IMDb > The Boston Strangler (1968)
The Boston Strangler
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The Boston Strangler (1968) More at IMDbPro »

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The Boston Strangler -- A gripping account of the real-life serial killer who stalked the Boston Common, leaving behind a trail of dead young women, and the detective who helped crack the case.

Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   5,611 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Edward Anhalt (screenplay)
Gerold Frank (book)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Boston Strangler on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 October 1968 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
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 »
Plot:
A series of brutal murders in Boston sparks a seemingly endless and increasingly complex manhunt. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(44 articles)
User Reviews:
Interesting and engaging drama See more (80 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Tony Curtis ... Albert DeSalvo

Henry Fonda ... John S. Bottomly

George Kennedy ... Det. Phil DiNatale
Mike Kellin ... Julian Soshnick
Hurd Hatfield ... Terence Huntley

Murray Hamilton ... Det. Frank McAfee

Jeff Corey ... John Asgeirsson

Sally Kellerman ... Dianne Cluny

William Marshall ... Atty. Gen. Edward W. Brooke

George Voskovec ... Peter Hurkos
Leora Dana ... Mary Bottomly
Carolyn Conwell ... Irmgard DeSalvo

Jeanne Cooper ... Cloe
Austin Willis ... Dr. Nagy
Lara Lindsay ... Bobbie Eden

George Furth ... Lyonel Brumley
Richard X. Slattery ... Det. Capt. Ed Willis

William Hickey ... Eugene T. O'Rourke
Eve Collyer ... Ellen Ridgeway
Gwyda Donhowe ... Alice Oakville

Alex Dreier ... News Commentator
John Cameron Swayze ... T.V. Narrator
Shelley Burton ... David Parker
Elizabeth Baur ... Harriet Fordin

James Brolin ... Det. Sgt. Phil Lisi
George Tyne ... Dr. Kramer

Dana Elcar ... Luis Schubert
William Traylor ... Arnie Carr

Carole Shelley ... Dana Banks
Karen Ericson ... Pat Bruner (as Karen Huston)
Enid Markey ... Edna
Dorothy Blackburn ... Minnie
Almira Sessions ... Emma Hodak
Isabella Hoopes ... Bertha Blum
Richard Krisher ... Tom
Arthur Hanson ... Commissioner
Walter Klavun ... Chief of Police
Tim Herbert ... Cedric
Matt Bennett ... Harold
Penny Williams ... Mae
Janis Young ... Louise Parker

George Fisher ... Mr. Taylor

David Lewis ... Judge Schroeder
Pamela McMyler ... Grace (as Pam McMyler)
Greg Benedict ... Dick Matheson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Tom Aldredge ... Harold Lacey (uncredited)
Linda Clifford ... Bystander (uncredited)

Linda Dano ... (uncredited)
Gina Harding ... Audri (uncredited)

Chuck Hicks ... Cop (uncredited)
Jack Hynes ... TV News Reporter (uncredited)
Nancie Phillips ... Barbara Wise (uncredited)

Alex Rocco ... Detective at Apartment of Victim #10 (uncredited)
Marie Thomas ... Gloria (uncredited)
Edward Winter ... Man in Hallway (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Fleischer 
 
Writing credits
Edward Anhalt (screenplay)

Gerold Frank (book)

Produced by
James Cresson .... associate producer
Robert Fryer .... producer
 
Original Music by
Lionel Newman 
 
Cinematography by
Richard H. Kline (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Marion Rothman 
 
Art Direction by
Richard Day 
Jack Martin Smith 
 
Set Decoration by
Stuart A. Reiss 
Walter M. Scott 
Raphael Bretton (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Edith Lindon .... hair stylist
Daniel C. Striepeke .... makeup artist (as Dan Striepeke)
Ben Nye .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Eric Stacey .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Hall .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Fred Harpman .... production film treatment
Benjamin Resella .... scenic designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Don J. Bassman .... sound (as Don Bassman)
David Dockendorf .... sound
 
Visual Effects by
L.B. Abbott .... special photographic effects
John C. Caldwell .... special photographic effects
Art Cruickshank .... special photographic effects
 
Stunts
Ron Burke .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Couch .... stunts (uncredited)
Dick Dial .... stunts (uncredited)
Bennie E. Dobbins .... stunts (uncredited)
Larry Duran .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Hicks .... stunts (uncredited)
Hubie Kerns .... stunts (uncredited)
Victor Paul .... stunts (uncredited)
Charlie Picerni .... stunts (uncredited)
George Sawaya .... stunts (uncredited)
Walter Scott .... stunts (uncredited)
Glenn R. Wilder .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Thomas Del Ruth .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Travilla .... costume supervisor
 
Transportation Department
Chris Haynes .... driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
John S. Bottomly .... technical advisor
Phillip J. Di Natale .... technical advisor
Ralph M. Leo .... production accountant (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
116 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Australia:M | Canada:PA (Manitoba) | Canada:R (Nova Scotia/Ontario) | Canada:18+ (Quebec) | Canada:18A (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | France:U (re-release) | Germany:16 (DVD rating) | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:18 (orginal rating) | Norway:15 | Norway:16 (original rating) | Norway:11 (DVD rating) (2006) | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | UK:X (original rating) | USA:Approved (Suggested for Mature Audiences) | USA:R (re-rating) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Lionel Newman's original music consists of one cue ("Peter the Pole") lasting 22 seconds.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
AgainSee more »

FAQ

What's with all the split screen stuff?
Have there been any other movies about the Boston Strangler?
How true is the movie to the real events?The movie is highly fictionalized.
See more »
12 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Interesting and engaging drama, 23 May 2005
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

When one or two strangulations of women in their own homes starts to turn into a whole series of murders, the press climb all over it, Boston is on edge and the police are struggling. Leading a new taskforce to find the strangler, John Bottomly continues the search and, after several false leads hits it lucky with a man who appears to be the one they are looking for. However, this is only half the story as Albert DeSalvo appears perfectly normal and doesn't seem to have anything to hide even though everything points to him being the serial murderer of the title.

Not being aware of the real events behind this film, it was an interesting story of me to watch even though I had to guard myself against the truism that many "true stories" will be simplified for cinema treatment. Regardless though, the film still made for an interesting detective case but also a rather engaging look at mental illness and violence. The investigation part is nicely delivered and is quite tense – yes, we know who the killer is but the other suspects are still interesting and I never felt like I was just hanging around waiting for Curtis to show up. Once he does, the film changes tact slightly but is still interesting because Albert is so engaging a person – I was not sure what he was playing at but it was interesting to go along with Bottomly and try to piece the man together; the closing captions show the slant of the film and this may annoy the more right wing viewer, but it didn't take anything away for me.

The cast are strong and help the tone of the film. Fonda plays his role well and provides a strong focus for the film until Curtis arrives to sweep it away from under his feet. Curtis' performance is well understated and lacking in the sort of showy acting that he could easily have done (Edward Norton did a similar role in this way but the vehicle was different and it worked); instead he is both a person and a monster, someone we are not allowed to judge but rarely invited to feel sympathy for. Support is good from Kennedy, Hamilton, Kellerman and others but really it is Curtis' film and it is he that sticks in the mind. The direction seems obvious now (especially with 24 in its fourth season) but it is clever and effective, the split screen keeping the film busy even in basic sequences while also helping the tension.

Overall this is not a pacey thriller but rather a more serious drama, although it still works well as an interesting look at the case but also at the failings of the system of dealing with violent mental illness sufferers. Its point is rather bluntly delivered but getting to it is well done and Curtis' performance is probably one of his best.

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Director Fleischer's Sick + Twisted View Of A Victim Enjoying The Rape esaxxon
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This movie was little more than a sociopolitical argument YINever
Acting Ability jon-431
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Curtis broke his nose. brisby1
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