Friday the 13th (1980)

90m 44s (UK – video), 91m, 94m 45s (UK – theatrical)
35mm, colour, 1.37:1 [negative ratio], 1.85:1 [intended ratio]
mono, English
Reviewed at The

An American movie directed by Sean S. Cunningham. Made initially as a response to the success of John Carpenter's Halloween (1978), the film proved to be a huge success at the box office, initiating a long-running franchise that numbered 10 sequels before being remade in 2009. Despite the popularity of the franchise's iconic villain, Jason Vorhees, he barely appears in this first film, literally popping up at the very last moment in a shot that may be part of a dream.

Plot Summary

A group of are getting ready to re-open Camp Crystal Lake, a summer camp closed down a few years before when a child was drowned in the lake. Almost immediately, the teens are being picked off in increasingly nasty ways by an unseen killer until only one, Alice is left to face up to the murderer alone.


Directed by: Sean S. Cunningham
© MCMLXXX [1980] Georgetown Productions Inc.
A Sean S. Cunningham film. Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Executive Producer: Alvin Geiler
Produced by: Sean S. Cunningham
Associate Producer: Stephen Miner
Written by: Victor Miller
Director of Photography: Barry Abrams
Editor: Bill Freda
Music by: Harry Manfredini
Sound Mixer: Richard Murphy
Wardrobe Designer: Caron Coplan
Makeup: Katharine Vickers
Hair Styles by: Six Feet Under, Westport, Connecticut
Special Make-up Effects by: Tom Savini
Art Director: Virginia Field

Betsy Palmer as Mrs Voorhees
Adrienne King as Alice
Jeannine Taylor as Marcie
Robbi Morgan as Annie
Kevin Bacon as Jack
Harry Crosby as Bill
Laurie Bartram as Brenda
Mark Nelson as Ned
Peter Brouwer as Steve Christy
Rex Everhart as truck driver
Ronn Carroll as Sergeant Tierney
Ron Millkie (Officer Dorf)
Walt Gorney (Crazy Ralph)
Willie Adams (Barry)
Debra S. Hayes (Claudette)
Dorothy Kobs (Trudy)
Sally Anne Golden (Sandy)
Mary Rocco (operator)
Ken L. Parker (doctor)
Ari Lehman as Jason [Voorhees]
Irwin Keyes [busboy in cafe – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

A Long Night at Camp Blood – working title


Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)
Friday the 13th Part VII – The New Blood (1988)
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Jason X (2001)
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

See also
Alone in the Dark (1982)
Black Christmas (1974)
The Bogus Witch Project (2000)
Camping del terrore (1986)
The Final Terror (1983)
Halloween (1978)
Madman (1981)
The Many Lives of (2002)
Reazione a catena (1971)
Saturday the 14th (1981)
Saturday the 14th Strikes Back (1988)
Scary Movie (2000)
Scream 2 (1997)
Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th (2000)
Student Bodies (1981)
Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation (1992)
The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)

Extracts included in
100 Years of Horror (1996)
Scream Greats Vol. 1 Tom Savini Master of Horror Make-up (1986)
Terror in the Aisles (1984)

Production Notes

In Denmark, Bill's death has been removed completely for the video version. He later re-appears in a scene at the end of the film visiting Alice in hospital, an out-take that was originally shot for an alternate, happier ending.

In Finland the film was banned outright

In the UK, cinema prints were censored. Initial video prints were the same version as the cut US R version, but a later video release was uncut.

In the USA the MPAA demanded several cuts before awarding the R rating, trimming back most of the violence set-pieces.

In West Germany, the film was rated 18 but prints were seized by authorities and the video was subsequently banned.



  • Cinefantastique vol.10 no.2 (Autumn 1980) p.42 – review
  • Cinefantastique vol.20 no.1/2 (November 1989) pp.92, 124 – illustrated article
  • Fangoria no.190 (March 2000) p.75 – DVD review
  • Halls of Horror no.27 p.22 – note
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.261 no.35 (9 May 1980) p.3 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.47 no.558 (July 1980) p.132 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Movietone News no.66-67 (13 March 1981) pp.40-41 – review
  • Positif no.343 (September 1989) pp.50-53 – illustrated article
  • Scapegoat no.1 p.11 – censorship details
  • Screen International no.246 (21 June 1980) p.19 – review
  • Variety 10 October 1979 p.30 – note
  • Variety 14 May 1980 p.14 – review


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.348-349 – credits, review
  • A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series by Ken Hanke pp.293-195; 300 – credits
  • Film Review 1981-1982 by F. Maurice Speed – credits, review
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.144 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis 143 – credits
  • Horror Films by Subgenre: A Viewer's Guide by Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay pp.41-42 – credits
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes: An Illustrated Filmography, with Plot Synopses and Critical Commentary by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester pp.217-219 – credits