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Who Killed Teddy Bear (1965)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 14 August 1967 (Sweden)
In New York, a disco hostess is stalked by a sexual predator and she requests help from a vice squad detective who takes a personal interest in the case.

Director:

Joseph Cates

Writers:

Arnold Drake (screenplay), Arnold Drake (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Sal Mineo ... Lawrence Sherman
Juliet Prowse ... Norah Dain
Jan Murray Jan Murray ... Lt. Dave Madden
Elaine Stritch ... Marian Freeman
Margot Bennett Margot Bennett ... Edie Sherman
Daniel J. Travanti ... Carlo (as Dan Travanty)
Diane Moore Diane Moore ... Pam Madden
Frank Campanella Frank Campanella ... Police Captain
Bruce Glover ... Frank
Tom Aldredge ... Adler
Rex Everhart ... Rude Customer
Alex Fisher Alex Fisher
Stanley Beck Stanley Beck
K.C. Townsend ... Ms. Nielsen (as Casey Townsend)
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Storyline

A busboy at a disco has sexual problems related to events in his childhood. He becomes obsessed with a disc jockey at the club, leading to obscene phone calls, voyeurism, trips to the porn shop and adult movie palace, and more! A police detective is similarly obsessed with sexual materials, leading him to become personally involved in the case. Written by Steven Rubio <srubio@garnet.berkeley.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Why with everybody else - why with every slob ... and not with me?


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 August 1967 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Cine a ucis ursuletul de plus See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Phillips Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

During the first scene set at the discotheque, Juliet Prowse puts on a new record after we see the crowd dancing to the first song. However, minutes later, we see the crowd dancing to the first song again. See more »

Quotes

Marian Freeman: You gotta learn to handle 'em baby. If you're gonna make it in show biz you're gonna run into some pretty weird types. Of course, that is assuming you mean to make it on your feet. Uh... so to speak. No offense.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The edited version of this film runs at 91 minutes as opposed to the uncut running time of 94 minutes. The 91 minute version deletes some scenes of Sal Mineo working out and swimming at the Gym where he encounters Juliet Prowse. See more »

Connections

References Hollywood's World of Flesh (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Discotheque Songs
(uncredited)
Written by Bob Gaudio and Al Kasha
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mineo heads odd but savvy cast in New York story that's a genuine creepshow
13 September 2002 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

Every now and again, a movie washes up on the fringes of the industry that's unlike anything else of its time – or any time. Who Killed Teddy Bear (no question mark) certainly qualifies; rarely discussed or even mentioned, it's not quite forgotten, either – it's hard to forget.

By 1965, the barriers were starting to be breached in what could be shown, or even implied, on the screen (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf dates from that year). But Who Killed Teddy Bear rubs, brusquely and suggestively, against just about every taboo obtaining then or now. It's a New York story, but of the grotty 1960s, when Manhattan led the nation as an example of how American cities were surrendering to crime and vice and ugliness at the core.

Spinning platters in a seedy discotheque, Juliet Prowse starts getting obscene phone calls then finds a decapitated teddy bear in her apartment. Police detective Jan Murray takes the case, which holds an obsessive interest for him. Four years earlier his wife had been raped and murdered; now the world of perversion and fetishism has become his life, both professionally and privately (despite a young daughter, who listens to him listening to his lurid tapes from her bedroom). Prowse becomes so shaken by the stalking that she can't quite trust him, or for that matter her tough-as-nails boss Elaine Stritch, who, invited home to serve as protection, makes a pass at her. Shown the door, Stritch, in a slip and fur coat, wanders the dark streets and back alleys, where....

Top billing goes to Sal Mineo, 10 years after his debut as Plato in Rebel Without A Cause, as a waiter in the club. Back home he has a child-like grown sister, whom he locks in the closet when he's making the rounds of the porn shops and peep shows near Times Square. Though his character isn't gay, he's served up like prime, pre-Stonewall beefcake, halfway between raw and blue; towards the end, when Prowse teaches him to dance, he erupts like a go-go boy.

The movie bears all the marks of a starvation budget, but for once the saturated photography and jumpy cutting seem just right. The odd but savvy cast – even the young Daniel J. `Travanty' makes his debut as a deaf-mute bouncer – brings from Broadway and east-coast television a rough edge that's far from Hollywood's buffed and smooth product. But it's the vision of the TV-reared director, Joseph Cates, and writers Arnold Drake and Leon Tokatyan that makes Who Killed Teddy Bear so hard to shake. Neither a tidy thriller nor a nuanced character study, it nonetheless has a trump card to play: It's the real McCoy,a genuine creepshow.


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