Halloween (1978)

USA, 1978
35mm, Panavision [anamorphic], Metrocolor, 2.35:1
mono, Dolby [re-release]

An American horror film directed by John Carpenter. It was hugely successful (for many years the most successful independent horror film ever made) and influential, starting not only a franchise that continues, albeit in much altered form, today but also the 80s cycle of slasher movies. Production began on 25 April 1978 1Daily Variety 21 April 1978 p.10

Plot Summary

As a young boy, Michael Myers stabs his older sister to death. Years later, he escapes from his psychiatric hospital and, pursued by a doctor, makes his way back to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. On Halloween night, he start picking off babysitters until only Laurie Strode is left to face the apparently unstoppable killer.


* = uncredited

Directed by: John Carpenter
© MCMLXXVIII by Falcon International Production
Moustapha Akkad presents
Executive Producer: Irwin Yablans
Produced by: Debra Hill, John Carpenter *
Associate Producer: Kool Lusby
Screenplay by: John Carpenter and Debra Hill
Director of Photography: Dean Cundey
Film Editors: Charles Bornstein, Tommy Wallace
Music by: John Carpenter
Sound Mixer: Tommy Causey
Wardrobe: Beth Rodgers
Makeup: Erica Ulland
Production Designer: Tommy Wallace
Locations: North Hollywood, California, USA; Pasadena, California, USA; Rosemead, California, USA; South Pasadena High School, South Pasadena, California, USA; South Pasadena, California, USA

Donald Pleasence ([Dr Sam] Loomis)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie [Strode])
Nancy Loomis (Annie [Brackett])
P.J. Soles (Lynda)
Charles Cyphers ([Sheriff Leigh] Brackett)
Kyle Richards (Lindsey [Wallace])
Brian Andrews (Tommy [Doyle])
John Michael Graham (Bob)
Nancy Stephens (Marion [Chambers])
Arthur Malet (graveyard keeper)
Mickey Yablans (Richie)
Brent Le Page (Lonnie [Elamb])
Adam Hollander (Keith)
Robert Phalen (Dr Wynn)
Tony Moran (Michael Myers aged 23)
Will Sandin (Michael aged 6)
Sandy Johnson (Judith Myers)
David Kyle (Judith’s boyfriend)
Peter Griffith (Laurie’s father)
Nick Castle (The Shape)

Alternative Titles

Alla helgons blodiga natt – Sweden
The Babysitter Murders – working title
Halloween – A Noite do Terror – Brazil
Halloween – Die Nacht des Grauens – West Germany
Halloween – naamioiden yö – Finland
Halloween, la nuit des masques – France (video)
Halloween la notte delle streghe – Italy
Maskernes nat – Denmark (video)
De nacht van de griezels – Belgium (Flemish)
Noc vestica – Serbia
La noche de Halloween – Spain
As Noites de Halloween – Portugal
La Nuit des masques – Belgium (French), Canada (French), France
I nyhta me tis maskes – Greece
O Regresso do Mal – Portugal
Yabanci – Turkey

Halloween II (1981)
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
Halloween 5 (1989)
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Halloween (2018)

Halloween (2007)

Includes extracts from
Forbidden Planet (1956)
Psycho (1960)
The Thing from Another World (1951)

Extracts included in
78/52 (2017)
100 Years of Horror (1996)
The American Nightmare (2000)
Clive Barker’s A-Z of Horror: Broken Homes (1997)
Halloween: 25 Years of Terror (2005)
Halloween: A Cut Above the Rest (2003)
Heartstoppers: Horror at the Movies (1992)
Masters of Horror (2002)
S&man (2006)
Terror in the Aisles (1984)

See also
Black Christmas (1974)
Friday the 13th (1980)



  • Daily Variety 21 April 1978 p.10 – note (Film production chart)
  • The Dark Side no.55 p.52 – credits, review
  • The Dark Side no.60 pp.17-18 – illustrated review
  • Films in Review vol.30 no.3 (March 1979) pp.182-183 – review (by Jeffrey Wells)
  • Killing Moon no.4 p.17 – review
  • Mad Movies no.52 p.43 – review
  • Screen International no.251 (26 July-2 August 1980) p.7 – note (New films on video)
  • Shivers no.36 p.15 – review
  • Strange Adventures Summer Special 1989 pp.6-7 – review


  • The Daily Mail 1 May 1990 p.4 – illustrated article (Horror film ‘took over the mind of a killer’ by Margaret Henfield)
  • The Daily Mail 2 May 1990 p.22 – illustrated article (Clerk accused of gun spree ‘too ill for trial’ by Roger Scott)
  • The Guardian 24 February 1995 – article (Prime cuts by Farrah Anwar)
  • The Guardian Section 2 24 April – 1 May 1998 p.17 – review (by John Pierson)
  • The Times Magazine 10 June 1995 p.57 – review
  • The Western Mail 18 May 1979 – note (The night Elaine watched as a killer stalked…)
  • The Western Mail 19 May 1979 – illustrated review (Welcome, son of Psycho by David Hughes)


  • 100 American Horror Films by Barry Keith Grant pp.89-90
  • Anatomy of the Slasher Film: A Theortical Analysis by Sotiris Petridis pp.2, 3, 5, 9, 12, 13, 15, 19, 32, 35, 38, 41, 48, 48-52, 56-65, 73, 79, 83, 107, 123, 129, 135, 141, 145, 149
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.329 – illustrated credits, review
  • A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series by Ken Hanke pp.281-283; 290
  • Educational Institutions in Horror Film: A History of Mad Professors, Student Bodies, and Final Exams by Andrew L. Grunzke pp.94-96, 103, 105-106, 108, 111, 125, 147, 149-151, 158-159, 162-163, 168, 169, 182, 184, 185, 187, 190, 194
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.217, 277, 283, 309
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.382, 389
  • Film Review 1979-1980 by F. Maurice Speed p.145
  • Horror! 333 Films to Scare You to Death by James Marriott & Kim Newman p.200
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.161-162
  • Horror Films by Subgenre: A Viewer’s Guide by Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay pp.166-167
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir pp.535-540 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.12-13 – illustrated credits, review
  • The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies: An A-Z Guide to Over Sixty Years of Blood and Guts by Peter Normanton pp.232-235
  • Order in the Universe: The Films of John Carpenter (2nd Edition) by Robert C. Cumbow pp.47-63; 248-249
  • The Pocket Essential Slasher Movies by Mark Whitehead pp.35-37
  • The Pocket Essentials: John Carpenter by Michelle Le Blanc & Colin Odell pp.41-45
  • Recovering 1940s Horror Cinema: Traces of a Lost Decade by Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare, Charlie Ellbé and Kristopher Woofter (eds.) pp.27-30, 34-35
  • Retro Screams: Terror in the New Millennium by Christopher T. Koetting pp.10-22; 382-383 – illustrated essay; credits
  • Sci-fi Chronicles by Guy Haley (ed.) p.298
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.244-246
  • Terror Tracks: Music, Sound and Horror Cinema by Philip Hayward (ed) pp.1, 99, 134, 187, 8, 208
  • Top 100 Horror Movies by Gary Gerani pp.76-77 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review

Other Sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide November 2011 p.8 – listing