The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at 50

Aug 8–14, 2024

MoMA

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 1974. USA. Directed by Tobe Hooper. Image courtesy of MPI Media
  • MoMA, Floor T2/T1 The Debra and Leon Black Family Film Center

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, among the most profoundly influential works in genre film history, MoMA presents the recently restored film in a special weeklong run Though it was initially shunned for its violence and banned in some markets, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was honored by MoMA’s Department of Film at the time of its original release in 1974, when it also entered the Museum’s collection. In subsequent years the film has garnered near universal acclaim, and it is now widely recognized to reflect the disillusionment of Vietnam War–era politics and the loosening bonds of family and gender. Director Tobe Hooper (1943–2017) and screenwriter Kim Henkel’s modestly budgeted independent feature opens on a road trip through a sunny, vaguely sinister heartland—and quickly, jarringly descends into a tale of abduction by a cult of cannibalistic entrepreneurs. The film’s nightmarish vision and gruesome satire of American values has earned it generations of fans and the appreciation of scholars, and it has had an unexpected influence on artists such as Cindy Sherman.

This weeklong presentation opens on August 8, when members of the film’s creative team will join us to discuss The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s production and legacy.

Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Curator, and Sean Egan, Senior Producer, Department of Film.

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