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The Stepfather (1987)

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1:21 | Trailer
After murdering his entire family, a man marries a widow with a teenage daughter in another town and prepares to do it all over again.

Director:

Joseph Ruben

Writers:

Carolyn Lefcourt (story), Brian Garfield (story) | 2 more credits »
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2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Terry O'Quinn ... Jerry Blake
Jill Schoelen ... Stephanie Maine
Shelley Hack ... Susan
Charles Lanyer Charles Lanyer ... Dr. Bondurant
Stephen Shellen ... Jim Ogilvie
Stephen E. Miller ... Al Brennan
Robyn Stevan ... Karen
Jeff Schultz ... Paul Baker
Lindsay Bourne Lindsay Bourne ... Art Teacher
Anna Hagan ... Mrs. Leitner
Gillian Barber ... Annie Barnes
Blu Mankuma ... Lt. Jack Wall
Jackson Davies Jackson Davies ... Mr. Chesterton
Sandra Head Sandra Head ... Receptionist
Gabrielle Rose ... Dorothy Rinehard
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Storyline

A family-values man named Jerry Blake (Terry O'Quinn) marries widows and divorcées with children in search of the perfect family. As soon as his new family members show signs of being human and not robots who will march unquestioningly to his tune, his dreams of domestic bliss begin to crumble, and he kills them. Then he alters his appearance, assumes a new identity, and skips to another town to begin the deadly ritual all over again. He marries Susan Maine (Shelley Hack), who sees him as the ideal surrogate father for her teenage daughter Stephanie (Jill Schoelen), and he is soon up to his old tricks when she proves to be too much of a troublesome teen to handle. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An All-American Family... He'd Kill For It! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 June 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stepfather I See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$260,587, 25 January 1987

Gross USA:

$2,488,740

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,488,740
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Screenwriter Donald E. Westlake based the character of Stephanie on his real-life teenage stepdaughter, with whom who he has having difficulty getting along. See more »

Goofs

When Jerry Blake gets the mail out of the letterbox, he finds a yellow envelope for Stephanie, he notices that it came from the Seattle Examiner. Looking worried, he opens the envelope to see his own photo in it. He starts to panic. Then Stephanie arrives home, and asks for her mail. He gives her a copy of Cosmopolitan, and goes inside the house. Later, he goes to a photo shop, and replaces his own photo with another man in a family photo. The man is smiling in the photo Jerry is about to put back in the yellow envelope. In a later scene, Stephanie and her friend Karen are in her room, with the photo of the family man photo Jerry replaced. The man in the photo is not smiling, as he was in the first photo we see of him. See more »

Quotes

Jerry Blake: Hodgkins, what's to get wrong?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Deranged (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Run Between the Raindrops
(1985)
Performed by Pat Benatar
Music and Lyrics by Myron Grombacher (as M. Grombacher) and Neil Giraldo (as N. Geraldo)
Published by Tyreach Music/Neil Geraldo Music Co./Rare Blue Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Performance, Bad Script
3 December 2002 | by GathofBaalSee all my reviews

Terry O'Quinn is excellent here. He has a definite menacing presence, and his subdued behavior around people only heightens the shock of his raging outbursts. However, the mediocre script ruins what could have been a great film. As a character study of O'Quinn, this would have been chilling and effective. But it makes for a mediocre thriller. O'Quinn plays a psychotic man obsessed with perfection, and the ideal "American Dream". Inevitably, his family disappoints him, so he creates a new identity, kills them and moves on. The scenes with Jerry are strong and frightening, but the film becomes formulaic when we're introduced to Jim, who amazingly discovers a vital clue to his whereabouts in a few minutes of poking around. The police missed this? Too many dumb plot points and the predictable finale spoil it. O'Quinn's performance deserved a better film.


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