The Boston Strangler (1968)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery


The Boston Strangler (1968) Poster

A series of brutal murders in Boston sparks a seemingly endless and increasingly complex manhunt.


7.1/10
8,111

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User Reviews


30 July 2003 | Theo Robertson
7
| Compelling Despite Some Flaws
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

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film proved a real change of pace for Tony Curtis, as he had a chance to display his acting ability.


Quotes

Capt. Ed Willis: Usually in a homicide of this kind, where nothing's stolen, it's a personal enmity, a grudge killing.
John Asgeirsson: Two cases of personal enmity against two harmless old ladies in the same neighborhood in one week?
John Asgeirsson: Come on, Captain, looks to me like a nut's loose.
Sgt. Frank McAfee: ...


Goofs

A shot of Tony Curtis, in a doorway, includes a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado in the background, at a time (in the story) which is supposedly 1963-64 (shortly after JFK's funeral).


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.


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.


Soundtracks

There Will Never Be Another You
(uncredited)
Music by
Harry Warren
Played when Det. Di Natale gives the informant $20 and goes into the bar

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Crime | Drama | Mystery | Thriller

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