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When a Stranger Calls (1979)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 5,676 users  
Reviews: 108 user | 53 critic

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

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Title: When a Stranger Calls (1979)

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Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

...Fear is the Message! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

'n maniak belt op...  »

Box Office

Budget:

$740,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the year the film took place, 1 minute would not be nearly long enough to trace Curt's call. Back when the movie was set, it would've taken 10-20 minutes for several switchboards and circuits to locate the origin of the call. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[Curt calls Jill on the phone]
Jill Johnson: You really scared me, if that's what you wanted. Is that what you wanted?
Curt Duncan: No.
Jill Johnson: What do you want?
Curt Duncan: Your blood all over me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Erased (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Space Race
Performed by Billy Preston
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not problem-free, but effective at times
11 May 2013 | by (Victoria, BC) – See all my reviews

"When A Stranger Calls" is a thriller that, while not perfect, does overall deliver a lot of chills. The opening sequence is the most memorable part - while you will guess the surprise twist in this segment long before it happens, the sequence is masterfully directed so it comes across as creepy all the same. The climatic scene, while a little short, also delivers a jolt.

While the opening and closing are well done, the middle portion of the movie has a problem. It's not only very slow, not much happens to advance the plot. Still, this middle segment often has a moody feeling that fits well with the rest of the movie, and Tony Beckley's performance as the psycho is a good one.

By the way, while the movie was rated "R" when it was first released, most viewers in this day and age will find that rating a little harsh. By today's standards, the movie deserves a PG-13 rating. Maybe even a PG rating.


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