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Manhunt: Search for the Night Stalker (1989)

Based on the true story of Richard "The Night Stalker" Ramirez who terrorized California in 1985 and the two Los Angeles police detectives who try to track him down.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sergeant Frank Salerno
... Lieutenant Gil Carrillo
... Pearl Carrillo
... Peter Morgan
... Anne Clark
... Richard Ramirez (The Night Stalker) (as Gregory Norman Cruz)
... Phil Thomas
... Jane Salerno
Marisol R. Reyes ... Maria Hernandez
Roger Hampton ... Detective Heller
... Captain Robert Grimm
... Dr. Chow (as Soon-Teck Oh)
... Bill Melton
Jake Dengel ... Jessie
... Mrs. Webster
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Storyline

"Manhunt" vividly tells the terrifying story of the pursuit and capture of Richard Ramirez, "the Night Stalker" - a serial killer who terrorized California in mid 1980s. Written by Jaromir Krol <jaromirk@kr.onet.pl>

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12 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hunt for the Night Stalker  »

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1.33 : 1
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Goofs

On two separate occasions, the US Bank Tower is visible: once in the opening credits (hard to see due to darkness, but that's definitely it) and again near the end when Ramirez is trying to evade police. This building didn't begin construction until 1987, two years after the film's setting. See more »

Connections

Version of Nightstalker (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
No-nonsense true crime drama
31 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

MANHUNT: SEARCH FOR THE NIGHT STALKER

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Sound format: Mono

The search for serial killer Richard Ramirez, who committed a string of horrific rapes and murders in Los Angeles between June 1984 and August the following year.

It looks a little dated now, but Bruce Seth Green's detailed examination of the facts surrounding the Night Stalker murders - filtered here through the viewpoint of the two detectives (Richard Jordan and A Martinez) who supervised the case - still packs a solid emotional punch. Green's no-nonsense approach to the material results in a couple of voyeuristic crime reconstructions which may strike some as unnecessary (Ramirez had only just been convicted when the movie first aired), but these grotesque details go a long way toward establishing the randomness and savagery of this man's gruesome rampage. Joseph Gunn's wide-ranging script covers all relevant bases, including the desperate attempts by city officials to prevent sensational media coverage driving the killer underground, and the personal toll exacted on law enforcement officers involved in pursuit of the maniac. The climactic sequence - depicting the bizarre events surrounding Ramirez' eventual capture - is ripe with irony, and well-staged by actors and filmmakers alike.


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