Trivia / Halloween (1978)

  • Actor-Inspired Element: The script called for Dr Loomis to look shocked when Michael Myers's body disappears from the lawn. Donald Pleasence argued that he should have an "I knew this would happen" look. They shot it both ways and the latter was the one used.
  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • The Bechdel Test: In the first scene with all the girls, they talk about schoolwork and their plans for the evening. Debra Hill apparently wrote the dialogue between the friends.
  • California Doubling: The movie was filmed in California, as opposed to Illinois. In several documentaries, Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter point out the various palm trees that can be spotted in the background.
  • Completely Different Title: In Sweden, the film became All Saints' Bloody Night. In Italy, it was called Witch's Night, since Halloween was not commonly celebrated there at the time.
  • Creator Backlash: Both John Carpenter and Debra Hill expressed displeasure at the Death by Sex trope's rise in horror after this movie. They said the reason the horny teenagers got killed was because they were too busy trying to do it that they failed to notice a killer approaching. Laurie only survives because she's on her own for most of the film.
  • Credits Gag: The score is apparently performed by "The Bowling Green Symphony Orchestra" — at a time when there was no orchestra of that name.
  • Dawson Casting: All of the teenagers are played by actors in their late twenties/early thirties. Even the least severe example—17/18-year old Laurie played by then-20 year old Jamie Lee Curtis.
  • Divorced Installment: This was originally a sequel to Black Christmas.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: An alternate version of Lynda on the phone to Laurie was shot for the trailer, because PJ Soles's blouse was open in the final film. So in the trailers and publicity stills, she is wearing a bathrobe instead.
  • No Budget: Only $320,000 was spent for this film, which is pretty amazing considering that it made $35,000,000.
  • Novelization: A very rare one now, that revealed a few plot points about Michael. It answers the Plot Hole about how Myers knows how to drive - by watching Loomis carefully operate the car during their many sessions apparently. It also heavily suggests that Michael is possessed by the ghost of an ancient Celtic boy who murdered a girl he was in love with, making Michael an innocent victim.
  • Playing Against Type: Donald Pleasence had been primarily playing villains (most famously Ernst Stavro Blofeld) up until this point.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The original script had the murders take place over several days. Due to the low budget, filmmakers minimized the amount of set and costume changes and had the story happen only on one night. This also wrote the title, as they decided to place the plot on Halloween night.
  • Re Cut: The 1981 NBC broadcast featured a new cut of the movie with less violence, and 12 minutes of additional scenes shot during production of first sequel with mostly the same crew, and Pleasence, Curtis, Soles, and Kyes reprising their roles. They were all toward the beginning of the film, and mostly just exist to pad out the runtime, and to tie the story more directly into the sequel. This cut was used for almost all TV broadcasts until the late 90s, when the film was first remastered. Around that time, an "extended cut" was also released to VHS and DVD that was basically the original theatrical cut with the additional scenes included. These scenes were also included as a separate bonus feature on the 2013 Blu-ray, but, due to fan demand, the full "extended cut" was included in the deluxe boxset in HD as a bonus feature (with the added scenes in SD). Fan reaction to these scenes is mixed. They're generally accepted as canon, but some (including Carpenter himself) think they hurt the movie's pace, and establish too much backstory. There are also fans that can't watch this movie without them. Since they set up the future sequels, they work better when this film is viewed more as the first entry in the franchise instead of a standalone feature.
  • Romance on the Set: Nancy Loomis dated and eventually married Tommy Lee Wallace. They ended up divorced.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: Donald Pleasence confessed to John Carpenter that the main reason why he took the part of Loomis was because his daughter Angela (who was a musician) had loved Carpenter's musical score for Assault on Precinct 13.
  • Star-Making Role: For Jamie Lee Curtis. She did get typecast as a Final Girl for a few years before properly shaking that off and establishing herself as a star in her own right.
  • Stunt Casting: John Carpenter originally wasn't interested in the unknown Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie. But when he heard she was the daughter of Psycho's Janet Leigh, he cast her in the hopes of drumming up publicity.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Christopher Lee turned down the role of Dr. Loomis and later said it was the biggest mistake he ever made in his career.
    • Also, Peter Cushing was the first choice to play Dr. Loomis, but since he'd recently appeared in ''another'' little independent film, his asking price went higher than the studio was willing to pay.
    • Also considered for Dr. Loomis were Peter O'Toole, Mel Brooks, Steven Hill, Walter Matthau, Jerry Van Dyke, Lawrence Tierney, Kirk Douglas, John Belushi, Lloyd Bridges, Abe Vigoda, Kris Kristofferson, Sterling Hayden, David Carradine, Dennis Hopper, Charles Napier, Yul Brynner and Edward Bunker
    • Dennis Quaid was offered the role of Bob (Lynda's boyfriend) since he was dating P.J. Soles at the time, but had to turn it down due to work on another movie.
    • There were two masks to choose from - the more familiar Captain Kirk mask, and a Monster Clown one (as a nod to Michael killing his sister while dressed as a clown). While they found the clown one scary too, the Captain Kirk one was ruled better because it was emotionless. Other masks considered include Richard Nixon, Spock and Emmett Kelly.
    • Originally, Dr. Loomis was supposed to have a phone conversation with his wife. Donald Pleasence didn't do it, saying he thought the character shouldn't have a family or a past.
    • There was originally no music in the film at all. When one female critic complained the film wasn't scary, John Carpenter composed a score in three days.
    • Anne Lockhart, daughter of Lassie's June Lockhart, was Carpenter's first choice for Laurie. But she had other commitments and couldn't do it.
  • Working Title: The initial storydraft was called The Babysitter Murders.
  • Write What You Know: The characters are all named after people John Carpenter and Debra Hill knew. Haddonfield was where Debra Hill had grown up in New Jersey.
    • The story is based on an experience Carpenter had in college touring a psychiatric hospital. Carpenter met a child who stared at him "with a look of evil, and it terrified me."

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