Christine (1983) Movie Poster

Trivia for Christine (1983)

Showing all 70 items
Jump to: Spoilers (11)
  • Christine's license plate begins "CQB" which is an acronym for "Close Quarters Battle."
  • According to Bill Phillips on the DVD Documentary, the movie technically didn't have enough violence to justify an "R" rating. But they were afraid that if the movie went out with a PG rating (PG-13 didn't exist yet) nobody would go to see it. So he purposely inserted the word "fuck" and its derivatives in order to get the "R" rating. He then recalls that they were criticized at the time for their use of the word.
  • Arnie's nemesis, Det. Rudolph Junkins, also drives a Plymouth Fury, most noticeable when he questions Arnie in the school parking lot. Junkins' car appears to be a 1977 or 1978 Plymouth Fury - a popular police car of the late 1970s.
  • As a joke, Alexandra Paul's twin sister, Caroline Paul, stood in for her during some scenes, most notably the ride on the bulldozer.
  • Scott Baio was considered to play Arnie Cunningham and Brooke Shields was considered for Leigh Cabot, but the film makers involved all felt the movie would be better served by casting unknowns.
  • The opening scene, which shows Christine being "born" in Detroit, was added in for the movie; it was used to explain the origin of Christine's evil nature, which had been changed from the original Stephen King novel.
  • To simulate the car regenerating itself, hydraulic pumps were installed on the inside of some of the film's numerous Plymouth Fury "stunt doubles", a mock-up in plastic that looked more like metal on camera than actual metal as it bent and deformed. These pumps were attached to cables, which were in turn attached to the cars' bodywork and when they compressed, they would "suck" the paneling inwards. Footage of the inward crumpling body was then reversed, giving the appearance of the car spontaneously retaking form.
  • Christine is said to be a 1958 Plymouth Fury, which had similar panels and trim to the 1957 model. When the Fury line was introduced, it was essentially a sport and trim package on the Belvedere - notably with two doors, gold anodized trim, gold grille, and dual four-barrel carburetors. Christine, as shown in the movie, could have been any two door Belvedere with a 318 or 360 engine. Although over 5,300 Furys - and far more Belvederes - were built in 1958, they have since become very rare and are now collector's items. There were between 13 and 16 (depending on source) Belvederes/Furys smashed in the making of the movie (out of the roughly 25 used), but it is unknown whether they were 1957 or 1958 models, or a combination. In any event, Plymouth enthusiasts were infuriated. Although the movie did popularize the car and probably saved many of them - in the same way that Back to the Future (1985) did for the DeLorean. In the original Stephen King book, the car had four doors, but this was changed to a two-door model when it was realized that there never was a four-door 1958 Plymouth Fury. Although all 1958 Plymouth Furys had Buckskin Beige exterior paint and gold anodized aluminum side trim and grille, the book mentions that this particular car was custom ordered in Ford red.
  • Richard Kobritz, who had produced the film version of Stephen King's novel Salem's Lot (1979), was given some new unpublished manuscripts from King to consider for their next film adaptation. One was "Christine" and the other was "Cujo." Korbitz chose Christine because he thought Cujo was too silly.
  • According to Keith Gordon on the DVD Commentary, he kept having trouble with Christine's TorqueFlite automatic transmission control. The 1958 Plymouths (along with all other Chrysler products that year) used push buttons to select "Reverse," "Neutral," "Drive," etc. (The buttons can be seen in some shots located near the steering column but are never seen being pushed in the film.) He says that it would routinely take several tries to put the transmission in gear. In a few instances, filming would be delayed so that a technician could repair the selector buttons, and even then he'd still have trouble with it.
  • Stephen King suffered a near fatal car collision in 1999. In an example of life imitating art, King hoped to bash the van with a baseball bat or a pickax once he healed. Unfortunately, his lawyer had bought the van and sent it to be demolished before he got the chance to do this.
  • Stephen King's popularity was such at the time that the film went into production before the book was even published.
  • The origin of the killer car's name comes from Christine Romero. Stephen King was filming Creepshow in Pittsburgh with George and Christine Romero when he had the idea for the novel.
  • Kevin Bacon was offered the lead role but ended up choosing Footloose (1984) instead. At one point, Bacon was going to originally star in Dolan's Cadillac, another Stephen King story centered around a car.
  • According to Bill Phillips in the DVD Documentary, Robert Prosky (Will Darnell) asked Phillips to give him more dialog to make his character more interesting. Prosky cited the scene in the novel where Darnell offers Arnie a job, particularly the line: "You can pick up around the place. Do a few lubes. And put the toilet paper on the spools..." So Phillips added the scene to the script, keeping the dialogue almost verbatim from the novel.
  • For the French language dub version, John Stockwell's voice was dubbed by Lambert Wilson.
  • Keith Gordon (who plays Arnie) says on a DVD extra that he pretended the car was a woman, so wherever he touched the car, he imagined which part of a woman the car was.
  • In the scenes where Christine is autonomous a green hue is visible to indicate her sentience. This is also visible in Maximum Overdrive (1986) in the scene where a green hue is seen in the night sky. Both are works of Stephen King.
  • Det. Junkins, Arnie, and Dennis all drive Mopars. An acronym for Chrysler's "MOtorPARts". Chrysler Corporation (now FCA Automobiles since October 2014) used the term Mopar since the 1920s but became a brand since 1937 - it has became the default term for any Chrysler Corporation (FCA Automobiles) product (Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, DeSoto, Imperial (considered as the original core divisions inclusive of Jeeps, Fiats, and Eagles (Chrysler Corporation absorbed the former American Motors Corporation (AMC/Jeep) after Renault divested its shares where the Jeep/Eagle Division was formed after the AMC buyout (at the time American Motors and Jeep automobiles had the Chrysler TorqueFlite transmission used with their respective powertrains including those sourced from GM), not to mention Ram Trucks (spun off from the Dodge division in 2009) and Fiat (which in 2009 invested a 20% share with the Chrysler Group LLC that evolved into the modern day FCA Automobiles).
  • At the climax of the movie Christine is clearly seen with a crumpled hood resembling teeth. This occurs after the initial confrontation with Dennis and the bulldozer, but before withdrawing into the shadows to reconstitute.
  • The characters Arnold (Arnie) Cunningham and Roland Lebay first names contain exactly the same letters.
  • According to the filmmakers in the DVD documentary, 28 Plymouth "Furys" (which in reality were Belvederes or Savoys) were purchased and restored for the film. A few were "showcase" cars that were used whenever Christine is just sitting there "looking pretty" or whenever Arnie is driving her. There were "hot rod" versions with souped up engines and airplane landing lights for the headlights for Christine's rampages. And there were "junked" and "shell" cars for the versions of Christine in disrepair or for her "death" scene. There is one way to tell which cars are the showcase hot rod cars and the stunt cars: if you look at the under grill beneath Christine's front bumper, the showcase cars have a chrome under grill while the stunt cars have a red painted under grill.
  • The movie is set in 1978. Keith Gordon, who plays Arnie, was 17 in that year when he starred in Jaws 2 (1978).
  • 15% of the budget was just on the cars. By the end of filming, all but 2 were destroyed.
  • Darnell's was shot in a massive old wire factory. Half of it was made to look like a body shop and the other half was turned into an actual body shop to keep the Christines running.
  • Keith Gordon was nervous about kissing Alexandra Paul, so he asked her to practice first.
  • John Carpenter blacked out Christine's windows so you don't know if Arnie is driving her.
  • Alexandra Paul pranked John Carpenter by having her twin sister dress as Leigh and report to the set. Carpenter recalled, "It was like Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Alexandra was a pod person."
  • Screenwriter Bill Phillips thought it was a joke when asked to adapt a book about a killer car. Halfway through reading Stephen King's novel, Phillips realised it was really good and signed on.
  • One of the Plymouth Furys from the movie was sold for $167,000 in 2004.
  • John Carpenter refused to go to the premiere because of a superstition. "When I go to premieres, something bad always happens."
  • Christine lives on with fans of the movie: there are 2 clubs for fans who own Christine clones and the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals give an award every year to the best Christine look-a-like.
  • John Stockwell (Dennis) had to take bulldozer driver lessons before filming.
  • Stephen King chose a '58 Plymouth Fury for Christine because it was a "forgotten car." "I didn't want a car that already had a legend attached to it like the '50s Thunderbird."
  • The film was shot in the same neighbourhood that John Carpenter used in Halloween (1978).
  • Before being offered the film, John Carpenter was working on adapting another Stephen King novel, Firestarter. It was eventually made as Firestarter (1984).
  • This was considered a misfire, both by Stephen King fans and John Carpenter fans, and in the industry as a whole. Both the box office returns on this and the critical reaction were middling to mediocre, especially considering the talent involved. The reigning Devil-car movie is still Steven Spielberg's 1971 TV movie cult-classic Duel (1971).
  • Yet another in a long line of Stephen King thrillers with a woman's name in the title: starting with Carrie, progressing to Christine, Dolores Claiborne, Misery, and Rose Red.
  • There are many similarities to the film Carrie, released 7 years earlier. In both movies the main character is a high school outcast who is a target of bullies, the main character becomes possessed by a supernatural force, and finally the main character uses the supernatural force to kill off their enemies.
  • Oak Park High School's football team was used to film the game, being a small school, all boys from the school had to be used to field both sides of the ball as well as the sidelines. OPHS uniforms were used by the defense, for the offense, league rival Carpenteria's Uniform was used.
  • As an owner of a Plymouth Fury (1975-name: "Betty") none of that kind of stuff ever happened; although the passenger door did open for me all by itself onetime.
  • Stephen King later created two characters named for Harry Dean Stanton: Harry Terwilliger and Dean Stanton. They were the names of two of the guards in The Green Mile (1999), which also featured Stanton himself as Old Toot-Toot.
  • Nicolas Cage auditioned for the role of Buddy.
  • Dennis' car is a 1968 Dodge Charger 440.
  • John Cusack auditioned for the role of Arnie Cunningham.
  • Cast members John Stockwell and William Ostrander would reunite to co-star in the television miniseries North and South (1985).
  • The story takes place in 1978. John Carpenters original Halloween also takes place in 1978.
  • William Ostrander (Buddy Repperton) and Stephen King share the same birthday, September 21st.
  • For the Castilian Spanish language dub version, Keith Gordon's voice was dubbed by José Luis Gil.
  • In Stephen King's version Leigh was blonde haired, just like Rosie (Dennis' original girl), but was even more buxom. The high school they all attended was in Pittsburgh and Leigh Cabot transferred from Nova Scotia, implying but never stated, that she may be descended from European/Canadian explorer John Cabot. In John Carpenter's version, Leigh is brunette and the state is California.
  • The movie playing during the drive-in scene was Thank God It's Friday which features a running gag in which a character's cherished automobile keeps getting continuously damaged (both deliberately and inadvertently) throughout the course of the film.
  • Christine was available with two engines with 2 4bbs in 1958, the 318 and 350. The 360 contrary to what's been said wasn't available until the early 70's and was a LA small block.
  • According to the movie, Christine was evil from the day she rolled off the assembly line, injuring an inspector and killing another worker who dropped cigar ashes on her seat. In the book, Christine was just a normal '58 Plymouth Fury that was purchased by Roland LeBay, brother of George LeBay (Roberts Blossom), the man who sold Christine to Arnie in the movie. It's Roland LeBay who made Christine evil, his love for Christine overriding even his love for his wife and daughter, both of whom died in the car. Thus, Roland's evil spirit became one with Christine. In both the movie and the book, Christine could drive herself and repair any damage so long as she was kept moving. When Roland died and with no one to love her and drive her around, Christine ceased "living" and began to show her age, until Arnie came along. Roland's evil spirit and love for Christine was then transferred to Arnie.
  • Buddys car is a, 1967 Chevrolet Camaro.
  • Arnies parents car is a, 1971 Volvo 144 Automatic.
  • The man at the drive in movie (who gives Leigh the heimlich maneuver), car is a 1972 Chevrolet Impala Convertible.
  • The bulldozer was a, Caterpillar 977 K.
  • Will Darnells car is a, 1974 Cadillac Coupe DeVille.
  • In the novel, there's a scene in which Dennis and Roseanne are in the cinema watching Grease (1978). Dennis doesn't like the movie, but Roseanne loves it. In the movie, Roseanne is played by Kelly Preston, future Grease star John Travolta's wife.

Spoilers

  • In the DVD Documentary, Bill Phillips says that he cut out the novel's plot line of the dead owner's spirit possessing Arnie, and actually causing Christine to kill, not only to save time and compress the story, but also because he didn't want it to look like they were copying An American Werewolf in London (1981) where Jack does the same thing to David.
  • When Arnie first brings Christine to Darnell's Garage, he walks back to Dennis' car and asks him to honk his horn. In the background, the bulldozer that will be used to destroy Christine can be seen.
  • The special Edition DVD contains 20 deleted, extended, or alternate scenes: A brief scene of Arnie and Dennis driving to school, in which Arnie recites a dirty limerick. Alternate scene of Arnie being bullied by Repperton and his gang. Arnie driving to Darnell's in a junked out Christine. Arnie breaking down in anger in Dennis's car. Darnell and a friend talking to Arnie while he is fixing up Christine. Extended scene of Arnie's first visit to Dennis at the hospital. Extended scene of bullies trashing Christine, including Moochie defecating on the dashboard. Extended scene of Arnie and Leigh walking into Darnell's before discovering Christine. A scene in which a distraught Leigh visits Dennis in the hospital. Brief scene of Arnie's mother looking in on him while he is sleeping. Extended scene of Arnie's second visit to Dennis in the hospital. Alternate scene of Det. Junkins questioning Arnie in the school parking lot. Brief scene of Leigh telling Arnie over the phone that she can't see him any more. Brief scene of the gas station bully being crushed by a car, explaining his death rather than the implied death of being immolated in the gas station fire seen in the wide release. Extended scene of Det. Junkins questioning Arnie at Darnell's after Darnell's death. Alternate scene of Leigh calling Dennis. Extended scene of Leigh visiting Dennis at his house. Alternate scene of Arnie and Dennis driving in Christine, in which Arnie is speeding and drinking alcohol. A scene of Leigh and Dennis kissing in Dennis' car, and Arnie pulls up behind them and catches them. Extended scene of Dennis and Leigh waiting in the bulldozer for Christine to arrive.The following deleted scene is not included in the DVD, but is mentioned by screenwriter Bill Phillips during the featurettes: A scene at the end featuring George Thorogood and Bill Phillips as junk yard workers, who smash Christine into the junk cube.
  • After reading over the book, actor Keith Gordon (Arnie) and the costume designer came up with a visual way to show Arnie being possessed by Christine. As the movie progresses, Arnie begins to wear clothes that reflect the era of Christine's make. At various points, especially when Arnie is yelling at Leigh on the phone, Arnie is seen wearing button up shirts open with black t-shirts, black pants, and boots like a 1950's "greaser." When he's talking to Junkins (both times), he's wearing a leather vest over a button up shirt (a nod to western TV shows which were popular in the 50's), and he even starts to wear a red suede jacket like James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955).
  • One of the stunt Furys used in the film - the one that runs over and kills Moochie - had a rubber front end. The car was destined for the salvage yard and has been restored using parts from the other "stunt" vehicles. The vehicle is now in private hands.
  • Among the many subplots in the book that didn't make it to film or were changed: Roland LeBay himself sells the car to Arnie, but dies soon after. Will Darnell using the garage as a front for his smuggling business. Arnie getting arrested while smuggling cigarettes for Darnell. Darnell, who gets arrested on income tax evasion, is killed by Christine after it's implied he'll cut a deal with prosecutors to tell what he knows about the car. The romance between Leigh and Dennis is almost entirely removed. Det. Junkins is killed by Christine near the end. In the book, Christine is vandalized at an airport. Sandy Galton, an airport worker and a friend of Buddy Repperton's, serves as a lookout when Christine is vandalized. He soon skips town and at the very end is found to have been run over by a car, implying that Christine is alive again.
  • Screenwriter Bill Phillips and rocker George Thorogood filmed a cameo appearance as the junkyard workers who compressed and dropped Christine as the cube at the end. The sequence however was cut because neither could act very well (as Phillips states in the documentary). It was also Phillips who suggested that they use George Thorogood's "Bad To The Bone" as the movie's theme song.
  • When Christine hunts down the members of Buddy Repperton's gang, her windows are blacked out. This is presumably to give Christine a "sinister" appearance, but also, more practically, to conceal the stunt driver. However, this reportedly made it difficult for the driver to see, since these scenes were all filmed at night.
  • In the book, Arnie and Dennis worked on a construction crew over the summer. This is how Arnie saved up enough money to buy Christine and explains how Dennis knows how to drive the bulldozer. However, the book's finale does not feature a bulldozer but instead a pink semi truck named Petunia. Stephen King's idea for the final battle was two powerful "ladies" duking it out.
  • In the movie, Darnell is killed when Christine crushes him inside of her between the driver's seat and the steering wheel. In the book, his death was much more dramatic: Christine broke into his house through a picture window and rammed his staircase over and over again while he tried to climb upstairs to get away. Due to a heart asthmatic condition, he could barely breathe and then his heart just stopped causing him to fall down the stairs where Christine rammed him over and over again.
  • Horror fans have speculated the unnamed assembly line supervisor who discovered Christine's second victim, and first fatality, was Will Darnell. This is based on the actor appearing about twenty years younger (than actor Robert Prosky), his semi retired automotive background, and Will saying he once knew the owner of a Fury, upon seeing Christine.
Movie details provided by