IMDb > The Boston Strangler (1968)
The Boston Strangler
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Boston Strangler (1968) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 12 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   5,279 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 37% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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:
Why did 13 women willingly open their doors to the Boston Strangler?
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 »
User Reviews:
True-crime drama features Tony Curtis in career-best performance See more (79 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
 
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:
Tony Curtis broke his nose while filming a chase scene.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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 »
Quotes:
John Asgeirsson:What about the sex? What did he actually do to them?
Capt. Ed Willis:What's the difference?
John Asgeirsson:People like to read about it.
Capt. Ed Willis:Let them read paperbacks.
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?
Is 'The Boston Strangler' based on a book?
See more »
25 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
True-crime drama features Tony Curtis in career-best performance, 21 January 2005
Author: Libretio

THE BOSTON STRANGLER (1968)

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (Panavision)

Sound format: 4-track magnetic stereo

The true story of serial killer Albert DeSalvo (Tony Curtis), a devoted family man with a split personality who terrorised Boston during the early 1960's and murdered eleven women.

Perhaps taking its cue from the success of Richard Brooks' true crime drama IN COLD BLOOD (1967), Richard Fleischer's THE BOSTON STRANGLER is a dignified, unsensational account of Albert DeSalvo's notorious crimes and the wide-ranging police investigation which led to his arrest. However, modern viewers may be alarmed by the casual references to 'faggots', and a screenplay (by Edward Anhalt, from the book by Gerold Frank) which assumes a divide between 'normal' heterosexual behaviour and other forms of sexuality, all of which are bracketed as seedy, deviant and marginalised. That small (but significant) caveat aside, the movie provides an effective overview of a complex case, and Curtis - an unlikely choice for such a difficult role - gives a career-best performance as the deranged killer whose routine domestic life provided no hint of the monster lurking within his psyche. Henry Fonda is his nemesis, a dedicated law lecturer assigned to the case against his will, who eventually secured DeSalvo's confession. Some of the crime-scene details are fairly frank for a major release of the period, though the worst of it is relayed through dialogue and reaction shots, and visual depictions are kept to a bare minimum. Even for those familiar with the outcome of the case, the movie generates suspense through an accumulation of historical evidence, as Boston's terrified populace reacts convulsively to the maniac in their midst, and police trawl the streets for anyone whose sexual peccadilloes mark them as possible suspects.

Fleischer was a particular advocate of the widescreen format (he photographed most of his films anamorphically after being bowled over by a demonstration of CinemaScope in 1953), and his modish use of split-screen effects is completely diminished whenever the movie is broadcast on TV (you'll need a big screen to get even a modicum of the intended effect!). While irritating for some, there's nothing gratuitous about this technical device, by which Fleischer is able to convey layers of relevant information within the space of a single scene, whereas a conventional approach might have taken more time and necessitated the removal of crucial information (note also the clever use of directional dialogue and sound effects during these episodes). Few of the murders are recreated in any detail, but there's a couple of unsettling scenes which describe the cunning manner in which DeSalvo was able to gain access to his victims despite a city-wide alert over the Strangler's crimes, and Sally Kellerman is hugely sympathetic as the only woman to survive one of DeSalvo's brutal assaults.

NB. While Fleischer's film takes DeSalvo's guilt wholly for granted, the facts which condemned him have been challenged in robust terms by a number of sources throughout the years (most recently in Susan Kelly's 2002 book 'The Boston Stranglers: The Public Conviction of Albert DeSalvo and the True Story of Eleven Shocking Murders'), and much of the evidence which 'exonerates' DeSalvo is as compelling as anything in the movie. DeSalvo himself died in 1973, murdered by a fellow inmate whilst serving time in Walpole Prison.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (79 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Boston Strangler (1968)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
split screen technique humanjest
Director Fleischer's Sick + Twisted View Of A Victim Enjoying The Rape esaxxon
This movie was little more than a sociopolitical argument YINever
Acting Ability jon-431
Tony Curtis streetlegal
Curtis broke his nose. brisby1
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Blood In, Blood Out All Good Things The Accused So Sweet, So Dead The Departed
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Crime section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.