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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

R | | Horror | 4 October 1974 (USA)
Trailer
1:40 | Trailer
Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths and must survive the terrors of Leatherface and his family.

Director:

Tobe Hooper

Writers:

Kim Henkel (screenplay by), Tobe Hooper (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,233 ( 139)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marilyn Burns ... Sally
Allen Danziger ... Jerry
Paul A. Partain ... Franklin
William Vail ... Kirk
Teri McMinn ... Pam
Edwin Neal ... Hitchhiker
Jim Siedow ... Old Man
Gunnar Hansen ... Leatherface
John Dugan ... Grandfather
Robert Courtin Robert Courtin ... Window Washer
William Creamer William Creamer ... Bearded Man
John Henry Faulk ... Storyteller
Jerry Green Jerry Green ... Cowboy
Ed Guinn ... Cattle Truck Driver
Joe Bill Hogan Joe Bill Hogan ... Drunk
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Storyline

En route to visit their grandfather's grave (which has apparently been ritualistically desecrated), five teenagers drive past a slaughterhouse, pick up (and quickly drop) a sinister hitch-hiker, eat some delicious home-cured meat at a roadside gas station, before ending up at the old family home... where they're plunged into a never-ending nightmare as they meet a family of cannibals who more than make up in power tools what they lack in social skills... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

America's Most Bizarre and Brutal Crimes!... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 October 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Headcheese See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$30,859,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,859,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Vortex See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (new longer Version) | (Unrated Edition)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Tobe Hooper claims to have gotten the idea for the film while standing in the hardware section of a crowded store while Christmas shopping. While thinking of a way to get out through the crowd, he spotted the chainsaws. See more »

Goofs

After the hitch hiker cuts his own hand, he laughs and waves the knife. Watch carefully and you can see the hose behind the blade the blood came through. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare.

The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

AUGUST 18, 1973 See more »

Alternate Versions

A scene was filmed but cut in which Pam and Kirk come across a campground outside the slaughterhouse where people were murdered, and Kirk finds a pocket-watch nailed to a tree. A scene was cut that explained one of the film's continutity errors: During the dinner scene, Leatherface gets up, goes into his bedroom, and fixes up his mask with makeup. In the original cut of the film, there was a closeup shot of Hitchhiker after he's hit by the mac-truck. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Why Horror? (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Poco a Poco No
Los Cyclones
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Pure, uncompromised horror! A modern classic which still confronts, disturbs and terrifies audiences worldwide.
21 April 2003 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

Tobe Hopper's 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' is a landmark low budget horror movie which must be considered a modern classic. Hooper's subsequent career has ben extremely uneven, and frequently disappointing, but even if he never made another movie he would still be a legendary figure. As would Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) and his twisted family played by Edwin Neal and Jim Siedow, and immortal scream queen Marilyn Burns. These actors never have to set in front of a camera again, they'll never be forgotten by horror buffs worldwide! In this day and age of cynically conceived and marketed MTV-friendly teen slashers it's a revelation to see old school horror classics like this, Romero's 'Night Of The Living Dead' and Craven's 'Last House On The Left'. Uncompromising movies, pure horror that makes no attempt to water themselves down and court a mainstream audience. This movie was one of the most controversial of the 1970s, censored or banned here in Australia, and in Britain, and despite the hundreds of horror movies released since, it is still powerful and fresh. There is an undercurrent of bizarre black humour underneath the film, a lot subtler than the sequel and other more obvious "horror comedies". The terror isn't compromised, the uneasy giggles make the extreme images even more difficult to dismiss. The cast, all unknowns at the time, and from what we know know paid diddley squat, are all pretty good, especially Marilyn Burns (who Hooper used in his underrated 'Eaten Alive' and who also appeared in the Charles Manson TV biopic 'Helter Skelter'), and whiny paraplegic Paul A. Partain (who went on to bit parts in 70s Drive-In faves 'Race With The Devil' and 'Rolling Thunder' and very little else). One would have thought both would have went on to bigger things watching their performances in this movie but sadly it wasn't meant to be. Gunnar Hansen is absolutely extraordinary as Leatherface. An amazing performance with his features obscured and no real dialogue to speak of. I don't think it's an exaggeration to compare it to Boris Karloff in the original 'Frankenstein'. Leatherface is a horror icon, and 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' is a landmark movie that remains essential viewing for every horror buff. It's a sensational movie that still has the power to confront, disturb and terrify audiences worldwide!


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