|Directed by||John Carpenter|
Jamie Lee Curtis
P. J. Soles
|Music by||John Carpenter|
Tommy Lee Wallace
|Distributed by||Compass International Pictures|
|Running time||91 minutes|
|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
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.
- Halloween Theme – Main Title (2:54)
- Laurie’s Theme (2:05)
- Shape Escapes (1:42)
- Meyers’ House (5:35)
- Michael Kills Judith (3:11)
- Loomis and Shape’s Car (3:32)
- The Haunted House (3:33)
- The Shape Lurks (1:35)
- Laurie Knows (3:01)
- Better Check the Kids (3:27)
- The Shape Stalks (3:08)
- Music Composed and Performed by John Carpenter
- Recording Engineer – Peter Bergren
- Stereo Remix Engineer – Alan Howarth
- Synthesizer Programming – Dan Wyman
- Mixed at - Pi West Studios - Glendale, CA
"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.
- USA - October 1978 (Chicago International Film Festival)
- USA - 25 October 1978
- Argentina - 16 November 1978
- France - 14 March 1979
- Australia - 1 June 1979
- Italy - 22 June 1979
- West Germany - 6 July 1979
- Finland - 13 July 1979
- Sweden - 6 August 1979
- Japan - 11 August 1979
- Hong Kong - 21 September 1979
- Portugal - 16 November 1979
- Norway - 22 January 1980
- Philippines - 21 October 1980 (Davao)
- Turkey - November 1981
- Hungary - 6 November 1989
- France - January 1999 (Travelling Festival de Cinema de Rennes)
- France - 27 October 1999 (re-release)
- Italy - November 1999 (Turin Film Festival)
- Netherlands - 3 May 2000 (re-release)
"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)
- ISBN-10: 0553132261
- ISBN-13: 978-0553132267
Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Bantam (September 1, 1982)
- ISBN-10: 0553262963
- ISBN-13: 978-0553262964
Paperback - Import
Publisher: Bantam USA / New Impression Edition (December 1,1983)
- ISBN-10: 0553140361
- ISBN-13: 978-0553140361
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.
- "Halloween" was Jamie Lee Curtis' first feature film. Her mother, Janet Leigh, attained legendary status in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho in 1960.
- Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing were both approached to play Dr.Loomis,(played by Donald Pleasence), and turned the job down.
- Due to tight budget restraints, the prop department bought a $1.98 William Shatner "Star Trek" mask. The hair was teased out, the eyes were reshaped and the mask was painted white.
- "Halloween" was actually filmed in early spring in Southern California, as opposed to late fall and in Illinois. To lend an air of authenticity, paper leaves were bought and painted in autumn colors, then scattered on location. The crew also had difficulties procuring pumpkins at that time of year.
- On the wall of Laurie Strodes bedroom, there is a poster of a painting by James Ensor (1860-1949). James Ensor was known for his post-Impressionist and proto-surrealist paintings of masks, skeletons and carnivals.
- "The Bowling Green Philharmonic" is credited for "Halloweens' music score. In reality, there isn't a philharmonic in Bowling Green. John Carpenter is originally from Bowling Green, Kentucky and this reference is simply a nod to his hometown. The "Bowling Green Philharmonic" is actually John Carpenter and friends.
- The setting in "Halloween" is Haddonfield, Illinois. Co-writer Debra Hill's hometown is Haddonfield, New Jersey.
- The original title for "Halloween" was "The Babysitter Murders".
- John Gavin's character in "Psycho" was named "Sam Loomis".
- The actors wore their own clothes for the film because of budget restraints. Jamie Lee Curtis spent $100.00 at JC Penny's for her wardrobe.
- John Carpenter was awarded the New Generation Award winner by the Los Angeles Film Critic Association in 1979 for his work on "Halloween".
- "Halloween" was made in 21 days in 1978.
- Jamie Lee Curtis wasn't their first choice to play Laurie Strode. Carpenter initially wanted Annie Lockhart, daughter of June Lockhart of "Lassie" fame, for the part.
- The film's setting takes place in late October in Illinois, but throughout the film, green trees as well as Palm trees can be seen. The cars seen also have California license tags.
- In the scene where a young Michael Myers walks through the living room weilding a knife, the clock reads 9:40, however a few seconds later, the same clock strikes 10:00.
- Cigarrette smoke can be seen floating into view when Laurie Strode sees "The Shape" near some bushes.
- When Michael Myers shatters the car window, behind the nurses head, a wrench can be seen tied to his hand.
- From external shots the Wallace house has its living room on the left of the entry door, however internal shots see characters walk through the door and turn right to enter the living room.
- The door knob of the Doyle house is on the right hand side of the door in both external and internal shots.
- Official website of the Halloween Films
- Halloween (1978) on Facebook
- Halloween (1978) on Myspace
- Halloween (1978) at the Internet Movie Database