This is a suspenseful and – faint-hearted viewers take note – often disturbing re-creation of the crimes, capture and psychoanalysis of Albert DeSalvo (played here by Tony Curtis), who confessed to being the notorious Boston Strangler, the killer of 13 women in the early 1960s.
Though doubt has since been cast on DeSalvo’s confession (he was never charged with the crimes due to lack of evidence, but was jailed for unrelated sex offences), this film is an authentic-feeling account.
Director Richard Fleischer deftly captures the pensive atmosphere of a frightened city with a stark, documentary-style approach that makes good use of split-screen sequences.
As an all-star line-up of lawmen tightens the net around the elusive maniac, Curtis proves beyond doubt he could act with a nuanced performance of considerable depth and power.
John S Bottomly
Phil Di Natale
Edward W Brooke
Eugene T O’Rourke