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Gremlins (1984)

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A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.

Director:

Joe Dante

Writer:

Chris Columbus
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838 ( 55)
7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hoyt Axton ... Randall Peltzer
John Louie ... Chinese Boy
Keye Luke ... Grandfather (Mr. Wing)
Don Steele ... Rockin' Ricky Rialto (voice)
Susan Burgess Susan Burgess ... Little Girl
Scott Brady ... Sheriff Frank
Arnie Moore Arnie Moore ... Alex
Corey Feldman ... Pete Fountaine
Harry Carey Jr. ... Mr. Anderson
Zach Galligan ... Billy Peltzer
Dick Miller ... Murray Futterman
Phoebe Cates ... Kate Beringer
Polly Holliday ... Ruby Deagle
Donald Elson ... Man on Street (as Don Elson)
Belinda Balaski ... Mrs. Joe Harris
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Storyline

Minature green monsters tear through the small town of Kingston Falls. Hijinks ensue as a mild-mannered bank teller releases these hideous loonies after gaining a new pet and violating two of three simple rules: No water (violated), no food after midnight (violated), and no bright light. Hilarious mayhem and destruction in a town straight out of Norman Rockwell. So, when your washing machine blows up or your TV goes on the fritz, before you call the repair man, turn on all the lights and look under all the beds. 'Cause you never can tell, there just might be a gremlin in your house. Written by ahmetkozan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Cute. Clever. Mischievous. Intelligent. Dangerous. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

8 June 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gremlins See more »

Filming Locations:

Universal City, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,511,000, 10 June 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$148,170,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mrs. Deagle (Polly Holliday), the richest lady in town, has named her cats after different kinds of currency (including Kopeck, Drachma, and Dollar Bill). See more »

Goofs

As Grandfather leaves the house after retrieving Gizmo, he is holding the "smokeless ashtray" gift in his hand as he walks out the door. In the outside shot immediately following, the ashtray has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

[Concession Stand at Movie Theater, Stripe pears his head inside the empty popcorn bin, sniffing around]
Stripe: Yum?
[looks across the street and sees the candy store]
Stripe: AH. Yum. Yum.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the closing credits, once the theme has ended, you can hear the sounds of gremlins laughing. See more »

Alternate Versions

The NBC TV version adds one scene deleted from the original film, where Billy and Kate discover Gerald locked in the bank vault after the Gremlin rampage. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Best of the Worst: Wheel of the Worst #5 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Gremlins...Mega-Madness
Performed by Michael Sembello
Words and Music by Michael Sembello, Mark Hudson and Don Freeman
Produced by Michael Sembello and Mark Hudson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
seeing it as a kid vs an adult
11 December 2016 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

Seeing this again in a theater today on 35mm, and it strikes me how much this is a product of the 1980's even as it holds up (that is if you are one of those few brave souls who love the hell out of practical effects and creatures that have to be built - so many of these things have great individual personalities and designs, even as they're all either gremlins or mogwais). Dick Miller as Mr. Futterman, for example, plays the sort of borderline-adorable xenophobe - his one character trait here is that he doesn't trust a single thing that comes from another country - that today in America is not so adorable anymore (a Nixon frame on his wall seems quaint by today's standards). And the gremlins themselves can be seen as the sort of "other" or "outsider" threat that's coming to get us if we're not careful; it's not that we can't or shouldn't have in these foreign critters, but the responsibility is on us, perhaps, to make sure we don't turn them into hideous terrorists....

I may be reading a bit much into this. But it's still a piece of Spielberg Americana, a small suburban town (maybe less suburban than ET but close enough) where everyone seems to know everyone, but given Joe Dante and Chris Columbus's extra-dose of love for B movies and Loony Tunes. It also is wonderful as an homage to the sort of small town one saw in It's a Wonderful Life (which we see on a TV here) and gets sort of featured with the one cantankerous woman who practically runs the bank (her storyline gets put by the wayside for one reason or another).

Not unlike with the Evil Dead series, the first movie is more of a horror movie than a comedy, and I think it takes a little while for the comedy to find its footing - as a kid I found Billy's dad, played by Hoyt Axton, to be amusing, though now as an adult he doesn't hold up as well with the running gags of his mishap inventions (it's kind of cute, at first, but runs out of steam). But once the bad mogwais and especially the plethora of gremlins take over the town, it is an amazing pop-comedy spectacle. If nothing else it's worthwhile for the set pieces in the second half: that bar scene with Phoebe Cates at the mercy of all these damn creatures (the highlight of this movie for me is the jazzy, Tom Waits-like gremlin accosted by the one with the hand-puppets); all of them watching Snow White; the finale with 'Stripe' and how it's an actually effective suspense sequence, with maybe one too many false endings.

And in the middle is little Gizmo, like the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi built for no other purpose except to be sickeningly cute and... who wouldn't want a Gizmo, long as one is responsible for the little guy? It may take a little while for him to become notable to the plot, but when he does it's also a great deal of fun in that finale. So, there is a lot of nostalgia in this for me, as this was one of the first movies I can remember seeing as a little kid. How I respond to it today isn't too different, though I do recognize some of its flaws. Perfect ending.


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