6.1/10
672
24 user 6 critic

When Michael Calls (1972)

A woman begins receiving ominous phone calls from her nephew who died 15 years earlier. With each phone call, a family member dies. Will she be the next in line?

Director:

Philip Leacock

Writers:

James Bridges (screenplay by), John Farris (based on a novel by)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Ben Gazzara ... Doremus Connelly
Elizabeth Ashley ... Helen Connelly
Michael Douglas ... Craig
Al Waxman ... Sheriff Hap Washbrook
Larry Reynolds ... Doc Britton
Marian Waldman ... Elsa Britton
Karen Pearson Karen Pearson ... Peggy Connelly
Chris Pellett Chris Pellett ... Peter
Alan McRae ... Harry Randall
Steve Weston Steve Weston ... Enoch Mills
Robert Warner Robert Warner ... Sam
Michèle Chicoine Michèle Chicoine ... Amy
John Bethune John Bethune ... Quinlan
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Storyline

Helen starts receiving calls from a child, who claims he's her nephew, Michael. But, Michael died 15 years ago. When Michael calls, he berates Helen's acquaintances, who then die under suspicious circumstances. Soon, Helen begins to fear she's the next victim. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In "When Michael Calls," Elizabeth Ashley receives mysterious phone calls. Who's keeping her on the hook?

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shattered Silence See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Fox Movie Channel edition)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opens with the Robert Drasnin theme from Daughter of the Mind (1969). See more »

Goofs

The sheriff goes into Doc's place while Doremus steals chloroform from the cop car. Doremus and Helen run off and a mic is seen on the left side over the cop car. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Creepy thriller from 1970s TV
18 October 2019 | by adriangrSee all my reviews

"When Michael Calls" is an ABC Movie of the Week from 1972 that belongs to that special group of made-for-TV chillers that everyone who saw still remembers as terrifying the life out of them. I'm pleased to report it still works even today.

A young divorced mother named Helen suddenly starts receiving prank phone calls that claim to be from her nephew Michael, crying and asking for help. Trouble is that Michael has been dead for years. As the calls continue, people around Helen start to get murdered.

Although the movie as a whole is fairly low key, the first 30 minutes or so are really effective. The calls from "Michael" are genuinely creepy, and on first viewing, there really does seem to be no rational explanation for them. This sets up a great sense of unease for the characters and viewer alike. Elizabeth Ashley does a great job in the lead role as Helen, in fact all of the acting is good, including her young daughter. Gradually the mystery is explained, but you won't hear a spoiler from me, so I recommend seeking out a copy of this. The opening premise is so good and so spooky, that it will certainly make you curious to watch it to the end.


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