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The Prowler (1951)

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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,163 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 24 critic

When Susan Gilvray reports a prowler outside her house police officer Webb Garwood investigates and sparks fly. If only her husband wasn't in the way.



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Title: The Prowler (1951)

The Prowler (1951) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Complete credited cast:
Webb Garwood
Susan Gilvray / Susan Garwood
John Maxwell ...
Charles 'Bud' Crocker
Katherine Warren ...
Grace Crocker (as Katharine Warren)
Emerson Treacy ...
William Gilvray
Madge Blake ...
Martha Gilvray
Wheaton Chambers ...
Dr. William R. James
Robert Osterloh ...
Sherry Hall ...
John Gilvray
Louise Lorimer ...
Motel Manager


When Susan Gilvray reports a prowler outside her house police officer Webb Garwood investigates and sparks fly. If only her husband wasn't in the way.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


She had to keep THE PROWLER from telling... See more »


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Release Date:

3 December 1951 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Cost of Living  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The radio announcer heard throughout the film is actually the voice of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who wrote the film under the pseudonym, Hugo Butler. See more »


Webb tells Susan the birth of their baby will increase the ghost town's population by 33%. The birth will increase the population by 50%. See more »


Referenced in Trumbo (2007) See more »


Lyrics by Dick Mack
Music by Lyn Murray
Sung by Robert Carroll (as Bob Carroll)
See more »

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User Reviews

Nice Noir
25 September 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Prowler, The (1951)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Patrolman Webb Garwood (Van Heflin) gets a prowler call and goes to the home of Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes) whose beauty captures his eye. Later that night Webb goes back on his personal time and soon the two fall in love but she's married to a man who isn't about to let her go. After a bit of setting up, Webb finds himself back at the house on another prowler call but this time he has plans of getting the husband out of the way. This film-noir has gained a pretty good cult following over the past several years and while it does have some good moments for me it just didn't work in the end. I think the biggest problem I had was the entire plot dealing with the murder of the husband. I thought the entire set-up was something we had seen countless times in other movies so there really wasn't anything overly fresh in terms of that. I think what keeps the film moving a bit is the direction of Losey who adds a rather bizarre sexual feel to the movie. This film was a good nine-years before PEEPING TOM or PSYCHO but there's no question that Webb is a very disturbed man and you could easily say that his cop is a lot more dangerous than the prowler that was peeking in the window. I thought the strange sexual relationship between was something not overly common for this era of a film and then there's a subplot with a pregnancy that throws us for another loop. Heflin turns in a very strong and rather deranged performance. I really thought he was charming enough to have this woman fall for him but there's always that dark side that keep creeping around until it finally comes through. Both the "Jekyll" and "Hyde" of the character are handled very well by the actor. Keeys is also pretty good in her role, although I thought she handled things a lot better earlier in the picture when she's just that innocent woman who doesn't know the trouble she's in. I thought once she starts to figure out what's going on the actress didn't carry it as well as she could have. While both actors are fine on their own I think another problem with the film is that there wasn't enough chemistry between them. I think the sexual stuff in the film comes more from the direction and not from the actors doing their thing together. John Maxwell adds nice support as Webb's friend. The atmosphere is pretty good from start to finish as is the cinematography that has no problems with all the shadows. The final ten-minutes of the film really pick up and manage to be pretty intense so in the end there's certainly enough good things here to make THE PROWLER worth viewing.

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