Saw poster
Directed by James Wan
Produced by Gregg Hoffman
Mark Burg
Oren Koules

Cary Elwes
Danny Glover
Monica Potter
Michael Emerson
Ken Leung
Tobin Bell
Leigh Whannell

Music by Charlie Clouser
Cinematography David A. Armstrong
Editing by Kevin Greutert
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release October 29, 2004
Running time 103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1.2 million
Gross revenue $103,096,345
Followed by Saw II

Saw is a 2004 American independent horror film directed by James Wan. The screenplay, written by Leigh Whannell, is based on a story by Wan and Whannell. The film stars Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter, and Whannell. It is the debut of Wan and Whannell and the first installment of the seven-part Saw franchise.

The film's story revolves around Adam (Whannell) and Lawrence (Elwes), two men who are chained in a dilapidated subterranean bathroom and are each given instructions via a microcassette recorder explaining how to escape. Adam is told he must escape the bathroom, while Lawrence is told to kill Adam before a certain time, or Lawrence's family will die. Meanwhile, police detectives investigate and attempt to find the victims' location and apprehend the mastermind behind this "game" and several other similar incidents.

The screenplay was written in 2001, but after failed attempts to get the script produced in Wan and Whannell's home country, Australia, they were urged to travel to Los Angeles. In order to help attract producers they shot a low-budget short film of the same name from a scene out of the script. This proved successful in 2003 as producers from Evolution Entertainment were immediately attached and also formed a horror genre production label Twisted Pictures. The film was given a small budget and shot on a short schedule of 18 days.

Saw was first screened on January 19, 2004. Lionsgate picked up the rights and released the film in the United States and Canada on October 29, 2004. Critical responses were generally mixed and divided, but the film gained a cult following. Compared to its low budget, Saw performed very well at the box office, grossing more than $100 million worldwide and becoming, at the time, one of the most profitable horror films since 1996's Scream. The success of the film prompted a green-light of a sequel soon after Saw's opening weekend, which was released the following October.


  • Leigh Whannell as Adam Stanheight
  • Cary Elwes as Dr. Lawrence Gordon
  • Tobin Bell as John Kramer
  • Danny Glover as Detective David Tapp
  • Monica Potter as Alison Gordon
  • Michael Emerson as Zep Hindle
  • Ken Leung as Detective Steven Sing
  • Makenzie Vega as Diana Gordon
  • Shawnee Smith as Amanda Young
  • Dina Meyer as Detective Allison Kerry
  • Mike Butters as Paul Stallberg
  • Paul Gutrecht as Mark Wilson
  • Ned Bellamy as Jeff Ridenhour
  • Benito Martinez as Brett
  • Alexandra Bokyun Chun as Carla
  • Oren Koules as Donnie Greco

External links

  • Saw at the Internet Movie Database
Saw favicon

Saw vte
Films SawSaw IISaw IIISaw IVSaw VSaw VISaw 3D
Characters BillyJigsawMark HoffmanAmanda YoungJill TuckLawrence GordonEric MatthewsDavid Tapp
Traps Reverse BeartrapThe BathroomAngel TrapThe PendulumThe CubeThe Fatal Five

Tobin Bell films

Saw (2004)  · Saw II (2005)  · Saw III (2006)  · Saw IV (2007)  · Saw V (2008)  · Saw VI (2009)  · Saw 3D (2010)  ·

Shawnee Smith films

Saw (2004)  · Saw II (2005)  · Saw III (2006)  · Saw IV (2007)  · Saw V (2008)  · Saw VI (2009)  · Saw 3D (2010)  ·

Cary Elwes films

Liar Liar (1997)  · Saw (2004)  · Saw II (2005)  · A Christmas Carol (2009)  · Saw 3D (2010)  ·

Monica Potter films

Saw (2004)  ·

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