Steffane Sherwood

Written by Steffane Sherwood

Modified & Updated: 30 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Released in 1968, “The Boston Strangler” is a gripping crime drama that remains one of the most chilling portrayals of a real-life serial killer. Directed by Richard Fleischer, the film is based on the true story of the infamous serial killer, Albert DeSalvo, who terrorized the city of Boston in the 1960s. Starring Tony Curtis as the troubled protagonist and Henry Fonda as the determined investigator, “The Boston Strangler” takes viewers on a thrilling and suspenseful journey into the mind of a psychopath.

In this article, we will delve into 33 fascinating facts about this iconic movie. From its controversial production to its impact on the crime genre, we’ll uncover intriguing details that go beyond what happens on the screen. So, buckle up and get ready to explore the dark and twisted world of “The Boston Strangler!

Key Takeaways:

  • The Boston Strangler is a gripping movie that explores the true story of a notorious serial killer in 1960s Boston, shedding light on the investigation, societal impact, and psychological toll of the case.
  • This classic crime film delves into the chilling atmosphere of fear and paranoia during the Boston Strangler’s reign of terror, offering a thought-provoking look at the nature of evil and the complexities of human psychology.
Table of Contents

The Boston Strangler is a 1968 American neo-noir crime film.

The Boston Strangler is a gripping and intense movie that delves into the true story of a notorious serial killer in Boston during the 1960s.

It revolves around the case of the infamous Boston Strangler.

The movie focuses on the gruesome murders committed by the Boston Strangler, who terrorized the city with a series of brutal killings.

It stars Tony Curtis as Albert DeSalvo, based on the real-life Boston Strangler.

Tony Curtis delivers a remarkable and chilling performance as Albert DeSalvo, the man suspected of being the Boston Strangler.

The film explores the psychology of the killer.

A key aspect of the movie is the exploration of the psychological motivations of the Boston Strangler, providing viewers with a deeper understanding of the character.

It showcases the investigation led by Detective John S. Bottomly.

The movie highlights the efforts of Detective John S. Bottomly, played by Henry Fonda, as he tries to uncover the identity of the Boston Strangler.

The Boston Strangler was directed by Richard Fleischer.

Richard Fleischer masterfully captures the suspense and tension of the story, ensuring a thrilling cinematic experience.

The film received critical acclaim upon its release.

The Boston Strangler was widely praised for its gripping screenplay, stellar performances, and atmospheric cinematography, cementing its status as a classic crime film.

Some scenes were shot on location in Boston.

To add authenticity to the film, several scenes were filmed on location in Boston, recreating the chilling atmosphere of the crime scenes.

The Boston Strangler explores the societal impact of the killings.

The movie delves into the fear and paranoia that gripped the city during the Boston Strangler’s reign of terror, offering a thought-provoking commentary on the societal impact of such crimes.

The film was based on Gerold Frank’s book “The Boston Strangler”.

The screenplay for the movie was adapted from Gerold Frank’s non-fiction book, providing a well-researched and detailed account of the murders.

It sheds light on the investigation techniques used at the time.

The Boston Strangler depicts the forensic and investigative methods employed in the 1960s, giving viewers a glimpse into the techniques used to catch the killer.

The movie raises questions about the real identity of the Boston Strangler.

Throughout the film, doubts arise regarding the true identity of the Boston Strangler, leaving audiences with an air of mystery and uncertainty.

The Boston Strangler is a gripping and suspenseful crime thriller.

The intense atmosphere and skillful storytelling make The Boston Strangler a must-watch for fans of the crime thriller genre.

It showcases the psychological toll the case takes on the investigators.

The movie delves into the emotional and psychological impact the Boston Strangler case has on the people involved, adding another layer of depth to the narrative.

The Boston Strangler was nominated for three Academy Awards.

The film received recognition from the Academy, earning nominations for Best Supporting Actress, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Song.

The movie features a stellar ensemble cast.

Alongside Tony Curtis and Henry Fonda, The Boston Strangler boasts an impressive cast including George Kennedy, Sally Kellerman, and Hurd Hatfield.

It shines a light on the media frenzy surrounding the Boston Strangler case.

The film showcases the intense media coverage and public fascination with the Boston Strangler, highlighting the power and influence of the press during high-profile criminal investigations.

Some of the crime scenes in the film were recreated based on actual locations.

To maintain authenticity, the filmmakers recreated some of the crime scenes based on actual locations where the Boston Strangler’s murders took place.

The Boston Strangler offers a glimpse into 1960s Boston.

The movie provides a nostalgic trip back in time, capturing the essence of 1960s Boston with its set designs and costumes.

The film raises ethical questions about capital punishment.

The Boston Strangler sparks a discussion about the controversial topic of capital punishment, with the legal proceedings surrounding the real-life case serving as a backdrop.

It remains one of the most notable portrayals of a serial killer in cinema.

The Boston Strangler is often hailed as one of the most memorable and chilling depictions of a serial killer, leaving a lasting impression on audiences.

The movie was released during a period of increased public fascination with serial killers.

The release of The Boston Strangler coincided with a time when society was captivated by true crime stories and the psychology behind serial killers.

The Boston Strangler’s true identity remains a mystery to this day.

Despite the conviction of Albert DeSalvo, there continues to be speculation and doubts regarding whether he was the sole perpetrator of the Boston Strangler murders.

It is a must-watch for fans of true crime and psychological thrillers.

If you have an interest in true crime or psychological thrillers, The Boston Strangler is a film that should not be missed.

The movie captures the essence of fear and paranoia prevalent during the Boston Strangler’s reign of terror.

The Boston Strangler effectively portrays the chilling atmosphere of Boston during the time of the murders, immersing viewers in a world of fear and paranoia.

The Boston Strangler has stood the test of time as a classic crime film.

Decades after its release, The Boston Strangler continues to be regarded as a cinematic masterpiece, admired for its compelling storytelling and memorable performances.

It sheds light on the social and cultural context of the 1960s.

The movie offers insights into the societal and cultural climate of the 1960s, reflecting the tensions and challenges of the era.

The Boston Strangler features a haunting and atmospheric musical score.

The film’s soundtrack, composed by Lionel Newman, adds to the overall mood and sense of dread, enhancing the viewing experience.

It depicts the struggles and triumphs of the victims’ families.

The Boston Strangler pays homage to the victims and their families, portraying their strength and resilience in the face of unimaginable tragedy.

The movie presents a nuanced exploration of the motivations behind the killings.

The Boston Strangler delves into the complex motivations that drive a serial killer, allowing viewers to glimpse into the dark recesses of the human psyche.

It offers a realistic account of the police investigation process.

The film presents a realistic portrayal of the investigative procedures and challenges faced by law enforcement during the Boston Strangler case.

The Boston Strangler is a compelling blend of crime drama and psychological thriller.

The movie seamlessly combines elements of crime drama and psychological thriller, resulting in a captivating viewing experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

It raises important questions about the nature of evil and the existence of pure evil.

The Boston Strangler prompts viewers to ponder the nature of evil and whether it is a result of external circumstances or an inherent darkness within certain individuals.


In conclusion, The Boston Strangler is a gripping and haunting movie that delves into the true events surrounding the notorious serial killer who terrorized the city of Boston in the 1960s. With its intense storyline, stellar performances, and accurate portrayal of the investigation, this movie showcases the horrors of the Strangler’s crimes while shedding light on the relentless efforts of law enforcement to bring him to justice. The film not only serves as a chilling reminder of the darkness that can lurk within society but also explores the psychological impact on those involved in the case. Whether you’re a fan of true crime stories or simply enjoy a gripping thriller, The Boston Strangler is a must-watch movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.


1. Is The Boston Strangler based on a true story?

Yes, The Boston Strangler is based on the true story of the serial killer who terrorized Boston in the 1960s. The events depicted in the movie closely follow the real-life investigation and capture of the Strangler.

2. Who are the main characters in the movie?

The movie features a talented ensemble cast, including Tony Curtis as Albert DeSalvo, the man accused of being the Boston Strangler, and Henry Fonda as John S. Bottomly, the lead investigator on the case.

3. Is the movie graphic and violent?

The Boston Strangler does contain some graphic and intense scenes that may not be suitable for sensitive viewers. The movie aims to portray the seriousness and brutality of the Strangler’s crimes but does so without overly glorifying violence.

4. When was the movie released?

The Boston Strangler was released in 1968.

5. Did the movie receive any awards or nominations?

Yes, the movie was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for its portrayal of Faye Dunaway as one of the Strangler’s victims.

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