7.4/10
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The Deliberate Stranger (1986)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | TV Movie 4 May 1986
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 »

Director:

Marvin J. Chomsky

Writers:

Richard W. Larsen (book), Hesper Anderson (teleplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Harmon ... Ted Bundy
Frederic Forrest ... Det. Bob Keppel
George Grizzard ... Richard Larsen
Ben Masters ... Det. Mike Fisher
Glynnis O'Connor ... Cas Richter
M. Emmet Walsh ... Det. Sam Davies
John Ashton ... Det. Roger Dunn
Bonnie Bartlett ... Louise Bundy
Billy Green Bush ... Officer Bradley (Provo detective)
Frederick Coffin ... Jerry Thompson
Deborah Goodrich ... Martha Chambers
Lawrence Pressman ... Ken Wolverton
Macon McCalman ... Larsen's editor
Jeannetta Arnette ... Mrs. Richter
William Boyett ... Aspen Detective
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Storyline

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 <sricher@sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 May 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Deliberate Stranger See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lorimar Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Frederic Forrest depicts Detective Bob Keppell the way the intense actor portrayed a lot of characters (like in Apocalypse Now and The Rose): as being a tough, no-nonsense cop who considered Bundy a bitter enemy. While he was no fan of Bundy's actions, Keppell, who in real life was more soft-spoken, would go on to work with Bundy many times, corresponding on The Green River Killer case, and continuing to interview him until his death. The Keppel portrayed here would never last in the same room as Bundy. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Det. Bob Keppel: The MO of the Ted at Lake Sammamish, same fractures to the victim's skulls, and the same mountain location where the bodies were dumped all add up to one human... monster.
See more »

Connections

References Our Town (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mark Harmon shows his dark side as Ted Bundy...
24 November 2006 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Dark and disturbing as it is, this is still a well worth watching made-for-TV movie (shown originally in two parts) that gives MARK HARMON one of his best roles as serial killer Ted Bundy, the charming man who fooled most of the people most of the time while he continued a murder spree that lasted far too long.

That's the disturbing thing about the Ted Bundy story. There were many people who suspected him along the way--at a time when he should definitely have been reported to the authorities--but he always had luck on his side and managed to escape serious notice or detention until it was much too late.

A sobering look at Bundy's exploits as he weaved his way around college campuses in pursuit of any young woman he could fool into entrapment. Based on true incidents, it's a dark story that is told without showing the amount of gore involved--which may be a downer for anyone looking for a tale of excessive violence to be more graphic.

Nor does it really dig deep enough below the surface to show what may have caused his emergence as a psychopath. Harmon is completely normal looking as Bundy and could have used more disguises, just as Bundy did, but still gives a very effective performance. Others in the large cast do competent jobs but it's Bundy who rivets all the attention.

Chilling and disturbing tale, but well done.


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