In a far cry from his signature role as the doe-eyed, crushed-out Plato in Rebel Without a Cause, Sal Mineo is seen to his advantage in Who Killed Teddy Bear? as a brawny busboy working at a New York discotheque. He spends his downtime as a peeping tom with a penchant for making obscene phone calls to his co-worker Norah (Juliet Prowse), who also finds admirers in the club’s tough-talking lesbian manager (Elaine Stritch) and a cop dedicated to the assiduous study of sexual deviancy (Jan Murray). Set amid the smut shops, peep shows, and porno theaters of old Times Square, Joseph Cates’s cult classic anticipates Scorsese’s Taxi Driver with its wonderfully seedy tale of obsessive desire and urban alienation. Print courtesy of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research.
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