The Boston Strangler

1968

Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

59
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 74%
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 8,000

Synopsis


Downloaded times
December 28, 2020

Cast

Henry Fonda as Lt. j.g. Douglas A. Roberts
James Brolin as Bo McCray
Tony Curtis as Albert DeSalvo
William Hickey as Eugene T. O'Rourke
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.04 GB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
116 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.14 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
116 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Bogmeister 7 / 10 / 10

Tony Curtis embraces the unpleasant

Based on the real-life series of murders in Boston from 1962-64, this police procedural has close to a documentary-style approach. The filmmakers also utilized the split-screen technique briefly popular back then, in other films such as "The Thomas Crown Affair." More than just splitting the screen in two, there are sometimes as many as 5 different images dividing the screen, and a widescreen version is necessary to get the full effect. Here, the technique is used to display the actions of both the victim and the serial killer at the same time, viewing their movements preceding the actual murders. Some viewers may find their concentration divided to a greater degree than they would like. The first half of the film shows how the police deal with (or, try to) the number of female bodies steadily piling up in the city. Some of the material is dated, with homosexuals being the primary suspects, and various types of perverts, like peeping toms, rounded up in unintentionally amusing scenes (see also "The Detective"1968 with Frank Sinatra for similar scenes of the homosexual community persecuted by the police dept.). Fonda plays the chief investigator, placed in charge against his wishes, but who soon accepts the gravity of the situation. George Kennedy is one of the main detectives. Curtis doesn't appear until the first hour ends. As an actor, he immersed himself in this unpleasant role, and, from the first minute he's seen on screen, all his past film roles are summarily wiped away. He was a star for close to 15 years at that point and all those comedies & sappy adventures he'd been in immediately disappear from one's mind. It's a rather astounding feat - who knew he was this method actor? But, he wasn't even nominated for an Oscar. Also, unlike, for example, Travolta's comeback in "Pulp Fiction"(94), this did not revitalize his career. Sally Kellerman("M*A*S*H",1970) also appears in an early role as a victim who just may survive. Look also for, in a very early role, James Brolin in one scene as a police sgt. caught in some indiscretion by a supposed clairvoyant. Modern filmmakers should also check out some of director Fleischer's techniques towards the end, in that white room with Curtis.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 9 / 10 / 10

A Killer Role

Tony Curtis really showed his acting chops when he took on the most unlikely role of Albert DeSalvo the famous Boston Strangler of the early 1960s. Though he's only in the film literally for about half of it, what you see is a classic performance. Why he wasn't nominated for an Oscar, the Deity only knows. 13 women were found dead in the Boston area of manual strangulation and they were also sexually molested. Public concern was so great that the then Attorney General Edward Brooke, played by William Marshall, overrode local jurisdictions and prerogatives and assigned a lawyer from his office John Bottomly to coordinate the strangler investigation. Henry Fonda plays Bottomly who takes the task on quite reluctantly because his expertise is civil litigation. My guess is that Brooke was thinking that Bottomly would be best for the job because he came in with no preconceived notions on how to do the job and would be open to anything. Turned out he was right. Actually Fonda has more screen time than Curtis because the first half of the film concentrates on him and the investigation. He follows up every red herring thrown at him. He even hires a medium paid for with private funds by a millionaire friend of Brooke's played by George Voskevec who actually comes close in terms of geography to finding the real killer. One of the red herrings is a gay man played by Hurd Hatfield who in those days before Stonewall was considered a likely suspect. He gets turned in by his landlady who is suspicious of his reading material. It's something he's used to, every time there's a lurid sex murder as an openly gay, or at least openly gay for that time he's brought in for questioning. This was one of the few times I ever heard the word gay used in a film made before the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969. Curtis however dominates the film. The last 20 minutes or so is a final confrontation with him and Fonda and for those who are used to the insouciant leading man of swashbucklers and comedies, this is a real breakthrough. As much if not more of breakthrough than his part in Sweet Smell of Success. In his memoirs however Curtis decries the fact that on this, the second of two films he worked with Henry Fonda on, he said that he found Fonda cold and forbidding as a person to work with. The film is tautly directed by Richard Fleischer with some fine editing though I think Fleischer was a bit too fond of the split screen technique. Still it's a film worth watching.

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 9 / 10 / 10

Curtis Riveting As Is The Entire Film

Like most people, I'm fascinated with serial killers and why they do what they do. I don't need the gory details: just what makes them tick. I know some people here are turned off because they say that the killer - Albert DeSalvo - was not the mental personality he was portrayed in the last 30 minutes of this film. Personally, I don't care. I realize this is Hollywood, and how often is the film world historically accurate? Almost never. So....just enjoy the acting, the camera-work, and the suspense because there is a lot to like here if you are entertained by crime stories. I, for one, liked the split screen technique presented in this film. It gave a unique feel to the film, seeing the crimes from all kinds of angles at once. Rarely has this been done in films before or since. (I presume because it didn't go over that well to most people.) Anyway, the story is riveting start to finish and Curtis gives a memorable performance, even though he isn't in the movie until the last segment. How some "critics" can label him a sub-par actor is beyond me. He is amazing in here, as he was in "Sweet Smell Of Success," "Some Like It Hot," and other films. His fellow actors - Henry Fonda,George Kennedy, Hurd Hatfield, Murray Hamilton, Jeff Corey and Mike Kellin - all add to this excellent drama. It was a long wait for the DVD but at least that finally came out in 2005. This film was originally released about the time the rating system began to be employed and films changed drastically. Although there is very little offensive language, there is nudity and some shocking scenes with the intense horrific subject matter.

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