6.2/10
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21 user 5 critic

When Michael Calls (1972)

A woman begins receiving ominous phone calls from a relative who died 15 years prior. With each phone call, a family member dies. Will she be the next in line?

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Cast

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Karen Pearson ...
Chris Pellett ...
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Steve Weston ...
Robert Warner ...
Sam
Michèle Chicoine ...
Amy
John Bethune ...
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Storyline

Helen keeps on receiving phone calls from a child, who claims being her nephew Michael - but Michael died 15 years ago! In these calls he scolds on acquaintances, who then die in suspicious accidents. Soon Helen has to fear to be the next victim. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

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In "When Michael Calls," Elizabeth Ashley receives mysterious phone calls. Who's keeping her on the hook?

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Horror | Thriller

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Release Date:

5 February 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shattered Silence  »

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| (Fox Movie Channel edition)

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1.33 : 1
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Opens with the Robert Drasnin theme from Daughter of the Mind (1969). See more »

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User Reviews

Cast Makes It Worth Watching
9 October 2010 | by See all my reviews

When Michael Calls (1972)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Mildly effective made-for-TV flick about a woman (Elizabeth Ashley) who begins receiving phone calls from her nephew Michael but the only problem is that he died fifteen years earlier. Soon her ex-husband (Ben Gazzara) and other nephew (Michael Douglas) begin to investigate is Michael could actually be alive or if someone else is just trying to do her harm. These TV flicks from the 70s always have that certain atmosphere that can only be found in movies like this, BAD RONALD and DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK. This here certainly isn't as good as those two examples but we still get that eerie atmosphere and that alone makes this worth sitting through even if in the end this isn't a classic. I think the best thing going for the film are the performances by the three leads. Gazzara plays a lawyer who doesn't mind throwing his weight around to get what he wants and I thought he was pretty good in the role. That tough rawness he brings to all his roles is always fun to watch and he certainly helps keep this thing moving along. Ashley is also very good in the film, although it's hard to believe her as the aunt to Douglas especially when in real life she was only five years older than him. With that said, she certainly displayed a certain vulnerability that made the movie a bit more effective. Douglas is billed as a "Special Guest Star" but he actually has a pretty big role here and appears throughout the movie. The screenplay tries very hard to be like something you'd expect to see from Hitchcock as it tries to keep the suspense up by having you constantly guessing what's going on. I think it's pretty simple to figure out what's up after about the forty-minute mark but I'm sure some might be kept in the dark up until the ending. While I didn't fall for all the twists and turns this still turned out to be fairly fun thanks in large part to the cast and whoever it was that voiced the kid on the phone. Another good thing about these films from the 70s that dealt with phones is that they were always able to find someone creepy for the voice work.


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