The Boston Strangler (1968)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The Boston Strangler adopts the split-screen technique then in vogue (see also The Thomas Crown Affair) to relate the true story of self-confessed mass murderer Albert DeSalvo. Adapted by Edward Anhalt from the book by Gerold Frank, the film covers the years 1962 to 1964, during which time a dozen women were raped and murdered in the Boston area. State-appointed officer John Bottomly (Henry Fonda) arrests as many known sex offenders as he can get his hands on in hopes of finding a clue as to the … More

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Edward Anhalt
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 7, 2004
20th Century Fox Film Corp.


as Albert DeSalvo

as John S. Bottomly

as Det. Phil DiNatale

as Julian Soshnick

as Terence Huntley

as Frank McAfee

as John Asgeirsson

as Dianne Cluny

as Edward W. Brooke

as Peter Hurkos

as Mary Bottomly

as Irmgard DeSalvo

as Dr. Nagy

as Bobbie Eden

as Lyonel Brumley

as Eugene T. Rourke

as Ellen Ridgeway

as Alice Oakville

as News Commentator

as TV Commentator

as David Parker

as Harriet Fordin

as Louis Schubert

as Arnie Carr

as Sgt. Lisi

as Dana Banks

as Pat Bruner

as Dr. Kramer

as Emma Hodak

as Commissioner

as Chief of Police

as Louise Parker

as Mr. Taylor

as Dick Matheson

as Harold Lacey

as Barbara Wise

as Judge Schroeder
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Boston Strangler

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for The Boston Strangler

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

An intriguing and underrated film with a great deal to say.

Full Review… | August 19, 2013
Eye for Film

An excellent movie, Curtis' best role ever as the tortured Albert DeSalvo. the documentary-style suits the film perfectly. wonderfully underplayed and suspenseful from beginning to end.

August 8, 2007
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Audience Reviews for The Boston Strangler

Classic psychological thriller with horror elements, The Boston Strangler which is based on the true story is a thoroughly engaging, and shocking picture that is brilliantly acted and directed. The film boasts a strong sense of atmosphere, which adds a depth to the film that really makes it that much more disturbing. The acting here is terrific, and the direction makes for a truly memorable picture, one that is sure to unsettle its viewers. What makes this film truly shocking is the fact that the events portrayed on-screen really happened, and films like this that uses true stories such as the Boston Strangler are more disturbing than any fictional character because the horror here is real, and it Makes for an even more compelling and engrossing picture. Mixing different genres, this is a classic picture that recounts a truly shocking murder case, and it is one of the finest in the genre. If you enjoy these types of movies, then The Boston Strangler is a must watch. The direction is immaculate and the pace of the film steadily builds up, and in turn, you're sucked even more into its story. Real life events make for more interesting film subjects because they actually happened, and they have a gripping nature that fiction simply can't pull off. This one delivers a unique, shocking and unforgettable film going experience. With top notch performances, intense murder sequences, and a great story to grab your attention, The Boston Strangler is a highly memorable and engaging thriller horror drama that should be seen for its memorable kills sequences, riveting performances and terrific direction. If you want a riveting, well constructed picture, then The Boston Strangler is a worthy film to watch, especially if you films of this nature.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

I know split screen technique was a novelty in the days of this movie, but I hate when a gimmick of this kind is overused. Tony Curtis was outstanding as the disturbed Albert De Salvo.

Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer


A captivating and absorbing screen treatment of Gerold Frank's best-selling account of the infamous Boston murders of 11 women allegedly committed by a schizophrenic plumber named Albert De Salvo, played by Tony Curtis in startling and convincing dynamic performance as the deranged De Salvo and Henry Fonda in a fine creditable performance as John S. Bottomly the man in charge of the investigation into the serial killings, directed skillfully by Richard Fleischer in a documentary-style detailing of the brutal killings, manhunt and prosecution of this notorious killer. The film also has a unique complex multi-image technique that is very effective. Outstanding supporting performances by George Kennedy, Mike Kellin, Hurd Hatfield, Murray Hamilton, Jeff Corey, Sally Kellerman, William Marshall and William Hickey. Dramatically intense, unrelentingly disturbing as it is meant to be. Recommended.

Danny Rovira

Super Reviewer

The Boston Strangler Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Boston Strangler on our Movie forum!