The Boston Strangler (1968)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  16 October 1968 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 5,718 users  
Reviews: 80 user | 57 critic

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



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



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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 »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Frauenmörder von Boston  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Tony Curtis broke his nose while filming a chase scene. See more »


In the film it is assumed DeSalvo was guilty, and it portrays him as suffering from multiple personality disorder and committing the murders while in a psychotic state. DeSalvo was never diagnosed with, or even suspected of having that disorder. See more »


Capt. Ed Willis: We've got a full-blown maniac on our hands.
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 »


Version of The Boston Strangler (2006) See more »


Give Me the Simple Life
Music by Rube Bloom
Played in the bar when Di Natale is talking to Carr
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Curtis Should Have Been Nominated
11 March 2003 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

It takes a lot of courage to take on a role as challenging as one of the most brutal serial murderers in United States history. Tony Curtis made you believe that he was Albert DeSalvo and he did it after years of playing the handsome leading man. He took a big chance and it paid off in some of the greatest reviews of his career, but when it came to an Oscar nomination, nothing. Tony Curtis is one of the greats in Hollywood. Too bad when he played the role of a lifetime the Academy forgot him. Also, Henry Fonda deserved a nomination for his role. This was probably one of the most intense roles of his career.

The other thing that made the film great was its innovative use of split screen. You pretty much got the creeps as you saw people living their ordinary lives on one side of the screen, while on the other side you saw the strangler stalking his victim. Also, I think that the director really did a good job by not really showing any of the attacks in progress, at least until the last one. This film truly was a great psychological thriller.

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