Watched the 1968 Tony Curtis/ Henry Fonda film about the Boston Strangler last night.
The Boston Strangler is a 1968 American biographical crime film loosely based on the true story of the Boston Strangler and the 1966 book by Gerold Frank. It was directed by Richard Fleischer and stars Tony Curtis as Albert DeSalvo, the strangler, and Henry Fonda as John S. Bottomly, the chief detective who came to fame for obtaining DeSalvo’s confession. Curtis was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his performance. The cast also featured George Kennedy, Murray Hamilton and Sally Kellerman.
I would rate it a solid B melodrama – including awarding bonus points for using some cinema tricks from that era that no longer are used much, namely the use of multiple perspective shots shown at the same time on the screen. In one scene, I counted seven camera angles in little squares, assume that was harder to pull off in 1968 than in today’s CGI based film productions.
The ethics of making a film about a still-living, not indicted suspect who seems mentally ill didn’t bother me as much as it did Roger Ebert and Renata Adler in contemporaneous reviews. Maybe because we live in a different era now where sensationalistic television series about living people is an extremely common practice. Just in the last couple years, there have been films/series about Robert Durst, Elizabeth Holmes, Adam Neumann, and there are many others if you wish to name them yourself.
Anyway, there is a remake of The Boston Strangler from 2023 with a different focus. Will probably watch it next…