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Tuntematon ystävä (1978)

The cold and ruthless Bruno is married to Karen. Together they seek out poor and defenseless people offering them life insurance policies. Bruna and Karen make sure that it pays off.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Karen Lindén / 'Judith Russell' / 'Berit Lindström'
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Bruno Lindén / 'Furman' / 'priest'
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Olavi Susikoski
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Dr. Harriet Berg (as Anne Pohtamo)
Nanny Westerlund ...
Lydia Lindström
Jukka-Pekka Palo ...
Risto Ahvenainen
Risto Mäkelä ...
Unto Åkerblom
Pekka Autiovuori ...
Det. Laine
Kauko Helovirta ...
Dr. Oiva Berg
Hannu Huuska ...
Salesman
Kaarlo Juurela ...
Clerk at the parish office
Leila Itkonen ...
Lydia's neighbor
Martti Kuningas ...
Night shelter supervisor
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Night nurse
Martti Kuisma ...
Taxi driver
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Storyline

The cold and ruthless Bruno is married to Karen. Together they seek out poor and defenseless people offering them life insurance policies. Bruna and Karen make sure that it pays off.

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Genres:

Crime | Thriller

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

20 January 1978 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

An Unknown Friend  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

FIM 2,400,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Strangers Can Turn To Lovers
Composed by Rauno Lehtinen
Sung by Kate O'Mara
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User Reviews

Unknown for a reason
31 December 2012 | by See all my reviews

Tuntematon ystävä was the third attempt to film the works of popular and populist Finnish detective novelist Mauri Sariola. Based loosely on the 1970 novel Susikoski virittää ansan, the film also features his most famous protagonist, the no-nonsense, conservative Detective Inspector (later Superintendent) Susikoski. It was also probably the worst of the three.

Sariola's strong points usually lay more with his characters and typically acerbic observations about society and people than his often mechanistic and haphazard plots. Unfortunately, what Tuntematon ystävä takes from its source is mostly the heavily reworked basic plot, which in the film concerns an American-Finnish couple who murder various "society's parasites" for their insurance money.

The film does try. At the time, it was for Finnish cinema an exceptionally brazen attempt to make a mainstream commercial thriller with international cast and a climax shot in Morocco. The end result, however, is on par with a mediocre television film, which totally wastes its elite cast, including Lindholm in the title role. Staging, dialogue and attempts at suspense in fact now seem more fitting for a comedy than a thriller. Even a record-breaking marketing campaign couldn't turn the film into the hit it aspired to be.

Women get to provide the few bright spots in the overall gloom: the ex-Miss Finland Pohtamo may be hilariously incapable of acting, but Westerlund shines as a dotty would-be victim, and the long-suffering O'Mara - who was immensely popular in Finland at the time thanks to The Brothers - actually manages to work some depth into her role as a reluctant femme fatale.


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