The Stranger Within

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For the song by Bradley Joseph, see The Journey Continues (Bradley Joseph album).
The Stranger Within
The Stranger Within.jpg
Directed by Lee Philips
Produced by Neil T. Maffeo
Written by Richard Matheson
Starring Barbara Eden
George Grizzard
Joyce Van Patten
David Doyle
Nehemiah Persoff
Music by Charles Fox
Cinematography Michael D. Margulies
Edited by Samuel E. Beetley
Distributed by ABC
Release dates
October 1, 1974
Running time
74 min.
Country USA
Language English

The Stranger Within is a 1974 science fiction film that premiered on ABC on October 1, 1974, as the ABC Movie of the Week. The film was inspired by Rosemary's Baby, but included a science-fiction twist.[1]

The film was directed by Lee Philips and starred Barbara Eden and George Grizzard.


Ann Collins (Barbara Eden), a painter, and her husband David Collins (George Grizzard) are expecting a baby. What confuses the couple is that David has had a vasectomy, and Ann is not supposed to be pregnant. Even though David suspects that Ann has been unfaithful to him, he stays with her. Because Ann has had pregnancy troubles in the past that has put her health at risk, David wants Ann to get an abortion, but every time the two try to go to get the procedure done, Ann experiences extreme labor pains and can never go through with the procedure.

Throughout the course of her pregnancy, Ann has strange cravings for black coffee, raw meat, and massive amounts of salt. She also exhibits personality and physical changes, including wanting to read books constantly, enduring freezing temperatures, developing acutely sensitive hearing, taking long and strenuous walks in the mountains, an inability to listen to other people, and healing her injuries within minutes.

David wants Bob (David Doyle), a hypnotist, to see if he can obtain any information about why Ann is acting so strangely. Ann does not say a word, even when she is hypnotized. One day when Ann comes home from one of her walks in the mountains, she finds David, Bob, and Phyllis (Joyce Van Patten), Ann's friend, waiting for her. She quickly drinks boiling hot coffee to catch her breath, and David notices that the coffee makes her drunk. Bob tries hypnotizing Ann again, and an extraterrestrial being starts speaking through her. The being says that his father banished him to this warm planet (Earth) and that he wants to go back to his home where it is “cool”. He says that Ann was impregnated while she was in the mountains painting. After the alien stops talking through Ann, she finally falls to sleep.

During the night, Ann sneaks out to an abandoned house in the woods, where she gives birth. She walks into the woods, where many other women are also walking with their alien babies. David looks at one of Ann’s paintings, depicting the alien being's home planet. The painting starts to smoke. David looks out the window and screams Ann’s name, as he watches a space ship take Ann to the alien’s home planet.

DVD release[edit]

The Stranger Within was released on Region 1 DVD on October 6, 2009 from the online Warner Bros. Archive Collection.


External links[edit]