7.4/10
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560 user 145 critic

Eraserhead (1977)

Not Rated | | Horror | 3 February 1978 (USA)
Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child.

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Henry Spencer (as John Nance)
...
Allen Joseph ...
...
...
Beautiful Girl Across the Hall (as Judith Anna Roberts)
...
V. Phipps-Wilson ...
Landlady (long version)
...
Jean Lange ...
Thomas Coulson ...
John Monez ...
Bum
...
T. Max Graham ...
The Boss (as Neil Moran)
...
...
Little Girl
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Storyline

A film that defies conventional logic and storytelling, fueled by its dark nightmarish atmosphere and compellingly disturbing visuals. Henry Spencer is a hapless factory worker on his vacation when he finds out he's the father of a hideously deformed baby. Now living with his unhappy, malcontent girlfriend, the child cries day and night, driving Henry and his girlfriend to near insanity. Written by Jacob Samuelson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Be warned. The nightmare has not gone away... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 February 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eraserhead 2000  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$7,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(re-release)| (original release)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Lynch began his interest in Transcendental Meditation during the film's production, adopting a vegetarian diet and giving up smoking and alcohol consumption. See more »

Goofs

The boy who brings Henry's head to the pencil-making shop suddenly has glasses on when he faces away from the camera to enter the side door. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Beautiful Girl Across the Hall: Are you Henry?
Henry Spencer: Yes?
Beautiful Girl Across the Hall: A girl named "Mary" called on the payphone in the hallway about an hour ago. She said that she's at her parents and that you're invited to dinner.
Henry Spencer: Oh, yeah?
[after a long pause]
Henry Spencer: Well... thank you very much.
[Henry enters his apartment, while the girl slowly closes the door to hers]
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits, just a long, tilted close-up of the face of Jack Nance. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vultures (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Digah's Stomp
Written and performed by Fats Waller (as Thomas "Fats" Waller)
In 1927.
© Peer International Corp. (Chappel & Co. U.S.A) (BMI)
© Copyright 1976. David Lynch.
© 1976 O.K. Paul Music.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not really a movie in the classic sense...
23 August 2004 | by (Swarthmore, PA) – See all my reviews

I've watched Eraserhead countless times. In theaters. Off of the infamous Japanese-subtitled VCR copy. Off of the recent Lynch re-release. From around the late 70s onward. Yes, that long.

I have friends who won't let me recommend movies to them any more.

Anyway, the capsule summary, "Can't be summarized," is pretty close.

First, it is not a movie. It is not a film.

It is a piece of art.

All of the comments I read that attempt to describe it as a movie fail for precisely that reason. If you read the ones that can handle it, they handle it as an art review.

So don't even think of it as a movie. Don't recommend it as a movie. It doesn't work.

I'll also admit that I sat in a haze for decades, absorbed in the imagery. In awe of the impressions. And finally, an image crystallized, an image of what this was a portrait of. (And, of course, I expect this image may change with repeated viewings...) And as I watch it, with this in mind, a continuity appears.

We are living in hell, we just don't realize it.


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