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   5,526 votes »
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Up 15% 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:
Great opening and ending--lousy middle See more (107 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)

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

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 script to the film's original shooting draft specifies that the setting is supposed to take place in 1971.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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:
John Clifford:Lets get something straight here, Doctor. I've been 33 years in the business of tracking people down and putting them away... spent almost a year alone on the case of Curt Duncan with the trial and the testimonies and the background investigations. Now, I didn't come here today to look in your God damn folders, in fact I probably wouldn't be here at all if you had done your job right.
Dr. Monk:This is a hospital, Mr. Clifford, not a penitentiary. Everything appertaining to one of our patients is meticulously recorded in that patient's folder, whether you can make sense of it or not.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Benchwarmers (2006)See more »
Soundtrack:
Space RaceSee more »

FAQ

Why did Curt target Jill?
See more »
16 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Great opening and ending--lousy middle, 20 March 2004
Author: Wayne Malin (wwaayynnee51@hotmail.com) from United States

A girl (Carol Kane) is babysitting one night. She keeps getting phone calls from a guy saying "Have you checked the children". (They're upstairs sleeping). The phone calls continue. She gets nervous (and never checks the children). She calls the police. They trace the calls--they're coming from INSIDE the house...

This was a big hit in 1979 with teenagers--despite the R rating kids were let into this one. It does have a great opening 20 minutes and a pretty scary ending--but the middle is dull dull dull. It involves the killer (well played by Tony Beckley) stalking an older woman (Colleen Dewhurst slumming) and a police detective (Charles Durning--also slumming) after him.

Good performances save the middle half from being totally unbearable, and there is good direction from Fred Walton. But all in all this is a mediocre thriller. Still, I'm giving it a 7 for the opening, the closing and the acting.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (107 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for When a Stranger Calls (1979)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Rooting for the killer Born_ToKill
1979 or 2006? proshot1
Black Christmas was NOT first Bou
No murder weapon? proudbrunette
Norman Bates bozik
How would you rewrite it? the_secret_door
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