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The Deliberate Stranger (1986)

TV Movie  -   -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  4 May 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,196 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 5 critic

Based on a true story, this film depicts the life of Theodore Robert Bundy, the serial killer. In 1974, after having murdered several young women, he leaves Seattle for Utah, where he is a ... See full summary »



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Title: The Deliberate Stranger (TV Movie 1986)

The Deliberate Stranger (TV Movie 1986) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Det. Bob Keppel
George Grizzard ...
Richard Larsen
Det. Mike Fisher
Cas Richter
Det. Sam Davies
Det. Roger Dunn
Louise Bundy
Officer Bradley (Provo detective)
Frederick Coffin ...
Jerry Thompson
Martha Chambers
Ken Wolverton
Larsen's editor
Mrs. Richter
William Boyett ...
Aspen detective


Based on a true story, this film depicts the life of Theodore Robert Bundy, the serial killer. In 1974, after having murdered several young women, he leaves Seattle for Utah, where he is a law student and where other girls disappear. It takes the cooperation of a number of police forces to work efficiently on this case. Soon, but not soon enough, the police eliminate endless possibilities and close in on him. Bundy is tried in the media and his good-boy attitude brings him sympathy but also the hatred of many. Written by Steve Richer <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He was easy to like. Deadly to know. Tough to catch.


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 May 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Deliberate Stranger  »

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Production Co:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Scenes from "The Deliberate Stranger" were filmed at The Davis County Courthouse in Farmington, Utah. See more »


The Utah mall incident occurred in 1974 yet the Stevie Nicks album "Rock a Little", which is displayed on the store window behind Bundy and his intended victim, was not released till 1985. See more »


Referenced in Turbulence (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Harmon Good Choice For Bundy
16 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A two-part, made-for-TV movie on the life of serial killer Ted Bundy, this was an intriguing, well-done film. Mark Harmon is excellent as Bundy. He has similar looks and is an underrated actor. I doubt if they could find a better actor to play this particular role.

In this day-and-age, it's nice to see a movie in which the cops are portrayed as tough but fair and likable. In this case, the two main ones are played by Frederick Forest (Apocalypse Now )and John Ashton (Midnight Run). Since it was made for television in the 1980s, the movie has little profanity and blood. Most of the time, the violence is implied. It's still chilling in parts. We don't always need CSI-type blood and guts to get the point.

What they missed, however, was WHY Bundy did the things he did. They had time to develop that angle, but never touched it. Supposedly, violent pornography had something to do with his behavior, but nothing was explored in this film. Overall, it was still an interesting story and amazing how many people he fooled and how he could escape twice after being arrested. Good story.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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