The Silent Scream (1979 film)

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This article is about the 1979 film. For other uses, see Silent Scream.
The Silent Scream
Poster of the movie Silent Scream.jpg
Theatrical poster, stylized as Silent Scream
Directed by Denny Harris
Written by Jim Wheat
Ken Wheat
Wallace E. Bennett
Denny Harris
Starring Rebecca Balding
Barbara Steele
Cameron Mitchell
Yvonne De Carlo
Music by Roger Kellaway
Cinematography Michael D. Murphy
David Shore
Edited by Edward Salier
Distributed by American Cinema Releasing
Release date
  • November 24, 1979 (1979-11-24) (United States, Texas)
  • January 30, 1980 (1980-01-30) (United States, North Dakota)
  • August 7, 1980 (1980-08-07) (Australia)
Running time
87 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $7.9 million (rentals)[1]

The Silent Scream (also known as Silent Scream) is a 1979 American horror film directed by Denny Harris, and starring Rebecca Balding, Cameron Mitchell, Barbara Steele and Yvonne De Carlo.[2]


Four college students, unable to find on-campus housing, take up residence in Mrs. Engels's (De Carlo) hilltop mansion, where she lives with her strange son, Mason (Reardon), and her daughter, Victoria (Steele), whom Mrs. Engels secretly keeps hidden in the attic, a botched lobotomy having left her mute and homicidal. After one of the students is found dead, a police investigation is launched, which uncovers the history of the mansion and its owners, as the remaining students become endangered.[3]


  • Rebecca Balding as Scotty Parker
  • Cameron Mitchell as Lt. Sandy McGiver
  • Avery Schreiber as Sgt. Manny Ruggin
  • Barbara Steele as Victoria Engels
  • Steve Doubet as Jack Towne
  • Brad Rearden as Mason Engels
  • John Widelock as Peter Ransom
  • Juli Andelman as Doris Prichart
  • Yvonne De Carlo as Mrs. Engels
  • Jack Stryker as Police Chief
  • Thelma Pelish as Housing Lady
  • Tina Tyler as Victoria at 16
  • Jason Zahler as Mason at 3
  • Annabella Price as TV Rape Victim
  • Joe Pronto as TV Rapist
  • Joan Lemmo as Rooming House Lady
  • Ernie Potvin as Boarding House Husband
  • Virginia Rose as Boarding House Wife
  • Ina Gould as Landlady
  • Rachel Bard as Nurse in Psycho Ward


The film had a tumultuous post-production process where a large portion of the film was re-shot.[4]

Some exteriors of the film were shot at the Smith Estate in Highland Park, Los Angeles, Calif..

The film marks scream queen Barbara Steele's only 1980s film appearance, and was among the early cycle of slasher films to appear after the genre was popularized by Halloween and Friday the 13th.[5]


The film was released theatrically by American Cinema Releasing; it was released in limited theaters in November 23, 1979 in Victor, Texas, and in January 30, 1980 in Bismarck, North Dakota. Outside of being limited in cinemas in the United States, the film screened regionally throughout 1980.[6] It grossed an estimated $15,800,000 at the box office.[7]

The film was released on VHS by Media Home Entertainment and Video Treasures.[8]

The film was released as a special edition DVD by Scorpion Releasing Corporation.[9]



  1. ^ Richard Nowell, Blood Money: A History of the First Teen Slasher Film Cycle Continuum, 2011 p 257
  2. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Silent Scream (1980)". The New York Times: Movies. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  3. ^ New DVD Label Arrives with a Silent Scream
  4. ^ "Silent Scream (1980)". Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  5. ^ Scheib, Richard (1998). "The Silent Scream (1980)". The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review. Archived from the original on 2007-10-20. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  6. ^ "Company Credits for The Silent Scream". Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  7. ^ "Silent Scream (1980)". Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  8. ^ "Silent Scream (1980)". Variety. Retrieved 2008-01-03. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Silent Scream (DVD)". Retrieved 2011-04-13. 

External links[edit]

The Silent Scream at the Internet Movie Database