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Frightening Story 'Poltergeist' New Spielberg-Marshall Film

(Advance Production Feature)

"Poltergeist" is a tale of terror that could happen to you.

In the mystic, metaphysical realm of the poltergeist, nothing remains the same. The real becomes the surreal; the familiar is offset by the unfamiliar. It is a nightmare founded in fact.

In MGM's "Poltergeist," produced by Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall and directed by Tobe Hooper from a screenplay by Spielberg, Michael Grais & Mark Victor, the nightmare begins in the home of Steve and Diane Freeling (Craig T. Nelson and Jobeth Williams), an attractive suburban couple with three children, who suddenly find themselves at the center of a terrifying poltergeist phenomenon. Also starred in the role of Dr. Lesh is Beatrice Straight. The picture, which is being distributed by MGM/UA Entertainment Co., will open .........at the ......... Theatre. The musical score was written by Jerry Goldsmith. Matthew F. Leonetti, A.S.C., was director of photography.

Almost overnight, the Freelings' quiet world of Sunday afternoon football games and PTA meetings is terrorized by violent and supernatural intrusions from a world beyond.

Although volumes have been written on the subject, poltergeists still remain an unexplainable phenomenon a fact that captured the imagination of Steven Spielberg, whose previous films have captivated millions with their gripping reality and dazzling adventures. From the terror of "Jaws" and the awe of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" to the electrifying escapades of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," Spielberg has proven that he has his finger on the pulse of the movie going public.

"Poltergeist means noisy ghost, or in the vernacular, bratty ghost," Spielberg explains. "It's not to be taken lightly in our movie, they are anything but bratty. They are violent and very volatile."

Spielberg and Hooper met four years ago after he had seen "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." "It's a real cult film, I know," says Spielberg, "but one of the most truly visceral movies ever made. Essentially it starts inside the stomach and ends in the heart. As a filmmaker who likes to see everything, I loved it."

The two filmmakers met again in 1980. "Steven told me he wanted to produce more films and asked me to direct for him," said Hooper.

"Poltergeist" also marks the reunion of Spielberg and Frank Marshall, who produced the blockbuster success, "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Spielberg's previous credits as producer include "Continental Divide," "Used Cars," and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand."

If Spielberg is noted for placing familiar people and places in unfamiliar situations, then Hooper's hallmark is his ability to sustain the terror and tension once they are there. Add to this "Poltergeist" formula a cadre of special effects artists, including Academy Award winner Richard Edlund ("Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back," "Raiders of the Lost Ark") and the technicians of George Lucas' optical effects house, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) and the combination promises to have moviegoers on the edge of their seats.

Director Tobe Hooper Tops in Terror Films

Tobe Hooper, who directed "Poltergeist," distinguished himself with "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." The film, made for only $155,000, is considered a classic of the horror/terror genre.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents a Steven Spielberg production, a Tobe Hooper film, "Poltergeist," starring Jobeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson and Beatrice Straight. It will open.........at the.........Theatre. The music was composed by Jerry Goldsmith. Matthew F. Leonetti, A.S.C., served as director of photography. The story was written by Steven Spielberg from the screenplay he wrote with Michael Grais & Mark Victor. Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall produced the picture. It is being distributed by MGM/UA Entertainment Co.

Hooper also directed the highly acclaimed four-hour special, "Salem's Lot," for CBS.

Hooper began his film career making documentary and industrial films as well as commercials in his native Texas. One of his documentaries chronicled the pop-folk group "Peter, Paul and Mary." After assuming the post of assistant director of the University of Texas film program, he continued his filmmaking while working with students.

His first feature film was "Eggshells," a modest piece that reflected the late 1960s sensibilities of its creator and he made another horror film, appropriately titled, "Eaten Alive."

Teamed with fellow Texan Kim Hinkley, Hooper wrote, directed and produced "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Since its initial distribution in 1973, it has become one of the most controversial films of all time and has remained in virtually constant release.

Just prior to "Poltergeist," Hooper directed the feature film "Funhouse."

'Poltergeist' Scary But Not Gory Claim Spielberg and Marshall

(Production Feature)

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents a Steven Spielberg production, a Tobe Hooper film, "Poltergeist," starring Jobeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson and Beatrice Straight. It will open.........at the.........Theatre. The music was composed by Jerry Goldsmith. Matthew F. Leonetti, A.S.C., served as director of photography. The story was written by Steven Spielberg from the screenplay he wrote with Michael Grais & Mark Victor. Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall produced the picture. It is being distributed by MGM/UA Entertainment Co.

Without pretentions, Spielberg and Marshall hope that "Poltergeist" is "a very scary movie" but they choose to say little else about it.

"There are no knifings, no murders, and no decapitated heads," said Spielberg. "We do have one scene which appears to be instantly violent and gory, but it turns out to be a quick hallucination."

He is quick to add, however, that "some of the scariest things in our film happen in broad daylight."

The filmmakers earmarked a full one-third of the production budget for special effects.

At the helm of the massive special effects effort was George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic Operation (ILM).

The special effects in "Poltergeist" range from matte paintings to superimpositions to state-of-the-art optical innovations. "We are blazing all sorts of new trails," said Spielberg.

Even with the large number of special effects, Spielberg wanted to keep within the range of plausibility. "There are things in this movie that motion picture audiences have never seen before."

ILM's visuals are but a part of "Poltergeist's" elaborate special effects. Wind, rain, smoke, moving furniture, and a whole assortment of practical, mechanical effects had to work in front of the cameras during production.

Los Angeles may have its earthquakes, but hurricanes are unheard of in this city, so MGM's Soundstage 12 was used to create a very effective one.

Mike Wood, who spearheaded the day-to-day operation of the special effects and his crew seldom had a moment's rest throughout the twelve week shooting schedule.

Marshall, Spielberg Reteam for 'Poltergeist'

Producer Frank Marshall reteams with Spielberg after serving in the same capacity on their blockbuster hit, "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents a Steven Spielberg production, a Tobe Hooper film, "Poltergeist," starring Jobeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson and Beatrice Straight. It will open.........at the.........Theatre. The music was composed by Jerry Goldsmith. Matthew F. Leonetti, A.S.C., served as director of photography. The story was written by Steven Spielberg from the screenplay he wrote with Michael Grais & Mark Victor. Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall produced the picture. It is being distributed by MGM/UA Entertainment Co.

Marshall worked on his first film in 1967 while he was a student at UCLA following an introduction at a party to Peter Bogdanovich, who invited Marshall to work on "Targets." Although he graduated with a degree in political science, Marshall opted to enter the motion picture business.

He became a member of Bogdanovich's production crew on "The Last Picture Show" and "What's Up Doc?," then served as associate producer on "Paper Moon," "Daisy Miller," "At Long Last Love" and "Nickelodeon."

He also served as line producer on Orson Welles' forthcoming "The Other Side of the Wind" and on Martin Scorsese's "The Last Waltz." For director Walter Hill, Marshall was associate producer of "The Driver" and executive producer of "The Warriors."

Also known as "Dr. Fantasy," magician, Frank Marshall's magic shows have become a wrap party tradition.

Producer Steven Spielberg Has Uncanny Movie Instincts

Producer Steven Spielberg is one of the most successful of the new breed of filmmakers, a technical virtuoso with uncanny cinematic instincts. Starting in television at the age of twenty-one with an episode of "Night Gallery," Spielberg went on to direct such motion picture features as "The Sugarland Express," "Jaws," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," and "Raiders." With "Raiders of the Lost Ark" destined to be another blockbuster, Spielberg is responsible for an unprecedented three of the top ten highest grossing films of all time.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents a Steven Spielberg production, a Tobe Hooper film, "Poltergeist," starring Jobeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson and Beatrice Straight. It will open.........at the.........Theatre. The music was composed by Jerry Goldsmith. Matthew F. Leonetti, A.S.C., served as director of photography. The story was written by Steven Spielberg from the screenplay he wrote with Michael Grais & Mark Victor. Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall produced the picture. It is being distributed by MGM/UA Entertainment Co.

Spielberg who conceived the idea for "Poltergeist" previously served as executive producer on "Used Cars" and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand."

His fascination with film began when his father took him to see Cecil B. DeMille's "The Greatest Show On Earth." He was amazed by the power of the cinematic experience and soon started to make movies with friends and members of his family. By high school, he already had a 2 1/2 hour, 8mm feature, "Firelight," to his credit.

Universal Studio executives signed Spielberg to a contract in 1969 after viewing a 24 minute, 35mm short subject, "Amblin'," which he wrote, directed and edited. Just 21 years old, at the time, he was the youngest director ever signed by a major studio. His first assignment was to direct the pilot episode of Rod Serling' "Night Gallery," which starred the late Joan Crawford.

A number of other television assignments followed, including episodes of "The Name of the Game," "The Psychiatrists" and "Marcus Welby, M.D.," as well as the movies "Something Evil," "Savage" and the critically acclaimed suspense-thriller, "Duel," a feature-length ABC Movie of the Week.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Spielberg was an English major at California State College, Long Beach, but devoted most of his time to filming experimental movies, for which he received no academic credit. A meeting with Dennis Hoffman, who was interested in producing films, led to the short subject "Amblin" which won awards at both the Venice and Atlanta Film Festivals. Following that, Universal Studio executives not only signed him to a contract but released "Amblin" with "Love Story."

EXPLOITATION

'Poltergeist' Soundtrack Album

MGM Records has recorded Jerry Goldsmith's fabulous score for the movie "Poltergeist" as a digital long-playing record album which will be in record shops across the country to coincide with the release of the film.

Be sure to take advantage of the publicity this album can garner for you by working with local outlets to set up displays rounded out with stills, posters and playdate placards.

Get the records to your disc jockeys and program managers. You might even suggest a program of music from scary films, with, of course, emphasis on "Poltergeist."

Play the record at your theatre between show breaks and credit the music.

Warner Books' 'Poltergeist'

Warner Books has issued a novelization of the film "Poltergeist." James Kahn based his novel on a story by Steven Spielberg, who wrote the screenplay with Michael Grais & Mark Victor. The book's cover (in paperback) is a big plug to read-the-book-see-the-film.
Sell your attraction at all local outlets with displays of stills and posters. Use this book, too, as giveaways at promotions and also set up displays in libraries at their "supernatural" and "mystery" sections.

Television & Radio Spot Announcements

Get on the air with these television and radio spots as soon as you've set your playdate, to let your community know that "Poltergeist" is coming to your theatre. Then, after the picture opens, continue by letting them know that the hit, scary film is playing at your theatre.

Order your spots now from:

[ address here ]

Teaser Trailer

Entice your audience to see "Poltergeist" with this teaser trailer that gives one a glimpse of the chills in store when they see the film. Run this well in advance of your opening and introduce the Regular Trailer about a week before the picture starts its engagement. Use both or either trailer for cross-plugging.

Available at National Screen

Regular Trailer

Run this Regular Trailer a week before opening day. Together with the Teaser Trailer (described above) it will give a good idea of the eerie atmoshpere that permeates "Poltergeist." Order it now from

National Screen

Posters & Accessories

The following material is also available at National Screen

22 x 28 LOBBY CARD
14 x 36 INSERT CARD
ART STILL
SET OF EIGHT
11 x 14 LOBBY CARDS
SET OF EIGHT
8 x 10 STILLS IN COLOR

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