6.6/10
6,666
113 user 63 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

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
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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:

Every babysitter's nightmare becomes real... See more »


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)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's German title is 'Das Grauen kommt um Zehn', meaning 'The Horror Comes at Ten'. The French title 'Terreur sur la ligne' translates to 'Terror on the Line'. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene, Jill goes to her bedroom closet to see if Curt Duncan is in there. She is about to open the door with her left hand. In the next shot, she opens it with her right hand. 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

Featured in Scream: The Inside Story (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"Have you checked the children?"
8 November 2001 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

When a Stranger Calls boasts the scariest opening in film history. Wes Craven completely ripped this intro off in Scream. It's that good. Too bad the rest of the film isn't. It goes completely downhill after the beginning. It's so scary and has such a tense start that you can hardly watch it without holding your breathe. My girlfriend couldn't watch it period. She had to turn her head and keep asking me when it was over. It's very subtle, slow, and deliberate, and very frightening. The rest of the film can't live up to the energy generated by the beginning. But still, I recommend this because the beginning alone is better than most fright flicks in their entirety.


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Cellphone in 1979? Detectiveblue
No murder weapon? proudbrunette
1979 or 2006? proshot1
Black Christmas was NOT first Bou
Don't answer the phone jastrait78
This film's scary as hell alexis-jonke
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