POLTERGEIST (1982) MOVIE NEWS & REVIEW
poltergeist (1982) movie
Genre | Horror Thriller
Classification | M
Running time | 114 minutes
Released | 4 June 1982
JoBeth Williams ... Diane Freeling (as Jobeth Williams)
Craig T. Nelson ... Steve Freeling
Heather O'Rourke ... Carol Anne Freeling
Zelda Rubinstein ... Tangina
Beatrice Straight ... Dr. Lesh
Dominique Dunne ... Dana Freeling
Oliver Robins ... Robbie Freeling
Steven Spielberg ... (screenplay) &
Michael Grais ... (screenplay) &
Mark Victor ... (screenplay)
Steven Spielberg ... (story)
Matthew F. Leonetti ... director of photography
box office result
Australia $ not available
North America $76,606,280
Heather O'Rourke was chosen for the film when she was eating lunch with her mother and sister at an MGM commissary. Producer Steven Spielberg came up to them and wanted O'Rourke for the part of Carol Anne. She initially failed the screen-test because she kept laughing her way through the audition, even when she was supposed to be afraid. Spielberg thought she was too young to take the part seriously, but he still recognized something special in her, so he asked her to come back for another audition, and this time, bring a scary storybook with her. He also asked her to scream, so she screamed and screamed until she started crying. This audition got her cast as Carol Anne.
Steven Spielberg worked on this film and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) literally back to back. Principal photography on Poltergeist ended in August of 1981, then Spielberg took a few weeks off and began work on E.T., while Tobe Hooper spent 10 weeks in the editing room completing his initial cut. Spielberg did supervise the visual effects for both films simultaneously (which were produced at Industrial Light & Magic under the supervision of Richard Edlund and Dennis Muren). Once post production work on Poltergeist began in early 1982, Spielberg was in total control. He was responsible for the final edit of the film (Spielberg's usual editor Michael Kahn edited this film while Carol Littleton edited E.T), the final sound mixes and loops, the supervision of the visual effects, and the selection of Jerry Goldsmith as the composer of the score. Poltergeist and E.T opened to theaters nationwide only a week between each other during the summer of 1982, Poltergeist on June 4th and E.T. one week later on June 11th. Spielberg later said "If E.T. was a whisper, Poltergeist was a scream".
Many people believe there is a curse on the "Poltergeist" franchise, which may have been caused by the use of real skeletons on-set, e.g. several actors in the franchise have died, and this became the focus of the E! True Hollywood Story: Curse of the Poltergeist (2002).