6.6/10
7,040
115 user 65 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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At the snobby Crawford Academy, Virginia's group of friends start to go missing years after horrible events that happened to her as a child around her birthday.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
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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:

A Terrifying Classic! 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:

$1,500,000 (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

This was Tony Beckley's final film before his death on April 19, 1980 at the age of 50. 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

[repeated line]
Curt Duncan: Have you checked the children?
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Connections

Spoofed in Student Bodies (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

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