Television Movie

Helter Skelter (1976); Coming Soon: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

In 1976, the made for television movie Helter Skelter was released by CBS Television as a television miniseries. It was based on the New York Times best seller of the same name which was written by Manson family prosecutor Los Angeles District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi.

In 1976, the made for television movie “Helter Skelter” was released by CBS Television as a television miniseries. It was based on the 1974 New York Times best seller of the same name which was written by Manson family prosecutor Los Angeles District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi.

The 119 minute Lorimar Productions film focused heavily on the murders, the investigation and trial of the horrific Tate-LaBianca killings and featured an incredible performance by Steve Railsback as Charles Manson, one which made it difficult for him to shake the association thereafter. Railsback, was highly regarded as fantastic as portraying the same manic intensity in his eyes as the photos of crazed Manson at the time. According to popular movie review website Rotten Tomatoes, the film is a “frightening and gripping account” of the crimes with Steve Railsback “excellent” for the  representation of the psychotic Manson.

The movie was remarkably done, matched the written version near identically and was a tremendous hit, gaining record numbers of television viewers for CBS and earned three Emmy nominations. “Helter Skelter” includes the Manson Family from their time at the Spahn Movie Ranch to the actual killings, and then very detailed accounts of the trial which were taken directly from court transcripts. Although much of the beginning is based on what Bugliosi believed to have been taking place at Spahn and within the Manson family group, all of which he believes contributed to the killings, the second half is amazingly accurate to what actually played out in court word for word.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

In 2017, word began circling that Quentin Taratino was planning a new movie set in 1969 around the time of the notorious Manson Family murders and would feature a mix of both real-life and fictional characters. The much anticipated film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, has already cast huge stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie (as Sharon Tate), Damon Herriman (as Charles Manson), Burt Reynolds (as George Spahn), Dakota Fanning (as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme), Emile Hirsch (as victim Jay Sebring) and Polish actor Rafal Zawierucha (as Roman Polanski). The film is expected to hit theatres in August 2019, close to the 50 year anniversary of the murders. Its original released was the exact anniversary, August 9, 2019, but due to pressure from Sharon Tate’s sister Debra Tate, the date was pushed back two weeks.


Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders and millions of other books are available for Amazon

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