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The Prowler (1951)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,325 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 26 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)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
John Maxwell ...
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 California, the gorgeous housewife Susan Gilvray glances at a prowler outside her house in a wasteland and she calls the police. Officer Webb Garwood and his partner attend the call and do not find anyone. Later Webb returns to her house with the pretext of checking if everything is OK with Susan and she invites him to drink a coffee with her. Soon he learns that Susan is married with John Gilvray, a middle age broadcaster of a late night radio show. Further, they discover that they are from the same homeland. Webb hits on Susan and soon they have a love affair. But when John suspects of Susan, their relationship comes to an end. Webb plots a scheme to get rid off John and he kills John simulating an accident. Webb goes on trial and is considered not-guilty for the murder of John. Webb quits the police and manipulates John's brother to get close to Susan again. He learns that John could not have children and their marriage was not perfect. Webb meets Susan and convinces her that he... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


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Details

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Release Date:

3 December 1951 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Cost of Living  »

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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

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 »

Connections

Featured in Kika (1993) 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

 
A "Must See" Noir Film to Feast Upon - Again and Again!
19 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I purchased, "The Prowler" on DVD a few years ago. It includes several extras, with a full length, excellent commentary by Noir expert, Eddie Muller. Van Heflin gives a stellar performance as a cynical police officer who doesn't "protect and serve" anyone other than himself. Officer Webb Garwood (Heflin) blames all of the people along the way in his life, for the fact that he isn't a great success. He is a shiftless and lazy character who sees the finer things in life as his, for the taking. The film opens with Garwood and his partner, Officer Bud Crocker (John Maxwell) responding to the home where a prowler has been reported. Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes) has just finished bathing, and tells the officers she saw a prowler. Bud Crocker is a true-blue cop who loves his job and treats Mrs. Gilvray with courtesy and respect. Garwood doesn't really believe there was a prowler, and doesn't care if there was; for then he might have to do some actual work! Susan's somewhat older husband hosts an all night radio program and thus, she is alone. The Gilvrays are financially secure, but Susan the woman, is insecure. Evelyn Keyes shines in the role of Susan! The body language gives credence to the two main characters, who otherwise might have seemed contrived and caricatured. Webb sees an opening for himself with the vulnerable housewife who is left alone each night. She isn't QUITE alone, as the radio is always on. Her husband's voice (doing his idiotic radio show) in the background, provides a level of quirky tension to the goings-on in the Gilvray residence! I certainly won't give anything more, but hopefully I've given just enough of the plot from, "The Prowler", to interest you! I have seen Van Heflin in numerous films, and he is wonderful; playing a guy choosing to do the "right thing" in those films. Heflin's off the chart performance as Webb Garwood is the complete antithesis of the Van Heflin roles I was familiar with. It's an absolute joy to see him in the role of a morally bankrupt cop who hates the world and wants something for nothing! Evelyn Keyes bangs it out of the park in her role as Susan Gilvray. Keyes wanted a role she could sink her teeth into. She'll leave you with some bite marks, too; giving a believable performance as a married woman without children, and lonely. She has morals, and tries to believe she is happy with her life. Webb Garwood senses her vulnerability and pounces, figuratively and literally. "The Prowler" is fun-fun-fun from start to finish. See it, love it and own it!


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