7.4/10
2,123
35 user 5 critic

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)
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Popularity
4,457 ( 650)

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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
Edit

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

Mrs. Ritcher is based on Ann Rule, author of "The Stranger Beside Me". She and Ted Bundy worked together at a Crisis Center, where (as in the movie) he listened compassionately to her marital problems. She remained his supporter until the Florida trials, but still kept in touch. See more »

Goofs

Emily Holds (based on Melissa Smith) is portrayed as a teenaged runway seen hitchhiking a ride on the highway and getting picked up by Ted. In reality, Melissa Smith was abducted by Bundy as she left a local pizza parlor (in her small town) to run home and get clothes for a sleep over (which she never made it to). Smith was not running away. See more »

Quotes

Ted Bundy: You're just grasping at straws. Just straws, Jerry.
Jerry Thompson: What kind of game are you playing?
Ted Bundy: You keep at it. Maybe if you find enough straws you can put the broom together.
See more »

Connections

Version of Bundy: A Legacy of Evil (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
He confessed to twenty three murders, but....
2 November 2006 | by MarieGabrielleSee all my reviews

who really knows if Ted Bundy committed even more that he refused to admit to. When he was first captured he confessed to murders in "the three digit area" enjoying the game of cat and mouse with the police.

Mark Harmon is excellent as Bundy, with his self-effacing handsomeness, he works his way into many women's lives, getting what he wants from several. Manipulating and deceiving is a way of life for a sociopath, and Ted Bundy uses and discards women; according to the very interesting book by Ann Rule (who actually worked with Bundy at a suicide hot-line near the Seattle, Washington campus).

George Grizzard portrays the journalist who Bundy kept in touch with. M. Emmet Walsh and Ben Masters do a good job, as detectives from various jurisdictions, working together before the FBI/VICAP department was established. Lawrence Pressman portrays the Seattle Washington politician Wolverton, who had employed Bundy at one time, early in his career.

We see the many victims, but not the actual murders. Glynnis O'Connor portrays Cas Richter, one of Bundy's "girlfriends" who later realizes in shock what Bundy is capable of. She is initially reluctant to go to the police however, and it is frightening to realize had she come forward earlier, that the police may have been able to apprehend Bundy, and prevent the string of murders he committed cross-country.

This story is worth watching for anyone interested in true crime. While it does not delve enough into Bundy's past, and motives, it does factually address the crimes, and the difficulty the police had in apprehending and finally convicting Ted Bundy. He was finally executed in Florida, in 1989. 8/10.


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