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The Stepmother (1972)

R | | Drama | 26 October 1972 (USA)
Returning home late one night from a business trip to Mexico, architect Frank Delgado finds the car of wealthy client Alan Richmond in his driveway. Suspecting that his wife Margo and ... See full summary »


Howard Avedis (as Hikmet L. Avedis)


Howard Avedis (as Hikmet L. Avedis)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alejandro Rey ... Frank Delgado
John Anderson ... Inspector Darnezi
Katherine Justice ... Margo Delgado (as Catherine Justice)
Larry Linville ... Dick Hill
Marlene Schmidt ... Sonya Hill
Duncan McLeod Duncan McLeod ... Chief Inspector
David Renard ... Pedro Lopez
Claudia Jennings ... Rita
Rudy Herrera Jr. Rudy Herrera Jr. ... Steve Delgado
Mike Kulcsar Mike Kulcsar ... Alan Richmond
Priscilla Garcia Priscilla Garcia ... Maria
Margaret Garcia Margaret Garcia ... Lupé (as Margarite Garcia)
Gil Barreto Gil Barreto ... José (as Gilberto Berreto)
Bert Madrid Bert Madrid ... Mexican Businessman (as Burt Madrid)
Joe Snyder Joe Snyder ... Rookie Cop


Returning home late one night from a business trip to Mexico, architect Frank Delgado finds the car of wealthy client Alan Richmond in his driveway. Suspecting that his wife Margo and Richmond are having an affair, Frank attacks Richmond when he steps outside and strangles him to death. Although stunned by his action, Frank drives Richmond's body to the beach and, using a spade he brought from his home, buries the body in the sand. As he finishes the burial, Frank overhears a nearby, young, Latin couple's argument escalate into a fight, but drives away without being seen. The next morning as the police receive a report of the discovery of two bodies at the beach, Frank and Margo are awakened by the arrival of Frank's business partner Dick Hill, his wife Sonya and their friends, pornographic film director Goof and his wife Rita. Although reluctant, the tense Frank agrees to accompany the others to the beach house belonging to Richmond, for whom he and Dick are building another property. Written by waomdb.blogspot.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...it's a family affair See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

26 October 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Impulsion See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Displayed on a chalkboard, on the wall in the police detectives' office, are the surnames of 10 members of the cast and crew under the heading "Narcotics Squad". See more »


[first lines]
Alan Richmond: Hey, Margo.
Margo Delgado: Alan, no. Please.
See more »


Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 8 (2002) See more »


Strange Are The Ways Of Love
(theme song)
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Arranged by Robert Matthews
Vocal by Manuel
See more »

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User Reviews

Weird even by weird 70's standards
6 December 2007 | by lazarilloSee all my reviews

I like weird 70's movies a lot, but this is weird even by weird 70's standards. It takes about half the movie, for instance, to even figure out why it's CALLED "The Stepmother"--it, at first, seems to be a movie about a jealous middle-aged, Mexican-American architect who murders a business associate after he finds him in bed with his younger gringa wife (and unbeknownst to the wife). By a weird coincidence another more lower-class Mexican also murders his wife in the same area and is framed for both murders. But the cops begins to suspect the architect, and his continuing jealously causes him to accidentally kill his partner and best friend (played by "MASH's" Larry Linville). He then has to fend off the amorous advances of the friend's widow before the cops grow even more suspicious. Got all that so far?

So why is it called "The Stepmother"? Well, about halfway through the man's son shows up from Mexico City, and he also starts messing around with the young wife (his stepmother)and the off-kilter plot REALLY goes into over-drive.

There are a few reasons to see this. First, if you're a weird 70's film completist. This film is kind similar to early 70's bizarro flick "Swinger's Massacre", which was equally ridiculous but had a less random plot. Second, if you're a fan of Larry Linville, he's actually pretty good here and acts circles around the rest of the unknown cast. The best reason perhaps though is this was the first appearance of cult drive-in queen Claudia Jennings. Jennings has a cameo role as a stoned-out hippie chick who has one hilarious line where she tell the cops she was "way too ripped" to remember what happened the night of the murder. (And if that isn't worth the price of admission, she also has her typically gratuitous full-frontal nude scene). Weird, weird movie, but if any of this sounds interesting to you, check it out.

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