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Poltergeist (1982)

PG | | Horror, Thriller | 4 June 1982 (USA)
Trailer
2:25 | Trailer
A family's home is haunted by a host of demonic ghosts.

Director:

Tobe Hooper

Writers:

Steven Spielberg (screenplay), Michael Grais (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
909 ( 297)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Craig T. Nelson ... Steve Freeling
JoBeth Williams ... Diane Freeling (as Jobeth Williams)
Beatrice Straight ... Dr. Lesh
Dominique Dunne ... Dana Freeling
Oliver Robins ... Robbie Freeling
Heather O'Rourke ... Carol Anne Freeling
Michael McManus ... Ben Tuthill
Virginia Kiser ... Mrs. Tuthill
Martin Casella ... Marty
Richard Lawson ... Ryan
Zelda Rubinstein ... Tangina
James Karen ... Mr. Teague
Lou Perryman Lou Perryman ... Pugsley (as Lou Perry)
Clair E. Leucart Clair E. Leucart ... Bulldozer Driver (as Clair Leucart)
Dirk Blocker ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 June 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Poltergeist See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,896,612, 6 June 1982

Gross USA:

$77,142,388

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$77,142,388
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original cut)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Insidious is very much in the model of Poltergeist; where the possessed house is terrorizing the family; and one of the parents has to go into the netherworld to rescue the lost child there. It also has the paranormal experts and the exorcist; with Elise Rainer and Specs standing in for Tangina and Dr. Lesh; and the hovering otherworldly presence; in Poltergeist it's The Beast and the TV People; with Insidious it's the Bride , her family and the Lipstick Face Demon. And is also has one of the parents hiding a supernatural power; which tends to unlock the secret of the metaphysical events in the first place. In Insidious we learn that Josh Lambert has Extra Sensory Powers; and some of the creatures terrorizing his son are the same entities that terrorized him growing up. In the Poltergeist franchise we also learn that Diane Freeling had extra sensory powers as a child; and passed those gifts on to Carol Ann; which is why Carol Ann was targeted by the tv people in the first place; and also why Diane was able to communicate with her and save her from the Netherworld in Part 1. Also the fact that the Lamberts move out of their home and the terror follows them into the new home; is a direct response to the complaint so many people had about the end of Poltergeist; which is why didn't they leave the house immediately after they rescued Carol Ann? In effect, James Wan has taken the bare bones of the Poltergeist story; added a dash of the Exorcist; and souped up the story; improved it; intensified it; so that Poltergeist; which was a relatively tame horror of the early 80s became one of the most terrifying and effective haunted house epics of the 21st century. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 35 mins) While Diane is soaking in the tub with her eyes closed, "steam" is flowing down into the tub from elsewhere in the room, instead of it evaporating out from the hot water. 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

After the credits and the logo of the MGM lion is shown, we hear children laughing. Fans of the film have assumed that the laughing children are those who have been released from the beast and have crossed over the threshold into the next life. See more »

Alternate Versions

For ABC's 1985 network television premiere, Marty's hallucination is altered so instead of him ripping his own face off, he sees his face rapidly deteriorate briefly. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Friends: The One with the Giant Poking Device (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Carol Anne's Theme
(uncredited)
Choir Arranged and Conducted by Paul Salamunovich
Orchestra by The London Symphony Orchestra
Choir by The Children's Educational Choir and Elin Carlson
Written, Music and Performed by Jerry Goldsmith
[The music plays over during the ending credits]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Likable family is suddenly horrorized by otherworld spirits in its house of terrors
16 March 2009 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This known story deals about the suburban Freeling family(Craig T Nelson,JoBeth Williams,Heather O'Rourque and Dominique Dunne,Griffin Dunne's sister) that encounter its house invaded by weird ghosts who abduct their six years old little girl named Carol Anne(Heather O'Rourke). The parents hire a psychics(Beatrice Straight, Richard Lawson and Zelda Rubinstein) to resolve it.

Excellent terror story plenty of screams,chills,thrills and a little bit of humor. God and dazzling though primitive special effects by Richard Edlund. Suspenseful, frightening musical score by the master Jerry Goldsmith. Colorful and appropriate cinematography by Matthew F. Leonetti.This hight budgeted movie is surprisingly written and well produced by Steven Spielberg. Director Tobe Hooper puts accent on suspense and atmosphere as in terror happenings. What transpires in the two hours longtime is a thriller that will leave you physically and emotionally drained. Horror fans should be entertained.

Followed by two inferior sequels with little common sense and coherence, as Poltergeist II(1986) by Brian Gibson with similar casting and Poltergeist III(1988) by Gary Sherman with Tom Skerrit, Nancy Allen, Lara Flynn Boyle and Heather O'Rourke who died after the movie's release at 12 age, while his sister Dominique Dunne died at 22 years old killed by her boyfriend.


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