17 user 6 critic

The Babysitter (1980)

Unrated | | Drama, Thriller | TV Movie 28 November 1980
Spoiled twelve-year-old Tara's new best friend from next-door gets hired as a live-in babysitter, but things soon go horribly wrong when Tara's mom starts hitting the bottle and fighting with her dad.





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Cast overview:
Liz Benedict (as Patty Duke Astin)
Scotty (as David Wallace)
Tom Montgomery
Mrs. Welford
Hildy Brooks ...
Ty Haller ...
Minister (as Richard Ty Haller)


Overprotective mother Liz Benedict meets 18 year-old orphan Joanna Redwine and hires her as house help and live-in companion to rambunctious daughter Tara. Liz's husband Jeff isn't too thrilled with the arrangement, and his fears soon prove justified when Joanna begins to manipulate everyone and to slowly destroy the family. Meanwhile next-door neighbor Dr. Linquist investigates and discovers Joanna has a disturbing past. Written by Mike Sauter <FastForwd@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


She drove the mother crazy, she seduced the father - now, what is going to happen to little Tara?


Drama | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 November 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Enviada do Mal  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Scotty: [Passes Tara a mallet to kill the fish with] Here, whap it in the head!
Tara Benedict: Oh, I can't!
Joanna Redwine: Let me do it...
[Joanna pounds the mallet savagely over the fish's head several times, brutally killing it while her peers watch in horror]
Joanna Redwine: [realizing what she has done] I'm sorry... I... I didn't mean it...
See more »


Remade as The Sitter (2007) See more »


Foiled Again
Written by Brian Bennett
Bruton Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Apple of Discord
16 March 2002 | by See all my reviews

I wonder how many times we've seen this movie in one or another guise. They usually have names like "The Babysitter," "Seduction of the Babysitter," "The Girl Next Door," "The Crush," "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle", or something like that. The plot is generic. A juicy young woman comes into proximity with an utterly bourgeois family, insinuates herself, and befouls the family dynamics. A deletion here, a switch of identities there, a minor substitution -- but the underlying theme remains the same. If Claude Levi-Strauss hadn't wasted his time on Tsimshian myths, he could have done a delightful number on films like this.

One can understand why, in this case, the husband might feel a certain attraction for the ever-so-available young woman. Stephanie Zimbalist is a delight to watch. She's not only beautiful, she moves well too. Women, through no fault of their own, generally run as if they were mimicking the most flamboyant kind of homosexual. But Stephanie Zimbalist has real momentum and comes in only slightly behind Emma Peel in "The Avengers." Her bosom is enticingly small which, in this case, only reinforces the impression of sinewy athleticism.

These kinds of movies are easy to watch. They go down like pablum. And it's so easy to ignore the finer points of the plot while imagining dandling Stephanie or Alicia or Rebecca on an avuncular knee. And there really is little downside. The nuclear families to begin with are so dull, so unimaginative, so happy with themselves, that a bit of a nudge is in order anyway. It's a male fantasy from beginning to end, and not badly done if one cares for such things.

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