Cry for the Strangers (film)

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Cry for the Strangers
Cry for the Strangers.jpg
Based onCry for the Strangers by John Saul
Written byJ.D. Feigelson
Directed byPeter Medak
StarringPatrick Duffy
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)David Gerber
CinematographyFrank Stanley
  • Rick Brandon
  • David Wages
Running time97 minutes
Production company(s)
Original networkCBS
Picture formatColor
Audio formatMono
Original releaseFebruary 11, 1982

Cry for the Strangers is a 1982 American made-for-television horror film based on the book of the same name by John Saul. It was directed by Peter Medak and stars Patrick Duffy.[1] It was originally broadcast on CBS on February 11, 1982.


In 1937, a young boy sees apparitions of Native Americans dancing on the beach before discovering two bodies buried to their heads in the sand. He later grows up to be Chief Whalen, the chief of police for that town.
A psychiatrist named Dr. Brad Russell and his wife Elaine move to a fishing town on the Pacific coast. Thunderstorms that only occur in that area are accompanied by apparitions of Native Americans dancing on the beach. A local fisherman named Riley believes these to be ghosts of the "storm dancers" of a native tribe of the area who once performed executions at the beach, which they called "Devil's Elbow", by burying victims in the sand and allowing them to drown in the tide or be eaten by crabs. He furthermore believes these apparitions to be connected to mysterious deaths occurring in the community, including the Shellings.
Bobby Palmer, a hyperactive child whom Brad treated years before has had a complete change and is significantly calmer when he is at the coastal town. One night during a thunderstorm he is found outside on the beach where his mother Rebecca has fallen into a pit. She is rescued but Bobby cannot remember anything. During the night Bobby feels compelled to sneak out his window to the beach and his sister Missy follows him. The adults search for them and find the dead body of Riley, formerly their main suspect. They find Chief Whalen covered in war paint attempting to kill Missy. Whalen is shot dead and Brad theorizes that the storms trigger the traumatic memory of his grandparents' death, though Elaine wonders who killed his grandparents in the first place. Bobby is later shown approaching the apparitions on a stormy night.



  1. ^ "Cry for the Strangers". Retrieved October 20, 2017.

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