Helter Skelter (1976) - Rotten Tomatoes

Helter Skelter (1976)




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The made-for-television mini-series Helter Skelter is based on the true story of the search for and prosecution of Charles Manson and his "family" after the brutal murder of actress Sharon Tate. Based on the book by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, the film is intense, frightening and gripping. Steve Railsback is excellent as the psychotic Manson.
Drama , Television
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Lorimar Productions

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George DiCenzo
as Vincent Bugliosi
Steve Railsback
as Charles Manson
Nancy Wolfe
as Susan Atkins
Marilyn Burns
as Linda Kasabian
Christina Hart
as Patricia Krenwinkel
Cathey Paine
as Leslie Van Houten
Alan Oppenheimer
as Aaron Stovitz
Rudy Ramos
as Danny DeCarlo
Sondra Blake
as Ronnie Howard
Wright King
as Friend
Edward Bell
as Sgt. Hank Kruger
Roy Jenson
as Punchy
Marc Alaimo
as Phil Cohen
Paul Mantee
as Sgt. O'Neal
Bill Durkin
as Tex Watson
Phillip Richard Allen
as Sgt. Manuel Gris
David Clennon
as Harry Jones
Ray Middleton
as Mr. Spahn
Anthony Herrera
as Sgt. Smith
Al Checco
as Leno LaBianca
Robert Hoy
as Sgt. Franklin
Bart Burns
as Frank Fowler
Jerry Dunphy
as Newscaster
George Putnam
as Newscaster
Barbara Mallory
as "Family" Girl
Deborah Parsons
as "Family" Girl
Linden Chiles
as J. Miller Leavy
Mary Kay Pass
as Sgt. Broom
Dorothy Meyer
as Housekeeper
Tracy Morgan
as Henna Woman
Bert Williams
as Deputy
Ralph Montgomery
as Grand Jury Foreman
Richard Venture
as Police Inspector
Louise Caire Clark
as Susan Struthers
Larry Pennell
as Sgt. White
Jim Boles
as Camarinos
Paul Kent
as Dennis Ranson
Robert Rothwell
as TV Reporter
Jack Miller
as Joe Dorgan
Alan Dexter
as Dog Owner
Josh Albee
as Struthers
Sidney Clute
as Reporter
Bruce French
as Officer Ocher
Howard Caine
as Everett Scoville
Jason Ronard
as Paul Watkins
Skip Homeier
as Judge Older
Adam Williams
as Terrence Milik
Jonathan Lippe
as Hank Charter
Joyce Easton
as Gail Bugliosi
Joe Roman
as The Bailiff
Bill Sorrells
as Gillespie
John Furlong
as Judge Dell
Robert Ito
as Drees Darrin
Rod Arrants
as Bart Listen
Guy Remsen
as Andy Cookley
Read Morgan
as Officer Columbine
Cal Haynes
as Keith
Jon Gries
as William Garretson
James Brodhead
as Mr. Quint
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Critic Reviews for Helter Skelter

All Critics (11)

Well-mounted TV-flick biopic.

April 3, 2005

Its possible value is undermined by TV film values and fake Beatle tracks.

September 9, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Helter Skelter

HELTER SKELTER remains one of the best mini-series ever produced for American television. Astounding.

Michael Lupetin
Michael Lupetin

Helter Skelter, THE best television drama I have EVER seen. I very much ENCOURAGE you to see this film via my link. Helter Skelter is a 1976 TV film based on the 1974 book by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. In the United States, it aired over two nights. The motive of the killers is shrouded in cult worship, namely worship of a Jesus/Hitler wannabe named Charles Manson. Why Roman Polanski, famous movie director was above suspicion (he and wife Sharon Tate were not on best terms) escapes me. Los Angelos police disregarded his part in the crime. After the trial of the Charles Manson group, he left the country for good. EDITORIAL: For my part, the district attourney kept having great difficulty establishing motive for the Manson "family". Indeed, their cause was entirely socially driven, not personally driven. Yet Roman Polanski, Tate's newly wed husband, had a great motive. To get rid of Sharon who clashed with his playboy lifestyle. That a bunch of others died in the process as well ... thats just too bad. READ the entire sad episode of Roman and Sharon here plus the details of her murder and the trial of Manson et.al: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharon_Tate He was in England at the time (a perfect alibi), just days before his wife and victim Sharon Tate arrived in California at the couples newly leased home. [img]http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTFQr9LItew8nkB7mkByVqBd6jF0PZnlRsV31iIb2mfzC9AT-93[/img] Charles Manson tries to represent himself in trial IF one is to believe the book this is written from, that is, the prosecutor of the case, its pretty damning. The defensive argument is diminished in the film. After a while, the thought occured to me that these kids, mostly 21 to 30 were a victim of their times. Anyone like these so anti-Establishment freaks and vocal about it, were convicted on arrival. It must have been a pretty easy case to prosecute but the film make it appear it was anything but easy. [img]http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSbV02PozC5o4cFXGeOxBuK4TevyvUZsMNrTY_JRLskyiHxlhaXDA[/img] the lead actor was terrific and was hate himself SEE the trailer here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_fGrCWnujM The movie is based upon the murders committed by the Charles Manson self-described "Family". The best-known victim was actress Sharon Tate. The title was taken from the Beatles' song of the same name. [img]http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRzzU7i7eJtLVL2vge0fxKnkm3g4EksN4k8Z_Q4i-HAj-EmScTF[/img] A master manipulative person, Manson acts out in court to nullify the prosecution's words to the jury According to the theory put forward by the prosecution, Manson used the term for an anticipated race war, and "helter skelter" was scrawled in blood on the refrigerator door at the house of one of the victims. [img]http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRf3LPlgSR0vLY08xeuVbJGa38BE7V8pwFp-49RzVWyKHYWDV-67w[/img] Convictied on all counts, they shave their heads SEE the entire film here with me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj5mwNsBvC0 [img]http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTtFHeF5iALKEicS0B5AtuIcQhH7d8-0Cna8oFbLFB2rpXHLXm2[/img] The prosecutor and narrator of the film, date by date is explained by him in detail 1977 Emmy Awards Nominated, Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Special (Dramatic Underscore) - Billy Goldenberg Nominated, Outstanding Directing in a Special Program - Drama or Comedy - Tom Gries Nominated, Outstanding Film Editing for a Special - Byron Brandt, Bud S. Isaacs Directors Guild of America Nominated, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Specials/Movies for TV/Actuality - Daniel Petrie[2] Edgar Allan Poe Awards Won, Best Television Feature or Miniseries - J.P. Miller REVIEWS: 90% Based on the original Bugliosi book, and from the perspective of Vincent Bugliosi himself, taking the role as narrator, this film attempts to break do... 100% Helter Skelter, THE best television drama I have EVER seen. I very much ENCOURAGE you to see this film. NOTES: 1 The LaBianca house sequence was filmed at the actual crime scene. Much of the dialogue from the courtroom scenes was taken from the court transcripts. The 1959 Ford driven by Linda Kasabian on both nights of murder was loaned to the producers by the Los Angeles Police Department CBS television (2 night airing) Original run April 1, 1976 - April 2, 1976 Running time 194 minutes Starring George DiCenzo Steve Railsback Nancy Wolfe Marilyn Burns Christina Hart Cathey Paine Alan Oppenheimer Read Morgan [img]http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRnEpZ6ZIa5bIYv9yfs6v08odpOTPxsEuu7YGPGTzq2aylJjGuGCw[/img] The entire group convicted to death row but California later abolished death row to life imprisonment\

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

Great telling of the Manson Murders. Steve Railsback's performance as Manson is unforgettable. Make sure to see the 184 min cut and not the choppy 119 min cut.

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

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