7.1/10
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The Boston Strangler (1968)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 16 October 1968 (USA)
A series of brutal murders in Boston sparks a seemingly endless and increasingly complex manhunt.

Director:

Richard Fleischer

Writers:

Edward Anhalt (screenplay), Gerold Frank (book)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Curtis ... Albert DeSalvo
Henry Fonda ... John S. Bottomly
George Kennedy ... Phil DiNatale
Mike Kellin ... Julian Soshnick
Hurd Hatfield ... Terence Huntley
Murray Hamilton ... Frank McAfee
Jeff Corey ... John Asgeirsson
Sally Kellerman ... Dianne Cluny
William Marshall ... Edward W.Brooke
George Voskovec ... Peter Hurkos
Leora Dana ... Mary Bottomly
Carolyn Conwell Carolyn Conwell ... Irmgard DeSalvo
Jeanne Cooper ... Cloe
Austin Willis Austin Willis ... Dr. Nagy
Lara Lindsay ... Bobbie Eden
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Storyline

Boston is being terrorized by a series of seemingly random murders of women. Based on the true story, the film follows the investigators path through several leads before introducing the Strangler as a character. It is seen almost exclusively from the point of view of the investigators who have very few clues to build a case upon. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Come in." He did. Thirteen times. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bostonski davitelj See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,100,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,439
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

20th Century Fox originally hired Terence Rattigan to write the screenplay based on the book by Gerold Frank, but he wrote it as a comedy, and was replaced by Edward Anhalt. In Rattigan's version, the killer was revealed, by a computer, to be Darryl F. Zanuck. See more »

Goofs

In the film, it is assumed DeSalvo was guilty, and it portrays him as suffering from multiple personality disorder and committing the murders whilst in a psychotic state. DeSalvo was never diagnosed with, or even suspected of, having that disorder. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Ed Willis: We've got a full-blown maniac on our hands.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits epilogue; ALBERT DESALVO, PRESENTLY IMPRISONED IN WALPOLE, MASSACHUSETTS, HAS NEVER BEEN INDICTED OR TRIED FOR THE BOSTON STRANGLINGS.

THIS FILM HAS ENDED, BUT THE RESPONSIBILTY OF SOCIETY FOR THE EARLY RECOGNITION AND TREATMENT OF THE VIOLENT AMONG US HAS YET TO BEGIN. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version suffered heavy BBFC cuts with edits to shots of a woman's dead body, the murder scenes, and the removal of graphic descriptions of the murder victims. Video versions were cut by 1 min 5 secs and reduced the torture of Dianne Cluny to a series of flash shots by removing facial closeups, a shot of her kicking, and detailed footage of her arms and legs being tied to the bed. The cuts were fully restored in the 2004 TCF widescreen DVD. See more »

Connections

Referenced in All in the Family: Prisoner in the House (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Again
(uncredited)
Music by Lionel Newman
Played on the piano at the gay bar
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Compelling Despite Some Flaws
30 July 2003 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

THE BOSTON STRANGLER was made in 1968 at a time when Hollywood was finally getting caught up in the radicalism of the era and I can imagine this film shocking many cinema goers as much as the real life murders shocked Boston . It does go into some details of the brutal murders with referances to " Semen " and being " Raped by a bottle " but this pales alongside the montage of the police arresting a myriad of freaks , pervs and scumbags , but even this pales compared to the portrayel of homosexuality in the movie . If you`re PC and are offended by words like " Faggot " or " Queer " you`ll not want to watch this . Oh did I mention this is directed by Richard Fleischer the man responsible for the Disney masterwork 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA ? You`d never have guessed .

The biggest flaw with THE BOSTON STRANGLER is the uneven directing style by Fleischer using the split screen method for long periods of the movie which is very unsubtle ( And it`s not too surprising to see this technique very quickly died out in cinema ) , but the director redeems himself towards the end by using a couple of surreal abstract sequences . Watching these scenes today they`re both disturbing and haunting so lord knows how a 1968 audience would have reacted to them . Fleischer also casts well , and special praise should be given to Tony Curtis . It`s also nice to see a disclaimer at the start of the film pointing out that many events have been fictionalised as this explains the unlikely occurance the way the cops solved the case


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