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The Babysitter (1980)

Unrated | | Drama, Thriller | TV Movie 28 November 1980
Spoiled eleven-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)
Dr. Jeff Benedict
Tara Benedict
Tom Montgomery
Virginia Kiser ...
Mrs. Welford
Joanna Redwine
Dr. Lindquist
Hildy Brooks ...
Mr. Farragut
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:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Joanna Redwine: You watch too much television.
Tara Benedict: Aw, but this is where the guy gives his girl the horse!
Joanna Redwine: Come on, let's go outside.
See more »


Remade as While the Children Sleep (2007) See more »


Moody You
Written by Gerhard Narholz (as Norman Candler)
Sonoton Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Before The hand that rocks the cradle there was THE BABYSITTER....
15 April 2004 | by (Conn) – See all my reviews

When I first saw "hand that rocks the cradle" I remember thinking this premise had been done before in a really chilling TV movie. Couldn't remember the title. For some reason I thought it was The nanny.(Haha). Well, it came back to me so here's my review of the babysitter.

I can't call this anywhere near a good movie but I liked it when I saw it mainly because the whole "stalker movie" genre had not been overdone as of yet-or maybe I was just to young to care.

At any rate-this follows a very similar premise to cradle-I guess Joanna was more a housesitter then a nanny, though I seem to remember it differently. It doesn't matter though because if you know the plot of hand that rocks the cradle you know the plot of the babysitter. For some reason, though-and maybe it was because of the then newness of the premise this TV movie scared the heck out of me.

It is more chilling then cradle, less campy. Joanna, whose name I remembered after all this time, is genuinely frightening. I wouldn't mind seeing this again mainly because this was an early stalker movie and I'd like to see if it still chilled me as much.It's hard to do a complete review as the movie's a bit of a blur to me but I do remember the story as being dark and really creepy. I don't remember any gore-if it were to come out now I'm sure it'd be laughed at by many but back then, when the premise was still new it was pretty darn good thriller material, if not a genuinely good movie. For Genuine fans of cradle though, this is a must see.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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