Alligator (1980) - IMDb
126 user 100 critic

Alligator (1980)

2:22 | Trailer
A baby alligator is flushed down a Chicago toilet and survives by eating discarded laboratory rats injected with growth hormones. The small reptile grows gigantic, escapes the city sewers, and goes on a rampage.


Lewis Teague


John Sayles (screenplay), John Sayles (story) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Forster ... David
Robin Riker ... Marisa
Michael V. Gazzo ... Chief Clark (as Michael Gazzo)
Dean Jagger ... Slade
Sydney Lassick ... Gutchel (as Sidney Lassick)
Jack Carter ... Mayor
Perry Lang ... Kelly
Henry Silva ... Brock
Bart Braverman ... Kemp
John Lisbon Wood John Lisbon Wood ... Mad Bomber
James Ingersoll James Ingersoll ... Helms
Robert Doyle Robert Doyle ... Bill
Patti Jerome Patti Jerome ... Madeline
Angel Tompkins ... Newswoman
Sue Lyon ... ABC Newswoman


Ramon the alligator is flushed down the toilet as a baby and grows into a gargantuan monster by eating the corpses of laboratory animals who have undergone dubious hormone experiments, thus providing all the ecological and social subtext that one could possibly wish for, even if one doesn't normally go for films about giant alligators eating people left, right, and center--which is the inevitable and tragic result of Ramon's decision that the outside world looks rather more interesting than the sewers.... Written by Michael Brooke <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's up from the sewers and nobody's safe ... See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Sue Lyon (in her last role) is credited as ABC Newscaster but was actually an NBC Newscaster: the "peacock" logo with the letters "NBC" are on her microphone. In her scene, she interviews Henry Silva, who tells her she's pretty. Lyon began her career in Stanley Kubrick's Lolita (1962), about a very pretty girl older men are crazy about. See more »


When David and Marisa arrive at the wedding, the two men working on the gate seem totally oblivious to what has just happened there. When the alligator was wrecking havoc, how could they have not heard the terrified wedding guests screaming, or saw them running for their lives towards the gate to get away? See more »


Gutchel: How about cats? I got plenty of cats. I also got a parrot I'd like to get rid of.
See more »

Alternate Versions

One or more extra scenes are said to be included in old TV versions of the movie. In one extra scene, a woman is outside hanging up clothes while her baby is with her. When her phone rings, she goes inside to answer, leaving the baby out in the yard. When a loud crashing sound is heard off screen, the woman gets off the phone and goes back outside. She sees that her back yard is in mess, part of the fence is smashed and flattened, the laundry basket she left out is overturned and she becomes hysterical when she realizes that her baby is missing. She approaches an upturned laundry basket and turns it over and finds the baby. The scene then cuts away. The alligator doesn't attack either the baby or the mother. See more »


Referenced in Alligator Author (2007) See more »

User Reviews

* * * out of 4.
10 September 2002 | by brandonsites1981See all my reviews

John Sayles brings as another memorable horror effort that mixes horror and comedy rather effectively. Giant alligator is flushed down the toilet as a baby and grows to giant size in the sewers of Chicago. Not finding much food down in the sewer, gator brings his act to the street and begins to make lunch meat of the city's population. Violent flick has a killer pace and never has a dull moment. Beware of the awful sequel though. Rated R.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 126 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

14 November 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alligator See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alligator See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (theatrical cut)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed