Edit
The Silent Scream (1979) Poster

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (2)
The film was originally shot in the summer of 1977. However, the original version was considered unreleasable. Director Denny Harris turned to screenwriters Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat to help improve the story, but they had the radical idea to reshoot the bulk of the film. The actors and actresses who played the college students were brought back for reshoots in March 1978. Yvonne De Carlo, Barbara Steele, Cameron Mitchell, and Avery Schreiber were all brought in during reshoots for name-recognition value, replacing the actors who originally played their roles. In the end, only 12 minutes of footage from the original version was retained in the final finished film.
10 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The scene that Mason is watching on his TV is actually footage shot for the original version of the film in which Victoria (originally played by Susan Backlinie) is being raped by the gardener.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When Rebecca Balding was called back for reshoots 8 months after filming had concluded, she discovered they had discontinued the nail polish she'd worn in the original footage and had difficulty matching the color.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Director Denny Harris was a successful TV commercial director with his own self-named studio who dreamed of making his own horror movie. Utilizing his own staff, facilities (which doubled as the police station) and money, he churned out this independent film.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Murray Langston originally played the part of Mason, which was radically different from the character Brad Rearden embodied. Ken Wheat said Langston played "an offensively exaggerated gay character, very broad, supposedly villainous because he was gay." This characterization was the first thing changed when the Wheat brothers were brought in to overhaul the film.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Cameron Mitchell and Avery Schreiber were hired to work on the film for two days. Because of their short shooting schedule, most of their scenes were covered with two cameras. Without the knowledge of his agent, Mitchell returned for one afternoon to film a few pick-up shots and was paid $500 cash.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Rebecca Balding drove her own car in the film.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Diane McBain originally starred as Lt. Sandy McGiver. The filmmakers considered retaining her footage when the film was completely reworked, but the actor playing opposite her as Sgt. Manny Ruggin had a running gag where he was continuously eating donuts that the filmmakers decided didn't work.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Barbara Steele took the role of Victoria because it afforded her a rare opportunity to play a mute character. Her scenes were shot in four days.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Rebecca Balding originally turned down the role because she had landed a job on Lou Grant (1977). After the third episode was shot, Balding was "let go" from the series and then accepted the part in the film.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The Engels house is actually a Highland Park, Los Angeles home called The Smith Estate, and it was previously known as the Merrye house in the cult classic Spider Baby or, the Maddest Story Ever Told (1967). In both instances the house was chosen because it stands upon a hill, which made it easier to shoot wide angles and obscure the view of the neighboring homes in order to achieve a sense that the house is very isolated.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Susan Backlinie, who originally starred as Victoria Engels, had a severe allergic reaction to prosthetic makeup which scarred her face.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Yvonne De Carlo's scenes were shot in two days. To compensate, many shots feature stand-ins donning her wardrobe.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
All of the exterior shots of the Engels house were filmed in a single day. The filmmakers mapped out where scenes would appear in the film and they moved the camera around the house throughout the day, taking full advantage of the sunlight.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The bar scene was entirely ad-libbed.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Avery Schreiber wrote his lines on the yellow notepad which his character frequently refers to.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Actor Steve Doubet recruited his girlfriend (and future wife) Tina Tyler to play the role of the young Victoria.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
During the scene in the basement laundry room, the color of the shirt worn by Juli Andelman alternates between bright and pale yellow. When they returned for reshoots many months later, the filmmakers found the color impossible to match.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The living room set was redressed and used as Mason's bedroom.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Because the name actors had a short shooting schedule and additional coverage was needed, co-writer and producer Ken Wheat appears as a double for both Yvonne De Carlo and Barbara Steele and his brother, co-writer/producer Jim Wheat, appears as Avery Schreiber's double. Jim's girlfriend/future wife also doubled for Yvonne De Carlo's character in various shots and Ken's girlfriend/future wife doubled Barbara Steele.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The hidden staircase from the basement to the attic was a single set. To achieve the illusion that it snaked up multiple stories, the lighting, cobwebs and furnace pipes were switched, with narrower pipes on the upper floors.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Ken Wheat was the hand double for both the killer and their victims. During the scene in which the killer tears through the wall, Wheat cut his hand on the boards.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The story Rebecca Balding tells about her falsies falling out was ad-libbed and true.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Between takes, Avery Schreiber was cracking jokes, which caused difficulty for Juli Andelman, who was trying to play a scene in which her character was upset and crying.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Rebecca Balding claimed she had never heard of Barbara Steele until the actress was hired for the reshoot.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Steve Doubet did vocal exercises before each take. "It's like he had pneumonia and was coughing up phlegm," recalled co-star Rebecca Balding.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Director Denny Harris spent $450,000 of his own money on the first version of the movie that was made. Ultimately the bulk of that film was scrapped, rewritten and re-shot.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Over the course of filming, three different locations were used for the laundry room scene: a real basement, a small basement set and a smaller set for the dark corner next to the furnace and hidden staircase.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the original version of the movie, the killer sneaked up and murdered Jack as he lied in bed wearing headphones. Part of this scene was retained in the final cut, but the rest was changed when the film was overhauled.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
One scene was shot without permits at Occidental College, and drama students were recruited to play extras. A staff member tried to halt filming but the Wheat brothers quickly got the consent of the school's Dean, who watched off-camera.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Shot in the days before video playback, the Wheat brothers had to bring a moviola to the set to try to match shots that would inter-cut with existing footage which was filmed 8 months earlier.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The Engels house doesn't really overlook the ocean. To achieve the shot where Scotty pulls back the curtains and looks out the attic window, a curtain was simply hung in front of the camera next to the beach-front staircase seen elsewhere in the film.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The crew expected the tide to roll in and gently lap at John Widelock's feet but instead it rushed in and soaked him, so they used that take in the finished film.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
For the interior front hallway set of the Engels house, the crew had to match both the doors of the exterior location and the unusual banister from the real upstairs location.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The shot of Scottie looking out of the attic window was achieved by propping a window up above the beach, which was nowhere near the actual house.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Juli Andelman did not like playing background as a corpse in the closet after her character was killed, so she intentionally moved around and ruined takes. Eventually the filmmakers decided to have another character cover her body with a sheet so the actress would not have to be present during the filming of those scenes.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
A scene was scripted in which the killer wraps a rope around Doris's corpse and drags her up the hidden staircase, which explains how she got into the attic. The scene was deemed too technical and time consuming to properly achieve, so it was never filmed.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed