The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a 1974 American independent horror film directed by Tobe Hooper, who cowrote it with Kim Henkel. It stars Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Paul A. Partain, Jim Siedow, and Gunnar Hansen, who respectively portray Sally Hardesty, Franklin Hardesty, the hitchhiker, the proprietor, and the main antagonist, Leatherface. The film follows a group of friends who fall victim to a family of cannibals while on their way to visit an old homestead. Although it was marketed as a true story to attract a wider audience and as a subtle commentary on the era's political climate, its plot is entirely fictional. The character of Leatherface and minor plot details were inspired by the actions of real-life killer Ed Gein.