7.3/10
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The Prowler (1951)

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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Katherine Warren ...
Grace Crocker (as Katharine Warren)
Emerson Treacy ...
Madge Blake ...
Wheaton Chambers ...
Dr. William R. James
Robert Osterloh ...
Coroner
Sherry Hall ...
Louise Lorimer ...
Motel Manager
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Storyline

In a fancy suburb in California, the gorgeous housewife Susan Gilvray finds a prowler outside her house late one night and she calls the police. Officer Webb Garwood and his partner answer the call but do not find anyone. Later Webb returns to Susan's house with the pretext of checking if everything is OK. Susan invites him in to have coffee with her. Webb soon learns that Susan is married to John Gilvray, a middle-aged broadcaster of a late night radio show. They also discover that they are from the same hometown. Webb makes a pass at Susan and even though she tries to put him off they soon start a love affair. When John becomes suspicious Susan ends her relationship with Webb. Though difficult Webb stays away from Susan. Without Susan's knowledge Webb plots a scheme to get rid of John; he simulates a scenario where John is "accidently" shot dead. There is an inquest and it is ruled that John Gilvray's death was not intentional. Webb quits the police-force a job he was never happy ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Watch out for THE PROWLER See more »


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Details

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Release Date:

25 May 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cost of Living  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Novelist James Ellroy ("L.A. Confidential", "The Black Dahlia") once called this his favorite film and described it as "a masterpiece of sexual creepiness, institutional corruption and suffocating, ugly passion." See more »

Goofs

When Webb returns to his car after peeking in the window of the second building in the ghost town he walks across an existing set of tire tracks. How can there be other tire tracks if no one else has been there for many months? See more »

Quotes

Webb Garwood: I didn't do it Susan. I ll swear that by the only thing I ever really loved, and that's you.
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Connections

Referenced in Trumbo (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby
Lyrics by Dick Mack
Music by Lyn Murray
Sung by Robert Carroll (as Bob Carroll)
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User Reviews

The sleeping tiger
5 March 2012 | by See all my reviews

One of the many great films noirs the director made in the fifties ,which would culminate in "time without pity" :and a very successful one, thanks to Van Heflin,who at first sight seems a helpful affable cop whereas he is actually a cupid embittered man:he was not given the chance to study at the university and he became a policeman by default.He must have gone through hard times :when the woman invites him for dinner ,he catches all that he can on his way to the dining room.

In its second part the movie recalls Fritz Lang's "You only live twice "(after "the prowler" ,Losey remade "M"),but with a big difference : Lang's heroes are both victims of an unfair society whereas Susan is completely innocent (as far as the crime is concerned)but her new husband is dangerous ,verging on paranoia (the scene when you hear the dead speak on the record is stunning).It's perhaps one of the rare movies in which a baby becomes a living threat.Even the wind ,in the shack -probably Victor Seastrom's silent movie influence- becomes an enemy .


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