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The Stranger Within (1990)

A troubled young man mysteriously appears in a rural Minnesota town from which he claims he was abducted 16 years ago.


Tom Holland


John Pielmeier
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Ricky Schroder ... Mark (as Rick Schroder)
Kate Jackson ... Mare Blackburn
Chris Sarandon ... Dan
Clark Sandford Clark Sandford ... Capt. Bender
Peter Breitmayer ... Phil Bender
Pamela Danser Pamela Danser ... Emma
Ross Swanson Ross Swanson ... Luke: age 3
Dale Dunham Dale Dunham ... Milo
Oliver Osterberg Oliver Osterberg ... Joe
Kelsey Rose Kelsey Rose ... Jill
Zachary Hunke Zachary Hunke ... Jason
Suzanne Egli Suzanne Egli ... Policewoman
James Harris James Harris ... Doctor


Mare's life is dominated by the kidnapping of her three year old little boy. After 12 years, she is pleasantly surprised to find Mark standing before her on the doorstep pretending to be her son. Her joy eventually turns into fear and panic after it becomes clear that the young man is a dangerous psychopath. Written by Willy Vanhaelen <willy.vanhaelen@advalvas.be>

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Did You Know?


Director Tom Holland and Chris Sarandon previously collaborated on Fright Night (1985) and Child's Play (1988). See more »


When Dan is taking a bath Mark/Luke brings in a tape and tape recorder with something for Dan to listen to and puts it on a shelf above the tub. While Dan and Mark/Luke are talking, Mark/Luke goes to leave and accidentally pulls on the electrical cord with his foot causing the tape recorder to fall towards the bathtub full of water which would supposedly electrocute Dan. Mark/Luke catches the tape recorder before it can fall into the bathtub full of water and Dan is saved. The problem is that the electrical cord is very clearly pulled completely out of the tape recorder and falls to the floor as soon as it begins to fall. When we change to a different camera view the cord magically has been reinserted into the socket of the tape recorder, which is only 12 volts as evidenced by the AC adapter in the plug in the wall which is shown in a camera shot when Mark/Luke pulls on the tape recorder cord with his foot causing it to fall. See more »


Referenced in The Laser Man: Episode #1.3 (2005) See more »

User Reviews

First class acting!
24 March 1999 | by alteaSee all my reviews

"The Stranger Within" is one of those stories that keeps you glued to your seat untill the end!

Having your 3-year old son abducted in a grocery-store is every mother's nightmare. After several years of pain and guilt Mare found some happiness with her new boyfriend Dan. What is she going to do when one day a handsome boy appears on her doorstep claiming to be her long lost abducted son? Can he prove who he claims to be? Is it a setup? What is his gain by tormenting Mare with her past? Will Mare choose between her new boyfriend and her son? The chemistry between Rick Schröder and Kate Jackson is incredible! Both actors give a top notch performance resulting in horrific screen moments and tension. You keep on guessing untill the end whether or not Mark is the lost son! Whatever the outcome, this movie stays in your memory for many years to come!

A word of advice: do not go near the frozen lake!

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Release Date:

27 November 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az idegen See more »

Filming Locations:

Minnesota, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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