When a Stranger Calls

1979 NR 1h 37m DVD

When a Stranger Calls

1979 NR 1h 37m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
A petrified baby-sitter, a relentlessly ringing telephone and whispered threats set the stage for this suspense-packed, hair-raising chiller. A string of menacing phone calls unnerves baby-sitter Jill Johnson (Carol Kane). When a compulsive shamus (Charles Durning) enters the scene to nab the caller -- a deranged killer -- Jill thinks all is well. But seven years later, the maniac returns to ruthlessly torment Jill, who's now a wife and mother.
Carol Kane, Charles Durning, Colleen Dewhurst, Tony Beckley
Fred Walton
Widescreen 1.85:1, Pan-and-Scan 1.33:1
French, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital Mono, French: Dolby Digital Mono
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 16+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 16+
age 16+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this movie is violent, though it's almost always kept offscreen. Two small children are killed at the outset. There is additional disturbing imagery of a shooting, death threats, a bar fight, and non-explicit male nudity.

Sexual Content

Very little, surprisingly for this type of movie, though the insane Curt practically stalks a lady he meets in a bar. We later see him naked (non-explicitly), having a breakdown, alone.


While the horrific stuff is left to the viewer's imagination, we see flashbacks of the murderer covered in blood. One shooting up close, a bar fight, and a woman nearly strangled to death.


Not applicable

Social Behavior

The 'hero' is an ex-cop basically being paid to be a hit man (though it's pretty easy to see he's eager to kill this particular fugitive regardless of monetary reward). His old friend on the force secretly assists in the crime. Other characters are basically unpleasant.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Much drinking.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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