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The Changeling Details


Peter Medak's The Changeling is among a handful of films, including Peter Medak (1963), Peter Medak (1981), and Lady in White (1988), that have successfully recreated the intimate, drawing-room atmosphere of supernatural horror fiction. After his wife and daughter are killed in a snowbound car accident, classical composer John Russell (George C. Scott) relocates from New York to Seattle to teach at his alma mater. Looking for a quiet place to rest and continue writing music, he is referred Claire Norman (Trish Van Devere) at the Seattle Historical Preservation Society. Claire shows John a large, sparsely furnished estate in the outlying countryside. He takes the house, appreciating its remoteness and the solitude it might afford, and diverts himself by renovating and settling in. He even starts to compose, putting aside his older work in favor of a new, sentimental piece for the piano. It is not long, however, before he begins having nightmares about the accident that killed his wife and daughter. Possibly because of this trauma, he is open to communications from the house's ghostly occupants. Pursuing a loud, repetitive pounding noise in an upper room, he stumbles on the apparition of a young boy drowning in a tub. Working together with Claire, John discovers frightening parallels between this vision and buried events from the house's past. Horror writer M.R. James once said that his goal as a writer was to make the reader feel "pleasantly uncomfortable." Those looking for a similar experience in movies will appreciate The Changeling as a gem in the horror genre. ~ Anthony Reed, Rovi

  • Release date:March 28, 1980


Awarded by
Genie Awards Helen Burns Best Supporting Actress 1980 Nominee
Genie Awards John Coquillon Best Cinematography 1980 Winner
Genie Awards Karl Scherer Best Sound 1980 Winner
Genie Awards Patrick Drummond Best Sound Editing 1980 Winner
Genie Awards Austin Grimaldi Best Sound 1980 Winner
Genie Awards Robert Grieve Best Sound Editing 1980 Winner
Genie Awards George C. Scott Best Actor - Foreign 1980 Winner
Genie Awards William Gray Best Adapted Screenplay 1980 Winner
Genie Awards Garth H. Drabinsky Golden Reel Award 1981 Winner
Genie Awards Joel B. Michaels Golden Reel Award 1981 Winner
Genie Awards Trish VanDevere Best Actress - Foreign 1980 Winner
Genie Awards Diana Maddox Best Adapted Screenplay 1980 Winner
Genie Awards Dino Pigat Best Sound 1980 Winner


George C. Scott
as John Russell
Trish VanDevere
as Claire Norman
Melvyn Douglas
as Sen. Joe Carmichael
John Colicos
as DeWitt
Jean Marsh
as Joanna Russell
Barry Morse
as Dr. Pemberton
James Douglas
as Eugene Carmichael
Madeleine Thornton-Sherwood
as Mrs. Norman
Roberta Maxwell
as Eva Lingstrom
Bernard Behrens
as Prof. Robert Lingstrom
Ruth Springford
as Minnie Huxley
Helen Burns
as Leah Harmon
Eric Christmas
as Albert Harmon
Paul Rothery
as Terry Grey
Janne Mortil
as Linda Grey
Sammy Smith
as Doorman
Chris Gampel
as Tuttle
J. Kenneth Campbell
as Security Guard
John Russell
Hagan Beggs
as Coroner
Antonia Rey
as Estancia
Anna Hagan
as Secretary
Terence Kelly
as Sergeant Durton


Peter Medak
Joel B. Michaels
Garth H. Drabinsky
William Gray
Diana Maddox
John Coquillon
Ken Wannberg
Composer (Music Score)
Rick Wilkins
Composer (Music Score)
Lou Lombardo
Reuben Freed
Art Director
Mario Kassar
Executive Producer
Andrew G. Vajna
Executive Producer
Roberta Weiner
Costume Designer
Robert Grieve
Sound/Sound Designer
Dino Pigat
Sound/Sound Designer
Patrick Drummond
Sound/Sound Designer
Karl Scherer
Sound/Sound Designer
Austin Grimaldi
Sound/Sound Designer
Gene Griggs
Special Effects
Irby Smith
First Assistant Director