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When a Stranger Calls (1979)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 5,831 users  
Reviews: 108 user | 55 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
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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 »

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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's German title is 'Das Grauen kommt um Zehn', meaning 'The Horror Comes Around 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

Jill Johnson: [on the phone, after Curt calls her at the restaurant] Sharon? Please, do me a favor. Just tell me truthfully, when was the last time you CHECKED MY CHILDREN?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Scream: The Inside Story (2011) 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

"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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