5.8/10
551
19 user 8 critic

The Babysitter (1980)

Unrated | | Drama, Thriller | TV Movie 28 November 1980
Spoiled twelve-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.

Director:

Peter Medak

Writer:

Jennifer Miller
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Patty Duke ... Liz Benedict (as Patty Duke Astin)
William Shatner ... Dr. Jeff Benedict
Quinn Cummings ... Tara Benedict
David Wysocki ... Scotty (as David Wallace)
Kenneth Tigar ... Tom Montgomery
Virginia Kiser ... Mrs. Welford
Stephanie Zimbalist ... Joanna
John Houseman ... Dr. Lindquist
Hildy Brooks Hildy Brooks ... Barbara
Frank Birney ... Mr. Farragut
Ty Haller Ty Haller ... Minister (as Richard Ty Haller)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

She drove the mother crazy, she seduced the father - now, what is going to happen to little Tara?

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 November 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Babysitter See more »

Filming Locations:

Washington, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Although primarily filmed in Washington, the two primary residences were filmed using historic mansions on the shores of Deer Lake in the city of Burnaby, BC Canada. The main family home was Townley House, aka Deerholme, and the babysitter's house was filmed at Hart House, aka Avalon. Although both were somewhat run-down in 1979, they have both been restored and are now protected heritage resources. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Lindquist: You saw the police, that's what this is about isn't it? Why are you afraid of the police, Joanna?
Joanna Redwine: I'm not afraid of anyone... stop prying into my life! Just leave me alone.
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Sitter (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Time Lapse
(uncredited)
Written by Eric Allen & Frank Reidy
Bruton Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Curious TV-movie shrouded with non-existent mystery
27 February 2007 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Good acting by a solid cast makes this somewhat-familiar material worth slogging through, even though the issues it raises seem to get all fouled up. Patty Duke Astin plays a doctor's wife who has hired a mysterious young woman to care for her rather hapless daughter, which causes friction in their already-shaky household. Quinn Cummings, fresh off her stint on TV's "Family", has a few surprisingly strong scenes standing up to babysitter Stephanie Zimbalist, but Zimbalist's role is a wash-out. Her character isn't given the grand, juicy build-up that villains usually receive in television suspensers, but perhaps this time it was a mistake (director Peter Medak is so overly-cautious letting the pieces fall into place that he becomes unintentionally coy about the whole thing). The film is shrouded in murk; Medak, going for a low-key mood, doesn't allow the drama to take shape, and as a result the story and characters become lethargic blobs.


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