01 November 2014

The Boston Strangler (1968)
116 min.
Directed by Richard Fleischer.
With Henry Fonda, Tony Curtis, George Kennedy, Mike Kellin, Hurd Hatfield, Murray Hamilton, Jeff Corey, Sally Kellerman.
Tony Curtis should have won the 1968 Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of serial killer Albert De Salvo in this gripping true crime chronicle of the 1962-1964 strangling murders that terrorized the Boston metro area. (As it stands, Cliff Robertson won the little gold guy for Charly that year).

De Salvo (Curtis) is an unassuming family man and skilled furnace repairman...who just so happens to enjoy raping, mutilating and garroting hapless women who allow him entrance into their homes. Investigator Bottomly is given perfect life by Fonda, superlative in a thankless but thoughtful role as the articulate and clinical cop.

Expertly filmed by director Fleischer (the use of multiple split screens is most effective during the early stalk sequences), the strength of Strangler is a sum total of its parts: excellent performances, masterful storytelling, and a horrifying narrative arc.

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