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

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Overview

User Rating:
6.6/10   6,097 votes »
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Down 3% 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 »
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(9 articles)
The 18 Scariest Horror Movie Opening Scenes, Ranked
 (From Hitfix. 1 April 2015, 5:43 PM, PDT)

The Top 11 Home Invasions in Horror
 (From Dread Central. 16 December 2013, 8:00 AM, PST)

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

User Reviews:
Solid Horror Creep Fest See more (109 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:

Kathleen Coyne ... Pedestrian (uncredited)
Dick Warlock ... Bartender (uncredited)
Cheryl Wilson ... Mrs. Shifrin (uncredited)

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
Dick Warlock .... stunts (uncredited)
 
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

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 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:
Factual errors: 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 »
Quotes:
John Clifford:[to Tracy, about Curt's murders] After the coroner's investigation the bodies were taken to the mortuary where the undertaker took one look at them and said their bodies couldn't be reconstructed for the burial without six days of steady work. Then he asked what had been the murder weapon, because looking at the mess in front of him he couldn't imagine what had been used. The coroner told him there had been no murder weapon. The killer had used only his hands.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Huelga En GeneralSee more »

FAQ

Why did Curt target Jill?
See more »
15 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Solid Horror Creep Fest, 12 May 2010
Author: TheAnimalMother from your daughters bedroom

If you like to watch horror films to challenge your comfort zone and get some real chills running down your spine. When A Stranger Calls(1979) is a pretty good bet to do the job. This film builds its tension quite well, partly by using well chosen and well placed music to increase the creepiness. Rather than resorting to needlessly overdone gore; This film relies mostly on the old tried and tested power of suggestion to mount most of its suspense and scare factor. A much more effective method in my view, and there is strong evidence of this here.

Make no mistake, this film is no masterpiece. It has its flaws. I found a couple of parts pretty unconvincing. Such as how easily John Clifford is able to convince Mrs.Mandrakis to let him in, and then help him. The execution of this part is a little weak. However that really doesn't take away from the films eerie feel and overall horror enjoyment. The film is pretty well paced, and kept leaving me wanting to see what was going to happen next; Where as many other horror films leave me not even caring what happens next. The acting here is pretty solid all the way around, and the direction is decent.

Usually I would rate a decent film like this, with a couple of somewhat unconvincing parts a 6 out of 10. However this film is definitely very effective in what it sets out to do. Which is of course to give the viewer some real creepy thrills. So I find it hard to give this any less than a 7. I got from it exactly what I had hoped. It could have been a little better in some areas, but all in all it's a pretty solid film. So as far as horror films go, this is in the upper echelon in my view.

Note: I only decided to watch this film based on an interview I saw with actress Jennifer Connelly on The Late Show with David Letterman. She basically said that this film scared the crap out of her. So being the film nut I am, I figured it was worth a look. And it was, so I owe thanks to her.

7/10

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for When a Stranger Calls (1979)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Cellphone in 1979? Detectiveblue
Black Christmas was NOT first Bou
1979 or 2006? proshot1
Rooting for the killer Born_ToKill
Don't answer the phone jastrait78
No murder weapon? proudbrunette
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