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Firestarter (1984)

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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:

Charlie McGee is a happy, healthy eight-year-old little girl. Normal in every way but one. She has the power to set objects afire with just one glance. It's a power she does not want. It's a power she can't control. And, each night, Charlie prays to be just like every other child. But there are those who will do everything in their power to find her... or destroy her. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 May 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ojos de fuego See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$15,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (none)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Dino DeLaurentiis paid one million dollars for the film rights to the book. See more »

Goofs

When Charlie throws the three agents in silver fire suits out of the barn after setting them on fire, the wires used to pull them back are clearly visible as the barn door breaks. See more »

Quotes

Irv Manders: You men are tresspassin. Show me a warrant or get off my land.
Agent: We don't need a warrant.
Irv Manders: You do unless I woke up in Russia this morning!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Ready Player One (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Turkey in the Straw
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Pyromania chiller with little bite.
5 May 2003 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

Firestarter the movie and Firestarter the novel (written, of course, by Stephen King) have a common hindrance. Both are fine for their first half, with plenty of pace and action and even a few scares. But both book and film peter off in their second half, as the chase scenario which dominates the opening segment becomes a slow, tedious and frequently unconvincing cat-and-mouse affair set in a secret scientific centre known as The Shop.

David Keith is a strange choice for Andy McGee, a father with mysterious powers (courtesy of an experiment gone wrong) whose daughter Charlie has even greater powers which enable her to set objects alight at will. The Shop want her so that they can kill her, as they have reason to believe she has no true control over her powers and may one day inadvertently nuke the planet Earth. As Charlie, Drew Barrymore is reasonably good, especially in the scenes where she gets mad and starts off a blaze. Best performance of the lot comes from George C. Scott, as a seemingly educated assassin who occasionally says something which hints that he well and truly out of his mind. It's a calculated and chilling display. Less worthy are the roles of Freddie Jones (bizarre and exaggerated) and Martin Sheen (bland and boring).

I would say that Firestarter is worth catching if you're a fan of King or Barrymore, and although I shouldn't say this I'm sure pyromaniacs will revel in it. However, for the discerning audience there's little here worth making a special effort to see. It just comes and goes like the wind and, for want of a better word, doesn't really ignite.


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