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Crawlspace (1972 film)

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Director  John Newland
Music director  Jerry Goldsmith
Country  United States
6.8/10 IMDb

Genre  Horror, Thriller
Costume design  Joseph G. Aulisi
Language  English
Crawlspace (1972 film) movie poster

Writer  Herbert Lieberman, Ernest Kinoy
Release date  February 11, 1972
Cast  Arthur Kennedy (Albert Graves), Teresa Wright (Alice Graves), Tom Happer (Richard Roy Atlee), Eugene Roche (Sheriff Emil Birge), Matthew Cowles (Dave Freeman), Dan Morgan (Mr. Harlow)
Similar movies  John Newland directed Crawlspace and Dont Be Afraid of the Dark, Living Hell (2008), The Shortcut (2009), Lovely Molly (2011), Ghost Voyage (2008)
Tagline  They Wanted A Son ... He Gave Them A Nightmare!

Crawlspace 1972 tv movie

Crawlspace is a 1972 made-for-television horror film and thriller directed by John Newland and Buzz Kulik and produced by Herbert Brodkin and Robert Berger. The movie starred Arthur Kennedy, Teresa Wright, and Tom Happer in the title roles of the movie and Ernest Kinoy wrote the screenplay. The movie aired on February 11, 1972 on CBS.


Crawlspace 1972

Movie Origins

The movie was based on the novel of the same name written a year earlier. The novel, entitled Crawlspace, was written by Herbert Lieberman. The plot of the novel surrounds an elderly couple by the names of Albert and Alice Graves. Later on in the story, an oil man named Richard comes by to refill the furnace. In doing so, Alice invites the boy to stay for dinner. Afterwards, to the couple's surprise, they find the boy has been staying in the couple's crawlspace. The novel was published on January 1, 1971.


The plot of this film closely follows the novel of the same name by Herbert Lieberman (which forms the basis of the Ernest Kinoy teleplay).

Elderly couple Albert Graves, (Arthur Kennedy) and his wife Alice (Teresa Wright) have just moved from the city to a small country town to help Albert recuperate from a heart attack.

After they discover a problem with the furnace in their basement, they call for a repairman to come out and service it. The repair company sends a boy by the name of Richard Atlee, (Tom Happer) to the house. The couple takes an interest in Richard, so they invite him to stay for dinner.

A few days later, Arthur awakens to hear noise coming from under the house. To Arthur's shock and bewilderment, he finds that the boy, Richard, has taken residence in the crawlspace of the house. Arthur and Alice, have longed for a child of their own for years, so they decide to take Richard in and more or less raise him. But Richard refuses to sleep in the main part of the house, only wanting to stay in the crawlspace. Even after being warned about Richard by the sheriff, Sheriff Birge (Eugene Roche), the couple continue to develop a close bond with the boy.

Sheriff Birge's suspicions are confirmed when Richard begins acting violently toward the Graves and the town. Richard even resorts to crime. During one of his violent outbursts, he smashes up a section of the town's general store.

The film ends on a somber and unresolved note.


  • Tom Happer as Richard Roy Atlee
  • Arthur Kennedy as Albert Graves
  • Teresa Wright as Alice Graves
  • Eugene Roche as Sheriff Emil Birge
  • Matthew Cowles as Dave Freeman
  • Dan Morgan as Dr. Harlow
  • Roger Serbagi as Davalos
  • Louise Campbell as Miz Gerard
  • Fleet Emerson as Wheeler
  • DVD release

    Crawlspace was released on DVD on October 1, 2007 by Wild Eye Releasing.


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