Child's Play

November 9th, 1988


Child's Play

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Still of Chris Sarandon in Child's PlayStill of Chris Sarandon, Catherine Hicks and Alex Vincent in Child's PlayStill of Brad Dourif in Child's PlayStill of Catherine Hicks and Alex Vincent in Child's PlayChild's PlayStill of Catherine Hicks in Child's Play

Young Andy Barclay gets the doll he wanted. However, he did not know it was alive!

Release Year: 1988

Rating: 6.3/10 (26,207 voted)

Director: Tom Holland

Stars: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent

When Charles Lee Ray needs to get quick escape from cop, Mike Norris, he takes his soul and buries it into playful, seemingly good guy doll Chucky. Little does he know a little boy by the name of Andy Barclay will be the new owner of him soon-to-come. Charles confides in Andy while he commits numerous murders. Once the adults catch up to Andy's story as truth, it's too late.

Writers: Don Mancini, Don Mancini

Catherine Hicks - Karen Barclay
Chris Sarandon - Mike Norris
Alex Vincent - Andy Barclay
Brad Dourif - Charles Lee Ray / Chucky
Dinah Manoff - Maggie Peterson
Tommy Swerdlow - Jack Santos
Jack Colvin - Dr. Ardmore
Neil Giuntoli - Eddie Caputo
Juan Ramírez - Peddler
Alan Wilder - Mr. Criswell
Richard Baird - News Reporter at Toy Store
Raymond Oliver - Dr. Death
Aaron Osborne - Orderly
Tyler Hard - Mona
Ted Liss - George

Taglines: You'll wish it was only make-believe.


Official Website: MGM |

Release Date: 9 November 1988

Filming Locations: Brewster Building Apartments - 2800 N. Pine Grove Avenue, Lake View, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $6,583,000 (USA) (13 November 1988) (1377 Screens)

Gross: $44,196,684 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

One abandoned concept was that one sign of Chucky turning more human the longer he spent in the doll was that the doll would grow stubble like Charles Lee Ray had when he was human.

Crew or equipment visible: When Andy is leaving school with Chucky you can see the reflection of the crew in the windows

[first lines]
Mike Norris: I got the strangler! Wabash and Van Buren.

User Review

This is what a bad movie looks like when it's well made.

Rating: 8/10

Child's Play is built upon a pretty laughable premise – some hardened criminal finds himself wounded and cornered by the police, so he chants some mystical words, lightning clouds form in the sky, and he transports his soul into the body of a kid's doll of the My Buddy variety. But the movie is so well made that it is able to remain effective despite its questionable premise, kind of like Darkman, another movie with something of a goofy plot but that still manages to come off as a great action horror film.

Some of the best moments in the film come early on, before anyone but Andy realizes that Chucky is alive. Kind of like what Steven Spielberg did in Jaws, director Tom Holland leaves Chucky as a lifeless doll for a good portion of the beginning of the film. As is to be expected, it's much more difficult to show a living, running, stabbing, screaming doll than it is to show a regular doll, which itself manages to stare blankly in such a way that you know there's something going on in its head.

There's nothing worse than hearing someone criticize the acting skills of a little kid, but I have to admit that I found Alex Vincent's performance as Andy a little trying at times. Granted, the kid deserves a lot of credit for performing reasonably well in a horror film at the age of 7, which is certainly more than I could have done at that age, but for every time that he effectively portrayed a scared little kid, which happened often, there were at least as many times when he spoke with the wooden monotone generally associated with reading a cue card.

That being said, the effects in the movie are very impressive. There are a few goofs in there, but you have to look pretty hard to find them, and the doll itself was very well done. Brad Dourif makes one of his earlier appearances, showing up in Child's Play just long enough to get shot and then transfer his body into the doll, and then spend the rest of what is now a total of five movies trying to get out of it, which may have something to do with the fact that his voice is more famous than his face. He was mostly known as the timid Billy Bibbit from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest before he did Child's Play, and the success of this movie clearly had a significant impact on the rest of his career, since so many of his later performances were in decidedly dark roles.

Note: watch for the only funny scene in the movie, which my itself is so funny that any other comic relief isn't even necessary. As Chucky ascends in an elevator, and elderly woman notices him, but her husband tells her to just leave it, whoever forgot it is bound to come back for it. When she exits the elevator, she looks back with a grimace and says, 'Ugly doll…' Chucky's response is one of the funniest things I've ever seen in a horror film.


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