Halloween (1978)

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Theatrical Poster
Directed by John Carpenter
Produced by Moustapha Akkad
Irwin Yablans
Joe Wolf
Written by John Carpenter
Debra Hill
Starring Donald Pleasence
Jamie Lee Curtis
P. J. Soles
Nancy Loomis
Music by John Carpenter
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Editing by Charles Bornstein
Tommy Lee Wallace
Distributed by Compass International Pictures
Running time 91 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $320,000
Gross revenue $60,000,000
Followed by Halloween II

Halloween - is a 1978 American independent horror film directed, produced, and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut. The film is set in the fictional midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois. On Halloween, six year old Michael Myers murders his older sister. Fifteen years later, he escapes from a psychiatric hospital, returns home, and stalks teenager Laurie Strode and her friends. Michael's psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis suspects Michael's intentions, and follows him to Haddonfield to try to prevent this from happening.



The Night HE Came Home!
The trick was to stay alive.
Everyone is entitled to one good scare


It was a cold Halloween night in 1963 when six year old Michael Audrey Myers brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister, Judith Margaret Myers. He was sentenced to the Smith's Grove-Warren County Sanitarium for his brutal crime. There, he remained locked away and dormant for 15 years.

But on October 30, 1978, things are about to change. While being transferred for a court date, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes Smith's Grove. He returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he follows three young women.

Seventeen-year-old Laurie Strode is a quiet bookworm, preferring babysitting over parties. As she goes about her school day, she finds her mind playing tricks on her. Her friends, Annie and Lynda, are busy thinking about the fun of Halloween night.

That evening, Laurie and Annie are babysitting across the street from each other. Laurie has to keep an eye on comic-loving Tommy Doyle, while Annie watches "little Lindsey Wallace," obsessed with the television. Little do they know, Michael Myers has come home to kill. Carefully, he murders Annie first, followed by Lynda and her boyfriend Bob.

Their only hope is Dr. Loomis, Michael's childhood psychiatrist who has followed Michael's trail back to Haddonfield. Loomis enlists the help of town sheriff Leigh Brackett, who happens to be Annie's father. The duo search the streets, but the bogeyman is close to his prize for the night: Laurie!

Dr. Loomis knows what Michael is - pure evil. Can Dr. Loomis rescue Laurie in time?

Full Cast & Crew

Donald Pleasence
Jamie Lee Curtis
Nancy Kyes
P.J. Soles
Charles Cyphers
Kyle Richards
Brian Andrews
John Michael Graham
Nancy Stephens
Arthur Malet
Mickey Yablans
Brent Le Page
Adam Hollander
Robert Phalen
Tony Moran
Will Sandin
Sandy Johnson
David Kyle
Peter Griffith
Nick Castle
Dr. Sam Loomis
Laurie Strode
Annie Brackett
Lynda van der Klok
Sheriff Leigh Brackett
Lindsey Wallace
Tommy Doyle
Bob Simms
Marion Chambers
Graveyard Keeper
Lonnie Elamb
Dr. Wynn
Michael Myers (age 21)
Michael Myers (age 6)
Judith Margaret Myers
Judith's Boyfriend
Laurie's Father
The Shape


The soundtrack for "Halloween" was composed and written by John Carpenter. While interviewing at 20th Century-Fox for an unrelated directing job, John Carpenter screened the final cut of "Halloween", but without any accompanying music or sound effects. The executive didn't find the film frightening in the least. Carpenter then decided to "save it with music".

John Carpenter had experience in scoring films, as he had written and performed the music for two of his prior films, "Dark Star" and "Assault on Precinct 13". For "Halloween", he was influenced by composers Ennio Morricone as well as Bernard Herrmann. Carpenter appreciated Herrmann's score for "Psycho", a movie that inspired "Halloween", and wanted to incorporate basic instruments and rhythms to accomplish this. The iconic "Halloween" sound was brought about, in part, to an exercise that his father taught him on the bongos - the beating out of a 5/4 time.

Original Soundtrack




"Halloween" made its debut on October 25, 1978 in Kansas City. From there, it had showings in Chigago, New York and finally released for showings all across the country, then worldwide.

Home Releases

"Halloween" was released to home video in the early 1980's. Several versions were released by numerous companies including Blockbuster Video, Media Home Entertainment and more recently Anchor Bay Entertainment. There were two laserdisc releases, several DVD releases and a Blu-ray release.

To date, seven DVD editions of the film have been released:

1997 Original Release
1999 2-Disc Restored Limited Edition (including both theatrical and extended editions)
2000 Single Disc Restored Collector's Edition (Disc One of the 2-Disc Set)
2001 Extended Edition (Disc Two of the 2-Disc Set)
2003 2-Disc 25th Anniversary Edition
2007 Single Disc Restored Collector's Edition (Repackaged)
2008 30th Anniversary Commemorative Set
(includes both theatrical and extended cuts on DVD, the theatrical cut on Blu-ray, Halloween: 25 Years of Terror, and Halloween 4 and Halloween 5 as bonus discs)


Many fans consider Curtis Richards/aka Dennis Etchison, "Halloween" as one of the best written film to novelization projects. Released a year after the film debut, Curtis Richards investigates deeper into the history of Michael Myers, while adding new scenes, extra dialogue and delving thoroughly into the psyche of the characters, adding previously unknown insight. Much more in-depth with back-story, it goes into the history of where Michael's evil comes from - an ancient Druid curse!!

After its 1979 debut issue and reprint in 1983, this novel went out of print. "Halloween" may still be acquired through on-line sources with costs ranging from $75.00 - $275.00.

Mass Market Paperback

Publisher:Bantam / Compass; 5th Printing edition (October 1979)

Mass Market Paperback

Publisher: Bantam (September 1, 1982)

Paperback - Import

Publisher: Bantam USA / New Impression Edition (December 1,1983)


Video Games

For more information, please see Halloween (Atari Video Game)

In 1983, Halloween was adapted as a video game for the Atari 2600 by Wizard Video. None of the main characters in the game were named. Players take on the role of a teenage babysitter who tries to save as many children from an unnamed, knife-wielding killer as possible.



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