Up 19,751 this week

The Strangler (1964)

 -  Horror  -  1 April 1964 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 283 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 13 critic

An overweight lab technician with low self esteem, brought on by his dominant mother, becomes a serial killer of female nurses.


0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 1275 titles
created 20 Aug 2011
a list of 24 titles
created 27 Feb 2012
a list of 307 titles
created 06 Apr 2012
a list of 918 titles
created 10 May 2012
a list of 43 titles
created 8 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The Strangler" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Strangler (1964)

The Strangler (1964) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Strangler.



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A series of brutal murders in Boston sparks a seemingly endless and increasingly complex manhunt.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Tony Curtis, Henry Fonda, George Kennedy
The Evil (1978)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A chilling tale of suspense and survival. When a doctor rents a haunted house to use as a clinic, he and his associates are victimized by supernatural powers within.

Director: Gus Trikonis
Stars: Richard Crenna, Joanna Pettet, Andrew Prine
The Strangler (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Paul Vecchiali
Stars: Jacques Perrin, Julien Guiomar, Eva Simonet
Moonchild (1974)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.3/10 X  

A young artists spends the night at a mysterious inn, where he meets a group of strange, sullen people, among them the innkeeper's beautiful daughter. What he doesn't know is that he has ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Gadney
Stars: Victor Buono, John Carradine, William Challee
Crime | Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A rising political star faces scandal and blackmail when the young woman he tries to help turns out to be a juvenile delinquent.

Director: Douglas Heyes
Stars: Ann-Margret, John Forsythe, Peter Brown
Crime | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

A group of gold thieves pull of a heist and flee into the snowy wilderness, only to be pursued by a horrible, spider-like monster.

Director: Monte Hellman
Stars: Michael Forest, Sheila Noonan, Frank Wolff
The Witches (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Following a horrifying experience with the occult in Africa, a schoolteacher moves to a small English village, only to discover that black magic resides there as well.

Director: Cyril Frankel
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Kay Walsh, Alec McCowen
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A couple, lost in thick fog, take refuge in an old mansion next to a cemetery. Strange things start to happen.

Directors: Francisco Lara Polop, Pedro Lazaga
Stars: Ida Galli, Analía Gadé, Lisa Leonardi
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young woman is terrorized by her fiance's demented mother who blames her for her son's death.

Director: Silvio Narizzano
Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, Stefanie Powers, Peter Vaughan
Boot Hill (1969)
Western | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Victims of oppressive town boss Honey are offered help by an unusual alliance of gunmen and circus performers

Director: Giuseppe Colizzi
Stars: Terence Hill, Woody Strode, Bud Spencer
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A former child star torments her crippled sister in a decaying Hollywood mansion.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Henry Tawes is the sheriff in a small town in Tennessee. A man of strong moral fibre he is always quick to judge others and follows the law zealously. Then he meets Alma, a young beautiful ... See full summary »

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Gregory Peck, Tuesday Weld, Estelle Parsons


Cast overview, first billed only:
Leo Kroll
David McLean ...
Lt. Frank Benson
Diane Sayer ...
Barbara Wells
Davey Davison ...
Tally Raymond
Baynes Barron ...
Sgt. Mack Clyde
Mrs. Kroll
Michael Ryan ...
Detective Mel Posner
Russ Bender ...
Dr. Clarence Sanford
Jeanne Bates ...
Clara Thomas, the Nurse
Wally Campo ...
Mimi Dillard ...
Byron Morrow ...
Dr. Morton
John Yates ...
Robert Cranford ...
Jack Rosten


Leo Kroll, a lab technician in a large unnamed city, is responsible for the strangulation murders of several young nurses. He feels that in some twisted way, that he is getting back at his overbearing shrew of a mother. Leo also kills the nurse who is taking care of his mother in the rest home she is staying at. As a result, Mrs. Kroll dies from a heart attack. He also kills an arcade worker whom he feels can identify him. Written by Brian Washington <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Based on the terror that has shocked the nation! See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 April 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Boston Strangler  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)
See  »

Did You Know?


Victor Buono plays the mother-fixated Leo Kroll. Psychiatrists have theorized that the Boston Strangler had a mother fixation. See more »


When the police are on the way to the first murder shown in the movie, they are driving in a 1950s boxy sedan. However, when the police arrive, they are in an early-1960s era sedan. See more »

Crazy Credits

In the main opening titles, actor Michael Ryan has the middle initial "M" in his billing, but it is not in the full cast list in the end credits. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An astounding creative writing exercise
17 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Here's something to contemplate - thousands of films are released in a year, from all different countries and at such a rate that leads to an often alienated public because of an overblown market of films. Many of us stick to what we know and what we see advertised and ignore what we don't want to see, as well as failing to look over the fence that has already been built around us. Sometimes films get a small release and are never even heard from again. With this happening year-after-year, it's simply inevitable that great films go unseen and films are almost completely forgotten about or ignored, with the only hope that blind luck occurs and cult-like interest is established for certain films.

I'll be crossing my fingers that such luck occurs for Burt Topper's The Strangler, a masterful little B-movie based off a real life string of murders committed in the Boston area in the 1960's. The Strangler was made while the killings were still occurring and the case still unsolved, which may provide us with a vivid explanation as to why this particular film was lost in a shuffle. For one, its release was limited, and two, it depicted ongoing murders that would only further scare an already tumultuous and nervous public.

Leo Kroll (Victor Buono) plays the titular character here - man dictated by his domineering mother whose only personality trait is frequenting a local carnival to talk to the two women operating the booth and to play their game to win dolls to add to his collection. Due to his feelings of alienation, his mother who never seems to appreciate what he does, and his inability to fit in with the public, Kroll takes on a violent life of sporadic, unplanned, impulsive murders that goes onto rock the entire nation and puzzle local-area detectives. Writer Bill S. Ballinger does a nice job at illustrating the relationships Kroll has in the film, from the spur-of-the-moment conversations with the local carnies to the one with his controlling mom, giving us an intimate portrait of a man with a collectively numb life.

Because The Strangler was written, shot, and released before the serial killer's crimes were solved, the film has the rare ability to allow personal beliefs and creative writing exercises to dictate its story's direction and outcomes. This makes the picture rather unique and subversive for its time.

While watching the film, I continuously kept thinking about Charles B. Pierce's The Town That Dreaded Sundown, another massively underrated film that concocted a similar concept for its story. The film centered around the series of murders that began occurring in Texarkana, Texas in the mid-1940's. The Killer was nicknamed "The Phantom" and boasted an attire of a blue-jean jacket, work pants, and a plain white sheet with two small holes for his eyes as his mask. The film used silence, beautifully-executed music cues, and atmosphere remarkably, and was released in 1976, when the case was still cold.

The Strangler doesn't have the same power on the horror level that The Town That Dreaded Sundown had but the film works as a truly remarkable little drama. This is largely thanks to a sophisticated performance by Buono, who handles this difficult material with a sense of subtlety and intrigue, exercising fright and believability quite wonderfully. Furthermore, director Burt Topper does the brave thing in the regard that he does not romanticize the violence in the picture, portraying the cold murders in the way they should be portrayed - as evil and unjustifiable. The bravery needed to make and release this film in 1964 was astronomical and the result paid off in an unbelievably rare way.

Starring: Victor Buono, David McLean, Davey Davison, Ellen Corby, and Jeanne Bates. Directed by: Burt Topper.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Strangler (1964) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: