IMDb > The Prowler (1951)
The Prowler
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Prowler (1951) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 3 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.3/10   1,276 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Robert Thoeren (story) and
Hans Wilhelm (story)
View company contact information for The Prowler on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 December 1951 (Sweden) See more »
Watch out for THE PROWLER See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Never sells the central relationship and as a result is weak from the core See more (24 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Van Heflin ... Webb Garwood

Evelyn Keyes ... 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 ... Coroner
Sherry Hall ... John Gilvray
Louise Lorimer ... Motel Manager
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herbert Anderson ... Reporter (uncredited)
Louise Bates ... Evelyn James - Doctor's Wife (uncredited)
Jack Baxley ... Juryman (uncredited)
Benny Burt ... Journalist (uncredited)
Steve Carruthers ... Mr. Talbot (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Spectator at Coroner's Inquest (uncredited)
Alan Harris ... Clerk (uncredited)
Fred Hoose ... Jury Foreman (uncredited)
Jane Howard ... Mrs. Talbot (uncredited)
Tiny Jones ... Airline Passenger (uncredited)

George Nader ... Photographer (uncredited)
Bill Neff ... Airline Clerk (uncredited)
William J. O'Brien ... Coroner's Juryman (uncredited)

Dalton Trumbo ... John Gilvray (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Joseph Losey 
Writing credits
Robert Thoeren (story) and
Hans Wilhelm (story)

Hugo Butler (screenplay)

Dalton Trumbo  screenplay (originally uncredited)

Produced by
Sam Spiegel .... producer (as S.P. Eagle)
Original Music by
Lyn Murray 
Cinematography by
Arthur C. Miller (director of photography) (as Arthur Miller)
Film Editing by
Paul Weatherwax 
Casting by
Jack Murton (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Boris Leven 
Set Decoration by
Jacques Mapes 
Makeup Department
Marie Clark .... hair stylist
Production Management
Joseph H. Nadel .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Aldrich .... assistant director
Sound Department
Ben Winkler .... sound (as Benny Winkler)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Maria P. Donovan .... wardrobe stylist (as Maria Donovan)
Music Department
Irving Friedman .... musical director
Lyn Murray .... conductor
Fred Steiner .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Gladys Hill .... dialogue director
Samuel Rheiner .... assistant to producer
Don Weis .... script supervisor
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:92 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

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 »
Continuity: The first time the police ring the doorbell at the Gilvray house, the sound of the bell is not heard. The next two times the bell is rung, the sound of the bell is heard.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Trumbo (2007)See more »
BabySee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Never sells the central relationship and as a result is weak from the core, 30 June 2013
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Lonely housewife Susan Gilvray calls the police when she thinks she sees a prowler outside her bathroom window late one night; her husband works as a late night radio presenter and thus she is alone. The police check it out and can do very little but one of them, Webb Garwood, returns later that night to "check in on her". Finding common ground with her, they share a few more evenings of "checking in" as a relationship grows between them. Eventually the pressure builds on Susan to divorce her husband but this poses all sorts of problems and Webb starts planning alternatives.

I watched this film without knowing much about it beyond the title; so when the main characters are introduced I really didn't even know if they were the main characters or not, or where the film was going with them. Part of the reason I felt like this was that I didn't think the characters worked and I couldn't get into the relationship between them. From the very start Webb is really creepily overly familiar and pushy and he is this way to the point that I didn't believe that Susan would let him stay in the house. This continued across the whole first half of the film and I never really believed it. Webb occasionally is friendly and normal but as a character he really doesn't have the charisma to sell this intrusion and rapid affair. The character of Susan sort of helps because she is timid, lonely and slightly nervous – so as a dynamic maybe this is why such a pushy guy would make inroads as he does.

The plot gradual turns to darker twists but even at this point I didn't buy it. The actions and motivations of the characters felt like things that were written rather than things that these characters would really do – in particular some of the bigger plot points felt like a matter of moving the story along. The second half is a bit better because events drive the narrative and as such these engage more easily, but it was a shame that the first half was weak because this is the core of the film. The two-hander with Heflin and Keyes should have been as thrilling as the later events but the writing of the characters don't give them the material to work with and neither really nail the relationship dynamics between their characters.

This is the problem with the film and it is one that it never escapes. The central relationship never feels convincing and because this is where all the events stem from, they are built on weak foundations. The events of the second half provide some interest and pace but generally it is not a great film thanks to it not getting the basics right from the start.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (24 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Prowler (1951)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Great movie, but I saw 2 plot holes (I need a expert in law) (spoilers). kbd1
Loved it, BUT (Spoilers) tsegal-1
The Prowler diego-24
And what happened then? XLCH1000
Who Played the Judge? Sproketer
Coming to TCM... karloff49
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Dr. Monica Micki + Maude Due Date Jessica No Man of Her Own
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.