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The Killer Is Loose (1956)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  2 March 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,034 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 21 critic

An unhinged, deceptively mild-mannered bank robber escapes prison, seeking revenge on the cop who accidentally killed his wife during a gun battle.



(screenplay), (from a story by), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Detective Sam Wagner
Lila Wagner
Leon 'Foggy' Poole
Denny (as Alan Hale)
Detective Chris Gillespie
John Larch ...
Otto Flanders
Dee J. Thompson ...
Grace Flanders
John Beradino ...
Virginia Christine ...
Paul Bryar ...
Greg Boyd


A savings-and-loan bank is robbed; later, a police wiretap identifies teller Leon Poole as inside man. In capturing him, detective Sam Wagner accidentally kills Poole's young wife, and at his trial Poole swears vengeance against Wagner. About three years later, Poole (until then a model prisoner) abruptly takes his chance to kill a guard and escape. It's clear during the ensuing manhunt that Poole is obsessed in pursuit of a single end; but not quite the end everyone supposes. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bank | escape | detective | prison | trial | See All (32) »


He was no ordinary killer... She was no ordinary victim... This is no ordinary motion picture! See more »


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 March 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blutige Hände  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)
See  »

Did You Know?


When the police cars are shown at the roadblock, they are clearly Highway Patrol vehicles. Afterwards, Wagner is shown meeting with State Policemen. See more »


Referenced in Trapped Ashes (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Corey, the man with a murderous mission, could give you nightmares
17 November 2003 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

Wendell Corey is superb in this. He's scary in the title role. In some ways, the costume or prop department deserves a lot of credit, because the glasses he wears makes him seem bland yet steady and menacing.

Joseph Cotten and Rhonda Fleming are not convincing cast as a cop and pregnant wife. Ms. Fleming seems ready to burst out of some of her costumes; but not in areas where babies are carried.

Both are good, though. John Larch and Dee J. Thompson are a c couple in the killer's path who are extremely hard to find sympathetic -- as unappealing the script calls for them to be.

Everyone is good in this frightening noir.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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