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Black Christmas (1974)

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  • Black Christmas (1974)

    Title Black Christmas
    Year 1974
    Rated R
    Released 20 Dec 1974
    Runtime 98 min
    Director Bob Clark
    Writer Roy Moore (screenplay)
    Actors Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon
    Plot It's time for Christmas break, and the sorority sisters make plans for the holiday, but the strange anonymous phone calls are beginning to put them on edge. When Clare disappears, they contact the police, who don't express much concern. Meanwhile Jess is planning to get an abortion, but boyfriend Peter is very much against it. The police finally begin to get concerned when a 13-year-old girl is found dead in the park. They set up a wiretap to the sorority house, but will they be in time to prevent a sorority girl attrition problem?
    Language English
    Country Canada
    Awards 2 wins & 2 nominations.
    Production Warner Bros. Pictures
    Website N/A
    .................................................. ..........................

  • #2
    Here's some information I culled from various interviews on the DVD releases:

    BUDGET AND COSTS
    The total budget came to nearly $400,000. -Bob Clark, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD



    FILM LOCATIONS
    A location to be used for the sorority house was picked out in northern Toronto, but Bob Clark wasn’t satisfied with it. After walking around on private property in Rosedale, he discovered the house that would be used for filming. -Bob Clark, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    The hockey sequence was shot in Toronto. Slightly northwest of Yonge and Eagleton. -Art Hindle, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    An area of High Park called Grenadier Pond was used for the park scenes. -Art Hindle, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD



    DATES AND SHOOTING SCHEDULES
    Olivia Hussey practiced in rehearsals for nearly 2 weeks before filming. -Art Hindle, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    Shooting started in late Winter of 1973. -Art Hindle, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    Filming took roughly 9 to 10 weeks. -Bob Clark, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    It took 2 1/2 to 3 weeks to record all the different voices that would later comprise Billy’s voice. -Bob Clark, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    The first scene John Saxon filmed was of him in the park giving orders to the search party.
    -John Saxon, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    The final scene Art Hindle filmed was the sequence at the end of the movie with him, the police, Lt. Fuller, and Mr. Harrison at the sorority house after Jess attacked Peter. -Art Hindle, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD



    CUT SCENES AND DROPPED IDEAS
    More sounds were going to be used when the girls are killed off, but Bob Clark resisted the idea. -Carl Zittrer, “12 Days of Black Christmas”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    Barb and a male character can be heard inside the house while Billy climbs up the trellis outside the house at the start of the movie. -Trellis Climb, “Uncovered” sound scenes, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    Chris was supposed to be playing the position of forward in a normal practice set up during the hockey scene. Art Hindle suggested that it would have been easy for Jess to get his attention if it played out that way and instead to change it where his character is the goalie and having to block several hockey pucks in succession. -Art Hindle, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    At the end of the film when the camera pans across all the rooms that belonged to the girls, Billy could be heard laughing and singing during that time rather than it being silent until the camera starts to move towards the attic as it is in the final version of the movie.
    -Final Pan, “Uncovered” sound scenes, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    Two alternate endings were a possibility with one having Jess murdered. Neither alternate endings were ever filmed. -Olivia Hussey, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD



    BEHIND THE MAKE-UP, CAMERA TECHNIQUES, SPECIAL EFFECTS
    To allow camera operator Bert Dunk to climb up the side of the sorority house while filming all at the same time in a “point of view” sequence, a special rig was constructed to attach to his shoulders and hold the camera in place. This freed up both of his hands in order to climb. -Bert Dunk, “12 Days of Black Christmas”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    The same rig that attached to Bert Dunk’s shoulders and held the camera in place was used during the sequence of Billy murdering Clare. A piece of plastic was placed over the camera’s lens to make it appear that Billy was draped in plastic during the scene. -Bert Dunk, “12 Days of Black Christmas”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    When we get a glimpse of Billy’s eye as he stands behind a door and stares at Jess, a special contact was worn to give that unique look. -Olivia Hussey, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD



    MUSIC AND SOUND
    All of the Christmas carols heard throughout the film, with the exception of the first one, were created and recorded specifically for the movie. -Carl Zittrer, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    Many of the sound effects heard throughout the film came from Carl Zittrer scraping his piano with an assortment of items like brushes, forks, and combs. The same female whose voice was used to help create Billy’s came into the studio to sing into the piano and have the results saved. The findings would be recorded and then played back in a variety of ways such as in reverse, reverb, and even sent off to another recording studio to be tampered with. -Carl Zittrer, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    Billy’s voice was a combination of director Bob Clark, Nick Mancuso, and a young female’s voice all put together. -Bob Clark, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    Various methods were used when creating and recording the voices such as having Nick Mancuso standing upside down. -Bob Clark, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    After recording Nick Mancuso’s lines, they were processed through a telephone filter to give it a unique sharpness. -Carl Zittrer, “12 Days of Black Christmas”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    Much of the approach to the phone calls and their treatment came from sound editor Ken Heely Ray. -Carl Zittrer, “12 Days of Black Christmas”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    The voice on the phone that Olivia Hussey hears during filming belonged to Bob Clark and was not the voice heard in the movie. The dialogue was much less crude. He also provided the voice of Billy when he’s hiding behind the door, staring at Jess. -Olivia Hussey, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

    The carol sung by the children was performed and recorded from a different group and later placed into the film. -Carl Zittrer, “12 Days of Black Christmas”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD
    People hyping up Wonder Woman to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen bigfoot rip off a man's dick before." -Me talking about 1980's Night of the Demon.

    Comment


    • #3
      GENERAL
      Director Bob Clark was not inspired by any previous movies he had viewed when approaching this one. -Bob Clark, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      Bob Clark wanted John Saxon for the role of Lt. Fuller from the start, but a conflict prevented the actor from signing on. Clark then hired *Edmund O’Brien for the part. Unfortunately, O’Brien was suffering from advanced stages of Alzheimer's and had to be let go. By that point, Saxon’s schedule had cleared up and was brought on board for the movie. -Bob Clark, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      Art Hindle read the role of Peter, despite auditioning for the role of Chris, because it was a bigger character and this way director Bob Clark could get an understanding of Hindle’s acting. When it the reading was over, Clark appeared stunned and upset. Not because Hindle’s reading went terrible, but that it was so impressive, but unfortunately Kier Dullea had already been hired for the role of Peter. -Art Hindle, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      Olivia Hussey had given birth one month before filming began and still carried some of the pregnancy weight which is how she was able to have her character appear she was with child. -Olivia Hussey, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      Art Hindle would play the part of Peter during rehearsals with Olivia Hussey. -Art Hindle, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      The house used for filming had to be re-wallpapered for the movie. While neutral tones were used for the base floor, different colors were selected for each of the sorority girls’ rooms so they would give a unique feeling that would come off as an extension of each character. -Karen Bromley, “12 Days of Black Christmas”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      As long as the dialogue from the script was said, improv was allowed to a degree by any of the actors. -Margot Kidder, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      Director Bob Clark’s vision of Billy and Agnus is that they’re related. Billy is the older brother and had abused his younger sister Agnus. The mysterious history of the two characters continues with Billy possibly having killed his parents and/or he may have sealed Agnus up for several years. -Bob Clark, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      Neither actress Olivia Hussey or actor Art Hindle believe there was ever to be anything definitive in regard to Billy’s story and character nor was he ever to be portrayed by any particular actor and never to be any of the other characters we see in the film. -Olivia Hussey and Art Hindle, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      The exact phone call dialogue stated by Billy heard in the film was never in the script, but just a general idea of what the character would say. -Bob Clark, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      Several different people, for example director Bob Clark (and camera operator Bert Dunk), physically portrayed the character of Billy during the course of the movie. -Olivia Hussey, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      The hockey players seen in the movie were members of the hockey team that belonged to the University of Toronto. -Art Hindle, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      The fur coat that Chris is seen wearing wasn’t something picked out by the wardrobe department but was personally owned and brought in by Art Hindle (which he still had at least up until the time of the interview). -Art Hindle, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      The close-up shots of Peter’s hands when playing the piano belonged to Carl Zittrer. -Carl Zittrer, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      In actor Art Hindle’s opinion, the little girl found dead in the park was never connected to Billy. Instead, it was a separate event that was meant to be a ploy. -Art Hindle, “Interviews”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      Bob Clark has mentioned he wishes he would have had Peter come down the stairs and meet Jess while she’s talking on the phone to Billy (during the sequence when Peter comes down from upstairs after Jess hangs up the phone saying he let himself in and took in a nap) so the audience wouldn’t continue to think that he may have been the killer. -Bob Clark, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD

      The line of dialogue stated by Lt. Fuller, “We’ll let her sleep” in regard to Barb when visiting the sorority house and investigating was not in the script but created by John Saxon on set. -Bob Clark, “Midnight Q&A”, Black Christmas (1974) Special Edition Region 1 DVD
      People hyping up Wonder Woman to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen bigfoot rip off a man's dick before." -Me talking about 1980's Night of the Demon.

      Comment


      • #4
        Forgot to add a disclaimer saying that this information may not exactly be correct, but simply what was said in various interviews. Recollections and memories are not always the most reliable.
        People hyping up Wonder Woman to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen bigfoot rip off a man's dick before." -Me talking about 1980's Night of the Demon.

        Comment


        • #5
          Margot "Barb" Kidder passed away at the age of 69.

          Margot Kidder, the actress best known for playing the iconic Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in the "Superman" movies, died Sunday in Montana, according to her personal manager. She was 69 years old.

          "I can confirm that Margot passed away peacefully in her sleep," Kidder's manager, Camilla Pines, said.

          Franzen-Davis Funeral Home wrote on its website, "The actress and activist passed away on Sunday, May 13th, 2018 at her home."
          People hyping up Wonder Woman to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen bigfoot rip off a man's dick before." -Me talking about 1980's Night of the Demon.

          Comment

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