The Crazies (1973)

R | 103 mins | Drama | March 1973

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HISTORY

The working title of the film was Code Name Trixie . Although The Crazies contains a copyright statement for Pittsburgh Films, it was not registered for copyright. Onscreen credits thank Victrix Productions, Inc. and the officials of Evans City and Zelienople, PA., the towns in which The Crazies was shot, for their cooperation and note that the film was produced by Pittsburgh Films through the facilities of Latent Image, Inc.Inc., Pittsburgh. The film was shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1973, and was also exhibited at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival's retrospective showcase. A modern source adds Bonnie Hinzman to the cast. A remake of The Crazies , executive produced by George A. Romero and based on his screenplay for the 1973 film, was released in 2010. That film, also titled The Crazies , was directed by Breck Eisner and starred Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell. ... More Less

The working title of the film was Code Name Trixie . Although The Crazies contains a copyright statement for Pittsburgh Films, it was not registered for copyright. Onscreen credits thank Victrix Productions, Inc. and the officials of Evans City and Zelienople, PA., the towns in which The Crazies was shot, for their cooperation and note that the film was produced by Pittsburgh Films through the facilities of Latent Image, Inc.Inc., Pittsburgh. The film was shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1973, and was also exhibited at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival's retrospective showcase. A modern source adds Bonnie Hinzman to the cast. A remake of The Crazies , executive produced by George A. Romero and based on his screenplay for the 1973 film, was released in 2010. That film, also titled The Crazies , was directed by Breck Eisner and starred Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 Feb 1973
p. 4562.
New York Times
24 Mar 1973
p. 20.
Time
2 Apr 1973.
---
Variety
24 Jan 1973
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
Pres
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Based on an orig scr by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
Grip
FILM EDITORS
Asst to ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Miss Carroll's makeup
Makeup consultant
Makeup consultant
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Post prod coord
Prod coord
Scr girl
SOURCES
SONGS
"Heaven Help Us," words and music by Carole Bayer Sager and Melissa Manchester, sung by Beverly Bremers, courtesy of Scepter Records, Inc.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Code Name Trixie
Release Date:
March 1973
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 23 March 1973
Production Date:
in Pennsylvania
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Movielab
Duration(in mins):
103
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

One night in the rural town of Evans City, Pennsylvania, dairy farmer Mitchell goes berserk, and after slashing his wife’s throat, smashes the furnishings before setting their house on fire while his two young children watch in terror. The volunteer fire department is called into action, disrupting a sexual tryst between David, a Vietnam veteran who works as the high school coach and volunteer fireman, and his pregnant fiancée, Judy. Judy, who works as a nurse for Dr. Brookmyre, is then summoned to the office by the doctor to help treat the traumatized Mitchell children. When she arrives, she is puzzled to find a man wearing a gas mask administering orders and tending to the children. As the firemen make their way to the Mitchell farm, they are puzzled by the sudden arrival of a platoon of soldiers. Back at the doctor’s office, Maj. Ryder, who is in charge of the soldiers, orders some his men to don protective clothing, then gas masks, then announces that he is instituting an emergency quarantine and sealing off the town. Dr. Brookmyre, concerned about Judy’s unborn baby, pulls the nurse aside to explain that a highly contagious virus has attacked the town. After inoculating Judy with an antibiotic to protect her against the virus, the doctor gives her a dose to administer to David, then urges her to slip out of the office, find David and isolate themselves from townspeople who may be carrying the disease. As the soldiers begin to occupy the town, David, worried about Judy, drives back to town, accompanied by his friend, Clank, who is also a war veteran. ... +


One night in the rural town of Evans City, Pennsylvania, dairy farmer Mitchell goes berserk, and after slashing his wife’s throat, smashes the furnishings before setting their house on fire while his two young children watch in terror. The volunteer fire department is called into action, disrupting a sexual tryst between David, a Vietnam veteran who works as the high school coach and volunteer fireman, and his pregnant fiancée, Judy. Judy, who works as a nurse for Dr. Brookmyre, is then summoned to the office by the doctor to help treat the traumatized Mitchell children. When she arrives, she is puzzled to find a man wearing a gas mask administering orders and tending to the children. As the firemen make their way to the Mitchell farm, they are puzzled by the sudden arrival of a platoon of soldiers. Back at the doctor’s office, Maj. Ryder, who is in charge of the soldiers, orders some his men to don protective clothing, then gas masks, then announces that he is instituting an emergency quarantine and sealing off the town. Dr. Brookmyre, concerned about Judy’s unborn baby, pulls the nurse aside to explain that a highly contagious virus has attacked the town. After inoculating Judy with an antibiotic to protect her against the virus, the doctor gives her a dose to administer to David, then urges her to slip out of the office, find David and isolate themselves from townspeople who may be carrying the disease. As the soldiers begin to occupy the town, David, worried about Judy, drives back to town, accompanied by his friend, Clank, who is also a war veteran. While Col. Chris Peckem is dispatched to Evans City to take command of the situation, Ryder confers on the phone with Brubaker and other officials at central headquarters. Unknown to the people in Evans City, a plane carrying a biological weapon has crashed over the town, sending a deadly virus into its water supply. Knowing that the virus will cause either death or insanity, the military plans to drop a nuclear bomb on Evans City as a last resort. Dr. Watts, the head of TRIXIE, the team developing the virus, is also dispatched to Evans City. Dr. Watts asserts that the mission has not been carefully considered because a technician should have been sent into the field while the lead scientists remained at headquarters to analyze their findings. In their rush to make decisions without considering their ramifications, Brubaker and the other self-important officials order that martial law be instituted and the population be sequestered at the local high school. Soon after, soldiers in protective suits break into people’s homes, pulling frightened children from their beds to deliver them to the high school. After Peckem arrives, he orders a second perimeter to be set up to prevent anyone from leaving town. When the mayor threatens to sue Peckem for abrogating civil liberties, Peckem orders the local police disarmed, and when one officer refuses, he is shot dead by the soldiers. As the disease slowly poisons Evans' population, one farmer resists the quarantine and fires at the soldiers, while his daughter calmly plays the piano and his wife stabs one of the soldiers with her knitting needles. Meanwhile, Clank, David and Judy have been apprehended by some soldiers and thrown into a van carrying Artie Bolman, his daughter Kathy and Clyde Winston, who is showing signs of insanity. When the van driver slams on his brakes, the prisoners escape and commandeer the vehicle. Winston, however, elects to stay behind, raving madly on the street. Upon arriving in Evans City, Dr. Watts announces that there is no antidote for the virus. Peckem blames the doctor for the situation and the doctor, in turn, accuses the major of blundering by forcing him into the field with no equipment. After, Clank, Judy, David, Bolman and his daughter seek refuge in an abandoned house, Kathy begins to exhibit signs of dementia. As open rebellion spreads throughout the countryside, Peckem orders resistors to be shot and their bodies burned. Deciding to proceed to the Saunders farm on the outskirts of the perimeter, the fugitives witness the soldiers gunning down an entire family and setting their bodies on fire as their young son watches. When Kathy begins to giggle at the massacre, Clank suggests leaving the Bolmans behind. Just then, a surveillance helicopter flies overhead, spotting the fugitives. When the helicopter opens fire on them, Clank and David shoot it down. Waiting until the cover of nightfall, the fugitives make their way to the Saunders house, where Clank kills the guards in cold blood. Sickened by Clank’s unwarranted violence, David realizes that his friend has been contaminated by the disease. Artie has also contracted the disease, and believing that Kathy is his late wife, rapes her. Clank pulls Artie off Kathy, and soon after, Judy finds Artie’s body hanging from a rafter above the cellar stairs. Kathy runs outside, and as she chases some sheep, soldiers appear and order to her freeze, but when she keeps advancing toward them, they shoot her. Judy, David and Clank flee into the woods surrounding the house, but when Clank becomes aware that he is losing his mind, he charges the soldiers, and after running out of bullets is shot in the head by them. In the lab, meanwhile, Watts analyzes blood samples taken from diseased victims in the hope of developing an antidote. Discovering a potential cure, Watts hurries to see Peckem without going through proper channels. Turned away by the soldiers, Peckem is herded into the crazed crowd sequestered at the high school. Swept down the stairs in the chaos, the doctor drops the vials of antidote and is knocked unconscious. As Judy begins acting strangely, David explains to her that they must wait until nightfall to escape and conceals her behind a wall of concrete blocks while he hides in a watch tower. Soon after, several soldiers arrive, and one decides to search the watch tower. Knocking the soldier unconscious, David dons his protective suit and gas mask. When the other soldiers discover Judy, David knocks them unconscious. After David frees Judy from her brick hiding place, some townsfolk arrive and, mistaking David for one of the soldiers, fire and hit Judy. David reflexively shoots them all down, sparing just one boy, who calls out, “Coach.” Horrified at what he has done, David cradles Judy in his arms, who before dying, tells him she can feel the baby kicking. Soon after, Peckem reports to Brubaker that with over 1,500 people dead and the rest insane, the situation is now under control. To Peckem’s dismay, Brubaker informs the exhausted, disillusioned colonel that the disease has spread to another town and that he is being dispatched there to deal with the situation. As Peckem is about to leave, David, the only person who is immune to the disease, and whose blood could provide an antidote, is brought in by the soldiers, who refuse to administer an immunity test to him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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