6.1/10
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12 user 9 critic

The Todd Killings (1971)

R | | Crime, Drama | November 1971 (UK)
Based on the true story of '60s thrill-killer Charles Schmid ("The Pied Piper of Tucson"), Skipper Todd (Robert F. Lyons) is a charismatic 23-year old who charms his way into the lives of ... See full summary »

Director:

Barry Shear
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert F. Lyons ... Skipper Todd
Richard Thomas ... Billy Roy
Belinda Montgomery ... Roberta
Sherry E. DeBoer ... Amata (as Sherry Miles)
Joyce Ames Joyce Ames ... Haddie
Holly Near ... Norma
James Broderick ... Sam Goodwin
Gloria Grahame ... Mrs. Roy
Fay Spain ... Mrs. Mack
Edward Asner ... Fred Reardon
Barbara Bel Geddes ... Mrs. Todd
Michael Conrad ... Detective Shaw
Frank Webb
William Lucking
Sandy Brown Wyeth Sandy Brown Wyeth
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Storyline

Based on the true story of '60s thrill-killer Charles Schmid ("The Pied Piper of Tucson"), Skipper Todd (Robert F. Lyons) is a charismatic 23-year old who charms his way into the lives of high school kids in a small California town. Girls find him attractive and are only too willing to accompany him to a nearby desert area to be his "girl for the night." Not all of them return, however. Featuring Richard Thomas as his loyal hanger-on and a colorful assortment of familiar actors in vivid character roles including Barbara Bel Geddes, Gloria Grahame, Edward Asner, Fay Spain, James Broderick and Michael Conrad. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Skipper Todd digs girls. It's his idea of killing time... See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

What Are We Going to Do Without Skipper? See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Inspired by real-life 1965 murders orchestrated by Charles Schmid, so-called "Pied Piper of Tucson," a charismatic young Southern Arizona homicidal maniac whose crimes (involving teen followers and victims) roughly paralleled those later perpetrated by teen guru/killer Charles Manson. See more »

Quotes

Detective Shaw: Are you putting us on?
Skipper Todd: Putting you on? What do you mean?
Detective Shaw's Partner: We picked up your girlfriend Norma. She's in the other room. She told us everything.
Skipper Todd: Everything?
Detective Shaw's Partner: Yeah, I mean what you did to Sue Ellen. Now why would your girlfriend want to tell lies about you?
Skipper Todd: For revenge. Jealousy. Hell, you know better than I do, woman are irrational.
[starts smiling]
Skipper Todd: But she didn't do that did she? But you guys are good... really good at timing and everything. Ha-ha! God! You guys are great! Ha-ha.
Detective Shaw: Look, there's talk...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

[prologue] The story you are about to see is a fictionalized dramatization of actual case histories. The names and certain characterizations and incidents have been changed to protect the innocent...and, in some cases, to protect the guilty. See more »

Connections

References They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Jaded modern teenagers and their killer mentor
24 October 2017 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Fictionalized portrait of real-life sociopath and killer Charles Schmid from Arizona (called Skipper Todd here, nicknamed "The Pied Piper of Tucson"), a 23-year-old dropout from reality who easily enchanted all the bored, feckless teenagers hanging out at the local high school and community swimming pool. Robert F. Lyons is quite persuasive as Todd, a seductive charmer who lives off his mother (Barbara Bel Geddes), who enables his freeloader lifestyle. Todd enjoys playing big brother and lover to the misfit kids in his stifling suburb (it feeds his ego) and, after killing a girl because he "had nothing else to do," he has no trouble getting a few of the teens to help cover up his crime. Richard Thomas is somewhat miscast as a hitchhiker Lyons takes under his wing (Thomas is intrinsically too bright to play this antisocial rube), but the supporting cast is excellent, particularly Bel Geddes, Gloria Grahame as Thomas' mother, Belinda Montgomery, Edward Asner, James Broderick, Holly Near and Michael Conrad. It's a technically assured picture, but one which is ultimately uneasy as a dramatic entertainment. Was it intended as a warning film? Rather, it's an exercise in glamorously dangerous narcissism: the disaffected youth too cool for society. ** from ****


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