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The Boston Strangler (1968)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 16 October 1968 (USA)
A series of brutal murders in Boston sparks a seemingly endless and increasingly complex manhunt.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Det. Phil DiNatale
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Julian Soshnick
...
Terence Huntley
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Det. Frank McAfee
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John Asgeirsson
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Dianne Cluny
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Atty. Gen. Edward W. Brooke
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Peter Hurkos
Leora Dana ...
Mary Bottomly
Carolyn Conwell ...
Irmgard DeSalvo
...
Cloe
Austin Willis ...
Dr. Nagy
...
Bobbie Eden
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Storyline

Boston is being terrorized by a series of seemingly random murders of women. Based on the true story, the film follows the investigators path through several leads before introducing the Strangler as a character. It is seen almost exclusively from the point of view of the investigators who have very few clues to build a case upon. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the true story of Albert DeSalvo, the self-confessed Boston Strangler, and of what he did to thirteen women and one city. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Frauenmörder von Boston  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,100,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Edward Winter. See more »

Goofs

A shot of Tony Curtis, in a doorway, includes a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado in the background, at a time (in the story) which is supposedly 1963-64 (shortly after JFK's funeral). See more »

Quotes

Capt. Ed Willis: Usually in a homicide of this kind, where nothing's stolen, it's a personal enmity, a grudge killing.
John Asgeirsson: Two cases of personal enmity against two harmless old ladies in the same neighborhood in one week?
John Asgeirsson: Come on, Captain, looks to me like a nut's loose.
Sgt. Frank McAfee: Nuts don't ransack apartments.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This is the true story of Albert Desalvo, the self-confessed Boston Strangler. The characters and incidents you are about to see are based on fact. See more »

Connections

Referenced in All in the Family: Prisoner in the House (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Semper Fidelis
(uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Heard from the television during the opening scene
Also played during the flashback montage
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Tony Curtis embraces the unpleasant
2 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Based on the real-life series of murders in Boston from 1962-64, this police procedural has close to a documentary-style approach. The filmmakers also utilized the split-screen technique briefly popular back then, in other films such as "The Thomas Crown Affair." More than just splitting the screen in two, there are sometimes as many as 5 different images dividing the screen, and a widescreen version is necessary to get the full effect. Here, the technique is used to display the actions of both the victim and the serial killer at the same time, viewing their movements preceding the actual murders. Some viewers may find their concentration divided to a greater degree than they would like.

The first half of the film shows how the police deal with (or, try to) the number of female bodies steadily piling up in the city. Some of the material is dated, with homosexuals being the primary suspects, and various types of perverts, like peeping toms, rounded up in unintentionally amusing scenes (see also "The Detective"1968 with Frank Sinatra for similar scenes of the homosexual community persecuted by the police dept.). Fonda plays the chief investigator, placed in charge against his wishes, but who soon accepts the gravity of the situation. George Kennedy is one of the main detectives.

Curtis doesn't appear until the first hour ends. As an actor, he immersed himself in this unpleasant role, and, from the first minute he's seen on screen, all his past film roles are summarily wiped away. He was a star for close to 15 years at that point and all those comedies & sappy adventures he'd been in immediately disappear from one's mind. It's a rather astounding feat - who knew he was this method actor? But, he wasn't even nominated for an Oscar. Also, unlike, for example, Travolta's comeback in "Pulp Fiction"(94), this did not revitalize his career. Sally Kellerman("M*A*S*H",1970) also appears in an early role as a victim who just may survive. Look also for, in a very early role, James Brolin in one scene as a police sgt. caught in some indiscretion by a supposed clairvoyant. Modern filmmakers should also check out some of director Fleischer's techniques towards the end, in that white room with Curtis.


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