IMDb > When a Stranger Calls (1979)
When a Stranger Calls
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When a Stranger Calls (1979) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
6.6/10   5,382 votes »
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MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Steve Feke (written by) and
Fred Walton (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for When a Stranger Calls on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 October 1979 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
...Fear is the Message! See more »
Plot:
A psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(10 articles)
The Top 11 Home Invasions in Horror
 (From Dread Central. 16 December 2013, 8:00 AM, PST)

Listen in on Eight of Horror Cinema's Most Terrifying Phone Calls
 (From FEARnet. 21 August 2013, 4:00 PM, PDT)

The 5 Worst Phone Calls in Movie History
 (From NextMovie. 14 March 2013, 7:00 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A Very Scary and Real Thriller See more (106 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Carol Kane ... Jill Johnson

Rutanya Alda ... Mrs. Mandrakis

Carmen Argenziano ... Dr. Mandrakis
Kirsten Larkin ... Nancy
William Boyett ... Sgt. Sacker (as Bill Boyett)

Charles Durning ... John Clifford

Ron O'Neal ... Lt. Charlie Garber
Heetu ... Houseboy

Rachel Roberts ... Dr. Monk
Tony Beckley ... Curt Duncan

Colleen Dewhurst ... Tracy

Michael Champion ... Bill
Joseph Reale ... Bartender (as Joe Reale)
Ed Wright ... Retired Man
Louise Wright ... Retired Woman
Carol Tillery Banks ... Mrs. Garber (as Carol O'Neal)
Dennis McMullen ... Maintenance Man
Wally Taylor ... Cheater
John Tobyansen ... Bar Customer
Sara Damman ... Bianca Lockart
Richard Bail ... Stevie Lockart

Steven Anderson ... Stephen Lockart

Lenora May ... Sharon
Randy Holland ... Maitre d'
Trent Dolan ... Policeman #1

Frank DiElsi ... Policeman #2
Arell Blanton ... Policeman #3
DeForest Covan ... Officer #1 (as De Forest Covan)

Charles Boswell ... Officer #2
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dick Warlock ... Bartender (uncredited)
Cheryl Wilson ... Mrs. Shifrin (uncredited)
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Directed by
Fred Walton 
 
Writing credits
Steve Feke (written by) and
Fred Walton (written by)

Produced by
Doug Chapin .... producer
Steve Feke .... producer
Larry Kostroff .... associate producer
Barry Krost .... executive producer
Melvin Simon .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Dana Kaproff 
 
Cinematography by
Donald Peterman (director of photography) (as Don Peterman)
 
Film Editing by
Sam Vitale 
 
Casting by
Penny Perry 
 
Production Design by
Elayne Barbara Ceder 
 
Set Decoration by
Lee Poll 
 
Makeup Department
Ruby Ford .... hair stylist
Billy Laughridge .... hair stylist (as Billie Laughridge)
Bob Mills .... makeup artist
Edie Panda .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Barbara Michaels .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edward Ledding .... first assistant director (as Ed Ledding)
Lynn M. Morgan .... second assistant director (as Lynn Morgan)
 
Art Department
Priscilla Beroud .... assistant property master
Leonard Cross .... leadman
Martin Marias .... property master
 
Sound Department
Martin Raymond Bolger .... production sound mixer (as Martin Bolger)
Bud Fuellgrabe .... boom operator
Walter Goss .... sound re-recording mixer
Keith Stafford .... sound editor
 
Stunts
Stan Barrett .... stunt coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
James Ball .... second grip (as Jim Ball)
Joe Castagnoli .... second camera assistant
Jim Everly .... electrician
John M. Hennessy .... key grip (as John Hennessy)
Leslie J. Kovacs .... gaffer (as Les Kovacs)
Brice Mack .... camera operator (as Brice Mack III)
Carol McCullough .... still photographer
Joseph J. Orefice .... best boy (as Joe Orefice)
Bill Randall .... dolly grip
Baird Steptoe .... first camera assistant
 
Casting Department
Beverly Long .... additional casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Richard Bruno .... costume supervisor (as Dick Bruno)
Dean Skipworth .... set costumer
 
Editorial Department
Susan Cooper .... editorial consultant
John Fenady .... apprentice editor
Harold Wilner .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Jim Henrikson .... music editor
 
Transportation Department
William Cockrell .... transportation co-captain
Jim Martell .... transportation captain
 
Other crew
Harriet Brown .... assistant to producers
Virginia Cook-McGowan .... production coordinator (as Virginia Cook)
Marc Dodell .... production assistant
Barbara Hogan .... script supervisor
Ed Margulies .... unit publicist
Rita Moseley .... location auditor
Jim Swinehart .... craft service
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
97 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The phone number of the house where the character Jill Johnson (played by Carol Kane) is babysitting, (555-2368) is the same house phone number used in Jamie Lee Curtis's house in the movie Forever Young (1992) starring Mel Gibson.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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:
Sgt. Sacker:[On the phone] Is the house locked up?
Jill Johnson:[Panicking] Yes!
Sgt. Sacker:Well, then you're safe.
[Referring to Duncan]
Sgt. Sacker:If he wanted to break in, he wouldn't keep calling you.
Jill Johnson:[Extreme distress] Please, can't you help me? I'm all alone here!
See more »
Soundtrack:
Space RaceSee more »

FAQ

Why did Curt target Jill?
See more »
15 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
A Very Scary and Real Thriller, 21 February 2004
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Jill Johnson (Carol Kane) is babysitting two children, when a stranger insists calling her in the phone, asking her to see the children in the upper floor. She decides to telephone to the police, to trace the phone call. When the office on duty tells her that the call is from inside the house, Jill panics. Seven years later, the maniac escapes from the asylum and the private investigator John Clifford (Charles Durning) is hired by the father of the children to kill the man.

It is almost impossible to write a summary of this thriller without spoilers, so I have to stop here. A couple of days ago, I watched 'When a Strange Call Back', a type of sequel of this film. I was amazed with the beginning of the story, one of the most scary I have ever seen. Yesterday I decided to see 'When a Stranger Calls' and it is indeed a tense and suspenseful thriller. The situation through which Jill passes is amazingly real and scary. When the police officer tells Jill that the phone call is from inside the house, he heart of the viewer 'jumps'. This part is too frightening. The greatest problem in both movies is the continuation of the story seven years later (five in the sequel). It breaks the tension and the viewer gets completely lost about what happened to the characters. With a better sequence, this film certainly would be considered a classic. The story is excellent, and the performances are very realistic. In my opinion, the famous 'Scream' copied the introduction of this film. In Brazil, it was released on VHS only, and the quality of the image is not good. It deserves to be released on DVD. It is really worthwhile to watch this film. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): 'Mensageiro da Morte' ('Messenger of Death')

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Any strangers called YOUR phone line? doctorwhofan134
Black Christmas was NOT first Bou
1979 or 2006? proshot1
Rooting for the killer Born_ToKill
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