Child's Play
Directed by Tom Holland
Produced by David Kirschner
Written by Don Mancini
John Lafia
Tom Holland
Starring Brad Dourif
Catherine Hicks
Chris Sarandon
Alex Vincent
Music by Joe Renzetti
Cinematography Bill Butler
Editing by Roy E. Peterson
Distributed by United Artists
Release November 9, 1988
Running time 87 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $9,000,000
Gross revenue $44,196,684
Followed by Child's Play 2

Child's Play is a 1988 American horror film directed by Tom Holland and written by Don Mancini, John Lafia and Holland. It stars Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent and Brad Dourif. The official taglines of the film were "You'll wish it was only make-believe" and "Something's moved in with the Barclay family, and so has terror."

The film was released on November 9, 1988 and met with moderate success. It has since developed a cult following among fans of the horror genre. The film is the first in the Child's Play film series and was the only film in the series released by MGM/UA, as the rights to the series were sold to Universal in 1990, right before production started on Child's Play 2.


Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif), a voodoo-practicing serial killer also known as the "Lakeshore Strangler", is on the run from the police in Chicago. After detective Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon) shoots him while in a toy shop, Charles transfers his soul via a voodoo ritual into a "Good-Guy" doll, which then causes the store to explode. Detective Norris finds Charles Lee Ray's body next to the doll, thinking that he has killed him.

The possessed doll, now called Chucky, is purchased from a hobo by Karen Barclay (a single mother) (Catherine Hicks) as a birthday gift for her six year-old son, Andy (Alex Vincent). That night while babysitting Andy, Maggie Peterson (Dinah Manoff), Karen's co-worker, hears a news story about Eddie Caputo (Neil Guiantoli), an associate of Charles Lee Ray who abandoned him on the night he was shot. Maggie is later killed when she is hit with a hammer and thrown from a window, falling several stories to her death. Detective Norris arrives at the scene of the crime and initially suspects Andy of the murder, and Karen's furiously tells him and the police to leave.

The next morning Andy skips school, apparently on Chucky's orders, and he travels with the doll to downtown Chicago. Chucky breaks away from Andy and enters an abandon home, the hideout of his former associate Eddie Caputo. While Eddie is asleep, Chucky turns on the gas stove in the house but blows out the pilot light. Eddie awakens and searches the home, causing it to explode when he fires his pistol in the kitchen, igniting the gas. After Andy is again suspected of murder he is placed in a mental hospital, overseen by Dr. Ardmore (Jack Colvin).

That night, Karen discovers that Andy was telling the truth when she realizes the batteries for the doll were never placed inside it, meaning Chucky has continued to function despite not having batteries. When inspecting the doll, Chucky comes alive, bites her and escapes. Detective Norris finally agrees to help after Chucky almost kills him. Chucky goes to Dr. John (Raymond Oliver), a witch doctor and the voodoo teacher of Charles Lee Ray. When asked why he bled after being injured, Dr. John reveals to Chucky that the more time his soul is trapped within the doll, the more human he becomes. In order to escape the doll, he must possess the first person to whom he told about his possession, which is Andy. Chucky kills Dr. John and escapes just before Karen and Detective Norris arrive on the scene. Dr. John tells the pair that they can kill Chucky through his heart as that the doll's heart is now human.

At the mental hospital, Chucky steals the key to Andy's cell but discovered Andy has escaped. Chucky kills Dr. Ardmore, then follows Andy home and knocks him unconscious. As Chucky begins to possess Andy, Karen and Detective Norris arrive and stop him. Chucky stabs Detective Norris, then goes after Karen and Andy. The pair trap Chucky in the fireplace and burn him. Thinking Chucky is dead, Karen and Andy leave the room to help Detective Norris, but Chucky follows them and again attempts to kill them. Chucky is again thought to be killed when Karen shoots the doll, severing an arm, a leg and his head. Jack Santos (Tommy Swerdlow), Mike's partner, arrives at the apartment, and disbelieves the trio's story. Chucky's body then bursts through a ventilation duct and tries to strangle Jack, but Mike shoots the doll through the heart, finally killing Chucky.


  • Catherine Hicks as Karen Barclay
  • Chris Sarandon as Detective Mike Norris
  • Alex Vincent as Andy Barclay
  • Brad Dourif as Charles Lee Ray/Voice of Chucky
  • Dinah Manoff as Maggie Peterson
  • Tommy Swerdlow as Jack Santos (Mario)
  • Jack Colvin as Dr. Ardmore
  • Raymond Oliver as John Simonsen (Dr. Death)
  • Neil Giuntoli as Eddie Caputo
  • Alan Wilder as Mr. Criswell
  • Edan Gross as Good Guy Dolls (voice)
  • Aaron Osborne as the Orderly
  • Juan Ramirez as the Peddler
  • Ed Gale as Chucky (Stunt Double)
  • Michael Patrick Carter as the Kid in an Animated Commercial (voice)


External links

Child's Play

Child's PlayChild's Play 2Child's Play 3Bride of ChuckySeed of ChuckyCurse of Chucky

Charles Lee RayAndy BarclayChuckyTiffanyNica PierceSarah PierceBarb PierceJillIanAlice PierceFather FrankOfficer StantonRonald Tyler