Friday, December 3, 2010

Review – The Boston Strangler

Two things stand out about this telling of the tale of Albert DeSalvo, accused of raping and strangling 13 women in the Boston area in the early 1960s. On the positive side, director Richard Fleischer’s use of split screen editing – while visually jarring – works better than such gimmicks usually do. On the other hand, the production doesn’t stick as closely to the truth as most true crime stories at least attempt to. I don’t necessarily need a thorough examination of every aspect of the investigation, though at least a mention of the questions about DeSalvo’s guilt might have been nice. But the storytellers here make some details up out of whole cloth, such as the notion that the killer suffered from Multiple Personality Disorder. Tony Curtis as the strangler and Henry Fonda as the chief of the task force convened to catch him both bring plenty of talent to the table. But the section that should have been tailor-made for them to shine – an extended dialogue between the two that takes up most of act three – instead falls victim to lackluster writing. Mildly amusing

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