techno soundtrack doesn't help this. Overall, the film definitely isn't perfect; but it's an enjoyable watch and King films have definitely been a lot worse!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 May 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Firestarter See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,726,660, 13 May 1984

Gross USA:

$17,080,167

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,080,167
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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