Taglines: She’ll possess you. Then destroy you. She’s death on wheels. She’s…
In 1957, in Detroit, a red Plymouth Fury is built and is the cause of two accidents, one of them fatal, still in the assembly line. Twenty-one years later, the outcast and bullied nerd Arnold “Arnie” Cunningham is getting a ride with his best and only friend Dennis Guilder and he sees the wrecked car for sale in a garden. Arnie immediately falls in love with the car.
The car was given the name Christine by it’s first owner. He brings the car to a repair shop of the despicable Will Darnell and works hard to restore the classic car. While he works in the restoration, he changes his personality to a cocky teenager and he dates the most beautiful girl in the high-school, Leigh Cabot. Soon Arnie becomes selfish and jealous of the supernatural Christine that kills everyone that is a threat to them.
Christine is a 1983 American horror film directed by John Carpenter and starring Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, and Harry Dean Stanton. The film also features supporting performances from Roberts Blossom and Kelly Preston. Written by Bill Phillips and based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, the plot follows a sentient and violent vintage Plymouth Fury named Christine, and its effects on the car’s new teenage owner.
Upon its release, the film has grossed $21 million at the US box office. Despite a lukewarm reception among critics, the film has become a cult classic. Christine was shot largely in Los Angeles, California, while the location for Darnell’s garage was located in Santa Clarita. Filming began in April 1983, merely days after the King novel had been published. The film’s stunts were primarily completed by stunt coordinator Terry Leonard, who was behind the wheel of the car during the high-speed chase scenes, as well as the scene in which the car drives down a highway engulfed in flames.
About the Story
Arnold “Arnie” Cunningham (Keith Gordon) is an awkward, unpopular teen with only one friend, Dennis Guilder (John Stockwell). Arnie’s life begins to change when he buys a used red-and-white 1958 Plymouth Fury, nicknamed “Christine”, in need of extensive repairs. Arnie begins to restore Christine at a local junkyard, Darnell’s Autobody, but as he spends more of his time working on the car, he discards his glasses, dresses differently, and develops an arrogant personality. Dennis and Arnie’s new girlfriend, Leigh Cabot (Alexandra Paul), discover the car’s previous owner was obsessed with Christine and had died in it due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
A group of bullies at school—angry with Arnie after a shop class confrontation results in the lead bully, Buddy Repperton (William Ostrander), getting expelled—vandalize Christine. Arnie is devastated and determined to repair Christine. As he examines the ruined car, he hears the creaking of metal and notices the engine is now fully restored. Arnie tells the car “show me”; Christine restores itself to showroom quality.
Then seeks out the vandals; Moochie Wells (Malcolm Danare) is targeted first and crushed to death in an alley. Buddy, Richie Trelawney (Steven Tash) and Don Vandenberg (Stuart Charno) are then killed: Richie and Don are caught in a gas station explosion (which sets Christine on fire), and Buddy is run over and burned by the flaming car. The owner of the junkyard is eventually killed in the garage when he sits in the car and is crushed by the seat adjuster.
On New Year’s Eve, Dennis and Leigh reason that the only way to stop Christine and save Arnie is to destroy the car. Dennis scratches “Darnell’s Tonight”—referencing the name of the junkyard—into Christine’s hood, then makes his way there with Leigh. Dennis waits in a bulldozer while Leigh heads to the office so that she can shut the door after Christine arrives, trapping the car.
Christine, who has been lying in wait the entire time, shines the headlights from under a pile of garbage and the car charges after Leigh. Christine crashes into Darnell’s office in an attempt to kill Leigh, and Arnie (revealed to have been driving the car himself) is thrown through Christine’s windshield. He is impaled on a shard of glass and he dies. Christine continues to attack Dennis and Leigh, repeatedly sustaining damage and regenerating. Dennis pulls Leigh into the cab of the bulldozer; the two then crush Christine with the bulldozer.
Directed by: John Carpenter
Starring: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Robert Prosky, Harry Dean Stanton, Christine Belford, Roberts Blossom, Kelly Preston
Screenplay by: Bill Phillips
Production Design by: Daniel A. Lomino
Cinematography by: Donald M. Morgan
Film Editing by: Marion Rothman
Costume Design by: Darryl Levine
Set Decoration by: Cloudia Rebar
Music by: John Carpenter, Alan Howarth
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: December 9, 1983