The Hearse (1980)

PG | 100 mins | Horror | 6 June 1980

Director:

George Bowers

Writer:

William Bleich

Producer:

Mark Tenser

Cinematographer:

Mori Kawa

Editor:

George Berndt

Production Designer:

Keith Michl

Production Company:

Mari-Mark, Inc.
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HISTORY

A 5 Dec 1979 Var brief announced that actor Joseph Cotten would assume the lead male role, replacing actor Martin Landau after a little more than one month of production.
       Crown International Pictures press releases from AMPAS library files stated that principal photography began 29 Oct 1979 in various Southern California locations and San Francisco, CA. Director George Bowers chose an estate north of Los Angeles as the movie’s prime location, and a 19 Feb 1980 HR “On Location” column identified the area as Bradbury, CA. A 19 Nov 1979 HR news item stated that the production relocated to San Francisco for additional shooting. A 8 Jan 1980 HR article announced that after a two-month shoot, the production would finish that week, pending the completion of a couple of pickup shots.
       On 25 Jun 1980, Var announced that the movie grossed more than $2 million in its first month of release. A news item in the 16 Jul 1980 HR reported that the film had grossed approximately $3.1 million after sixty days of release. ... More Less

A 5 Dec 1979 Var brief announced that actor Joseph Cotten would assume the lead male role, replacing actor Martin Landau after a little more than one month of production.
       Crown International Pictures press releases from AMPAS library files stated that principal photography began 29 Oct 1979 in various Southern California locations and San Francisco, CA. Director George Bowers chose an estate north of Los Angeles as the movie’s prime location, and a 19 Feb 1980 HR “On Location” column identified the area as Bradbury, CA. A 19 Nov 1979 HR news item stated that the production relocated to San Francisco for additional shooting. A 8 Jan 1980 HR article announced that after a two-month shoot, the production would finish that week, pending the completion of a couple of pickup shots.
       On 25 Jun 1980, Var announced that the movie grossed more than $2 million in its first month of release. A news item in the 16 Jul 1980 HR reported that the film had grossed approximately $3.1 million after sixty days of release.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jan 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Feb 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 1980.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Sep 1980
p. 9.
New York Times
7 Jun 1980
p. 12.
Variety
5 Dec 1979.
---
Variety
25 Jun 1980.
---
Variety
24 Sep 1980
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Crown international Pictures
A Marimark Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Based on an idea by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Best boy elec
2d elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Grip driver
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
SET DECORATOR
Prop master
COSTUMES
Asst wardrober
2d asst wardrober
MUSIC
Mus orch
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom man
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles and opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup/Hair
Miss Van Devere's hair
PRODUCTION MISC
Line prod
Prod coord
Scr supv
Casting dir
Extra coord
Film Train
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Loc scout
Loc equip supplied by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
COLOR PERSONNEL
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 June 1980
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 6 June 1980
Los Angeles opening: 12 September 1980
Production Date:
29 October 1979--January 1980 in So. CA locations
Copyright Claimant:
Marimark, Inc.
Copyright Date:
18 September 1980
Copyright Number:
PA88910
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
100
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After a divorce, her mother’s death and a subsequent nervous breakdown, schoolteacher Jane Hardy leaves San Francisco, California, to move to her deceased Aunt Rebecca Martin’s former home in nearby Blackford. Jane’s friend Lois is sad to see her go but the friends promise to stay in touch. As night falls, a hearse sideswipes Jane’s car on the way to Blackford but she is not hurt, although the other driver departs abruptly. In town, real estate attorney, Walter Pritchard, escorts Jane to her aunt’s property. There, Walter explains that Jane’s mother had promised to leave him the place she inherited from Rebecca after he maintained it for thirty years but Jane says she is unaware of her mother’s arrangement and he leaves. Soon, Jane nearly falls off a ladder cleaning a second-story window, frightened by a vision of Rebecca staring back at her. Sometime later, Jane gets a chilly reception from Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, the owners of the town hardware store. When the Gordons learn that she is living at the old Rebecca Martin house, they will not accept her credit card to pay for paint, and their son, Paul Gordon, offers to deliver her purchase for a cash payment. Jane later hires Paul to do repairs. After a few days, Jane is disappointed when Walter says that the transfer of ownership documents will be delayed. Meanwhile, Sheriff Jack Denton notices a dent in Jane’s car and reminds her that accidents should be reported, but Jane tells him she backed into a tree. At night, Jane is startled by an unexpected visit from Reverend Winston. As they talk, she asks him about the unfriendly townspeople. However, ... +


After a divorce, her mother’s death and a subsequent nervous breakdown, schoolteacher Jane Hardy leaves San Francisco, California, to move to her deceased Aunt Rebecca Martin’s former home in nearby Blackford. Jane’s friend Lois is sad to see her go but the friends promise to stay in touch. As night falls, a hearse sideswipes Jane’s car on the way to Blackford but she is not hurt, although the other driver departs abruptly. In town, real estate attorney, Walter Pritchard, escorts Jane to her aunt’s property. There, Walter explains that Jane’s mother had promised to leave him the place she inherited from Rebecca after he maintained it for thirty years but Jane says she is unaware of her mother’s arrangement and he leaves. Soon, Jane nearly falls off a ladder cleaning a second-story window, frightened by a vision of Rebecca staring back at her. Sometime later, Jane gets a chilly reception from Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, the owners of the town hardware store. When the Gordons learn that she is living at the old Rebecca Martin house, they will not accept her credit card to pay for paint, and their son, Paul Gordon, offers to deliver her purchase for a cash payment. Jane later hires Paul to do repairs. After a few days, Jane is disappointed when Walter says that the transfer of ownership documents will be delayed. Meanwhile, Sheriff Jack Denton notices a dent in Jane’s car and reminds her that accidents should be reported, but Jane tells him she backed into a tree. At night, Jane is startled by an unexpected visit from Reverend Winston. As they talk, she asks him about the unfriendly townspeople. However, he attributes the observation to her imagination. When he leaves, he invites her to church, but observes that the town might not be a good fit for her. Soon, Jane finds Rebecca’s old diary and reads the entries out loud. When she hears an automobile stop in front of the house, she investigates but sees nothing. The next day at the convenience store, Jane meets a little girl, who tells her the Martin house is haunted. Later, as Jane drives at night, a black hearse follows, runs her off the road, and her car tires become stuck in the mud. However, a resident named Tom Sullivan offers her a ride. Back at Jane’s house, Tom admires Rebecca’s photograph over the mantle and as he leaves, he promises to have Jane’s car returned. Later, Jane reads more entries from Rebecca’s diary, and learns that her aunt’s ardor for her fiancé, Lewis, cooled because she fell in love with a man named Robert. Suddenly, an intruder breaks a window and disappears, scaring Jane. When Tom returns Jane’s car, he invites her to dinner. Later, Tom arrives with flowers picked from his garden and takes Jane rowing on the lake. Soon, Jane imagines that she sees a black hearse but Tom thinks it is just teenagers parked on lover’s lane. Later, as Jane reads from Rebecca’s diary, describing Robert’s interest in Satanism, she notices the hearse parked outside. Jane wakes up distraught from a nightmare in which she was trapped in the hearse, and takes medication to calm her nerves. The next day, Jane calls Lois and tells her she has met Tom, whose presence seems very familiar. Soon, Walter pays Jane a visit and confirms that Rebecca and Robert worshipped the devil. He claims that after Rebecca’s death, her coffin and the hearse carrying it were destroyed in an odd explosion. Walter explains that due to a curse, the hearse now roams the country roads for eternity. Jane suspects Walter has been driving the hearse to scare her away, and gain ownership of her property so she insists that he leave. At night, Jane hears noises in the attic and is chased by an intruder, who then punches his fist through a door. She escapes to a diner, where the sheriff refuses to investigate so she drives to the church and falls asleep in her car. In the morning, the reverend escorts her home, sees the door intact, and determines that Jane had a nightmare. When Tom arrives for dinner, Jane shares Rebecca’s diary and they make love. Later, Jane returns signed paperwork to Walter, who is disappointed that she plans to remain in town. Back at home, as Jane speaks to Lois, the phone goes dead. Hearing the smashing of several windows, Jane runs to her car. As Jane drives off, a drunken Walter vows to harass her until she relinquishes the property. Walter attempts to hitchhike back to town but is run over by the hearse. Soon, Pete arrives at Jane’s house and is attacked as he wanders through the rooms looking for her. Meanwhile, at Tom’s residence, Jane sees a photograph of Rebecca with Robert, who looks exactly like Tom. Outside, Jane finds a headstone that reads “Robert Thomas Sullivan” and cries. Back at home, Jane notices that Pete has been to visit her and hastily packs a suitcase. Outside, Tom emerges from the hearse and enters Jane’s house, as Jane finds Walter murdered in the shower. As she retreats, Tom appears on the stairs, saying he has come for her, but Jane wants no part of him. Running away, Jane discovers Paul’s dead body but she cannot escape Tom. He appears everywhere she turns, declaring his love and promising her eternal life. As Tom casts a spell on Jane, Reverend Winston arrives and begins an exorcism, which allows Jane to break free and escape in her car. Tom follows in the hearse and rams Jane’s car repeatedly. However, Jane is determined to escape and collides with the hearse, causing it to topple off a cliff and explode in the ravine below. Back at the Martin home, Rebecca’s face appears in the window as the house goes dark. +

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

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