114 user 62 critic

When a Stranger Calls (1979)

A psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirsten Larkin ...
William Boyett ...
Sgt. Sacker (as Bill Boyett)
Heetu ...
Tony Beckley ...
Joseph Reale ...
Bartender (as Joe Reale)
Ed Wright ...
Retired Man
Louise Wright ...
Retired Woman


High school student Jill Johnson is traumatized over an evening of babysitting by a caller who repeatedly asks, "Have you checked the children lately?" After notifying the police, Jill is told that the calls are coming from inside the house... Written by Betsy Bloomley <betsybloom@juno.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...Fear is the Message! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

'n maniak belt op...  »

Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Star Tony Beckley was terminally ill throughout the production, because of this he did not fit the description of the killer but Fred Walton refused to recast him as they were good friends. He later passed away just after the principal photography was shot. Director Fred Walton dedicated the film's 1993 sequel 'When A Stranger Calls Back' to the memory of Beckley. See more »


When Jill has a drink at the wet bar, the grandfather clock is visible in the shot, about a foot to the right of the bar. In all other shots the clock is about four to five feet from the bar, much closer to the hallway. See more »


[repeated line]
Curt Duncan: Have you checked the children?
See more »


Referenced in Fear of the Dark (2003) See more »


Huelga En General
Performed by El Teatro Campesino
Courtesy of Menyah Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

still scary
29 December 2005 | by (San Antonio) – See all my reviews

This movie still scares me. I have babysat before in someone else's house and i remember getting the creeps with every little noise i heard. This is the ultimate realistic scary movie. You can easily put yourself in her place, unlike many of the horror films we see today. We had a discussion about this movie today (Dec. 2005) when we talked about a coworker wearing clothes the same color as the walls and her blending in... it brought up the discussion about the stalker painting himself to blend into the wall. I am excited to see that it will be remade next year. i hope it is just as good as the original. I can't wait to see it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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