A psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again.

Director:

Fred Walton
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carol Kane ... Jill Johnson
Rutanya Alda ... Mrs. Mandrakis
Carmen Argenziano ... Dr. Mandrakis
Kirsten Larkin Kirsten Larkin ... Nancy
William Boyett ... Sgt. Sacker (as Bill Boyett)
Charles Durning ... John Clifford
Ron O'Neal ... Lt. Charlie Garber
Heetu Heetu ... Houseboy
Rachel Roberts ... Dr. Monk
Tony Beckley ... Curt Duncan
Colleen Dewhurst ... Tracy
Michael Champion ... Bill
Joseph Reale Joseph Reale ... Bartender (as Joe Reale)
Ed Wright ... Retired Man
Louise Wright Louise Wright ... Retired Woman
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Storyline

During an evening of babysitting, high-school student Jill Johnson is terrorized by a caller who keeps asking "Have you checked the children lately?" When she calls the police, they inform her that the calls are coming from inside the house. Written by Betsy Bloomley <betsybloom@juno.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You were babysitting for a family... when a stranger calls! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although he did not give a proper review for the film at the time of its release, Roger Ebert described the movie as "sleazy" in a 1980 episode of Sneak Previews. See more »

Goofs

When Jill has a drink at the wet bar, the grandfather clock is visible in the shot, about a foot to the right of the bar. In all other shots the clock is about four to five feet from the bar, much closer to the hallway. See more »

Quotes

Stevie Lockart: Hi Mom!
Bianca Lockart: Hi Mommy!
Jill Johnson: Hi guys, look what the wind blew in. Play hard?
Stevie Lockart: Yeah.
Jill Johnson: Yeah? You hungry?
Stevie Lockart: Yeah.
Jill Johnson: What do you want for dinner?
Stevie Lockart: Hamburgers.
Jill Johnson: Hamburgers?
[to Bianca]
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Modern Family: Open House of Horrors (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Huelga En General
Performed by El Teatro Campesino
Courtesy of Menyah Records
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User Reviews

 
Tense and chilling suspense thriller that has a haunting past!
22 February 2020 | by blanbrnSee all my reviews

"When a Stranger Calls" from 1979 is a cult chiller classic as the famous words "Have you checked the children" stand long in memory. And the start and ending of the film is best, the scenes and dark backgrounds make for some scary moments. It involves Carol Kane as Jill Johnson a teen babysitter who's terrorized by strange phone calls while baby sitting only then tragedy happens, then the film expands and slows down and goes over a period of seven years, then Jill later an adult again has a past haunt! The film ends well. Overall good classic horror chiller of tease, and tense psycho like fear.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

When a Stranger Calls See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$21,411,158

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,411,158
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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