Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s When A Stranger Calls (1979)

When A Stranger Calls (1979)

This spin on a popular urban legend became the film responsible for making a generation of teenagers afraid to answer the phone . . .

Student Jill Johnson (Carol Kane) is babysitting for an L.A. doctor and his wife when she becomes subjected to a night of terror by a mysterious and unseen man, who keeps telephoning, urging her to check that the children are alright.

Turns out he is in fact in the house all the time and is a deranged killer who has brutally murdered them.

While the mid-section of the film, which follows the villain and a cop’s (Charles Durning) attempts to track him down, doesn’t have the same raw terror as the opening and finale. this is still a brilliantly-made chiller that taps into a very primal fear.

A 1993 made-for-TV sequel (When A Stranger Calls Back) reunited the original director and cast. It’s a decent enough television thriller and passes the time better than it should because of the excellent cast.


John Clifford
Charles Durning
Jill Johnson
Carol Kane
Tracy Fuller
Colleen Dewhurst
Curt Duncan
Tony Beckley
Dr Monk
Rachel Roberts
Lt. Charlie Garber
Ron O’Neal
Stephen Lockart
Steven Anderson
Mrs Mandrakis
Rutanya Alda
Dr Mandrakis
Carmen Argenziano
Kirsten Larkin
Sgt. Sacker
William Boyett
Michael Champion
Mrs Garber
Carol O’Neal
Bianca Lockart
Sara Damman
Stevie Lockart
Richard Bail
Lenora May

Fred Walton