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Helter Skelter (2004)

A new take on the Manson Family murders, with a keen focus on Charles Manson himself.

Director:

John Gray

Writers:

Vincent Bugliosi (book), Curt Gentry (book) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,480 ( 429)

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Davies ... Charles Manson
Clea DuVall ... Linda Kasabian
Allison Smith ... Patricia 'Katie' Krenwinkel
Eric Dane ... Charles "Tex" Watson
Mary Lynn Rajskub ... Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme
Michael Weston ... Bobby Beausoleil
Hal Ozsan ... Joey Dimarco
Rick Gomez ... Milio
Robert Joy ... Detective Morrisy
Graham Beckel ... Jerry
Chris Ellis ... Sgt. Whiteley
Isabella Hofmann ... Rosemary LaBianca
Robert Costanzo ... Leno LaBianca
Yvonne Delarosa ... Catherine 'Gypsy' Share (as Yvonne De La Rosa)
Cheselka Leigh ... Kathryn 'Kitty' Lutesinger
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Storyline

A new take on the Manson Family murders, with a keen focus on Charles Manson himself.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How did one man turn all-American teens into cold-blooded killers? See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

CBS

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 May 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crime la-ntâmplare See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mary Lynn Rajskub originally auditioned for one of the victims before she was cast as Lynette Fromme. See more »

Goofs

During Susan Atkin's testimony, Bugliosi approaches her with two photographs in his hand and asks her if she can identify the car belonging to victim Steve Parent. As he approaches, the photograph visible in his hand is clearly a black and white photo of a car parked in front of a building. However, when he hands the photo to her, the insert shot is a color photo of a car parked in a wooded drive. The other photo is that of Parent slumped dead behind the wheel and there were no other photos. See more »

Quotes

Charles Manson: The time is now. Helter skelter.
See more »

Connections

References Valley of the Dolls (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

Chilling, Disturbing Remake
17 May 2004 | by Rob CrespinoSee all my reviews

Of all the murder trials in American history, only the Charles Manson case continues to hold fascination thirty-five years after it took place. The original "Helter Skelter" film aired on CBS in 1976, and focused mainly on the trial of Manson and his zombie teen girls. It was an excellent TV movie, but we never really got a sense of what life with Manson and his young followers was like. This film takes a different approach by focusing on Manson himself, the young people whose lives were ruined by him, and by depicting the actual murders themselves, which were quite intense for a television film. Jeremy Davies ("Spanking the Monkey," "Saving Private Ryan") was deeply scary as Manson. Clea Duvall did a fabulous job as Linda Kasabian, the "family" member who witnessed the murders but did not participate. After the murders, we get the sense that Kasabian is really torn up inside and knows that what was happening was very wrong, while other family members laughed and cheered as they watched news reports of the savage killings on television. Another excellent performance was by Whitney Dylan as Sharon Tate, the pregnant actress who was violently butchered by Manson's murderous teen followers. The scene in which she is on the floor dying and asks the killers to please try and save her baby was chilling and almost tear-inducing. We also get an excellent feel of the turbulent atmosphere of the time, 1969, and how the Manson murders brought "the decade of love" to a thundering halt. What makes this so sad and scary is that this actually happened. The fact that all-American teens from respectable families fell prey to a maniacal con man and are now spending their lives in prison is a frightening reminder of how young people can so easily be led astray by false prophets who promise the world and eventually can lead you into darkness and tragedy, whether it is 1969 or 2004. This film makes you want to hug and talk to your kids about the evil, dangerous alure of cults and false religions. All of the kids in the Manson family were runaways, and Charlie told them exactly what they wanted to hear and soon had them clinging to his every deceptive word. Manson continues to have a following among young people, thirty-five years after these awful crimes, and that's what is really disturbing. Watch the original 1976 film for an exhaustive dramatization of the trial itself, and see this remake for details of the events leading up to the trial. Way above average for television.


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