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The Killer Is Loose (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | February 1956 (USA)
An unhinged, deceptively mild-mannered bank robber escapes prison, seeking revenge on the cop who accidentally killed his wife during a gun battle.

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(screenplay), (from a story by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Detective Sam Wagner
...
Lila Wagner
...
Leon 'Foggy' Poole
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Denny (as Alan Hale)
...
Detective Chris Gillespie
...
Otto Flanders
Dee J. Thompson ...
Grace Flanders
...
Mac
...
...
Greg Boyd
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bank | escape | detective | prison | trial | See All (37) »

Taglines:

The Story of a Cop Who Used His Wife as Bait for a Killer! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blutige Hände  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Sam takes Lila to stay at the Gillespie's house, the exterior shot of the house shows the front door as having a darker frame with lighter colored panels. In the next interior shot, the door is all the same color. The large living room window is also different between interior and exterior shots. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Trapped Ashes (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Budd Boetticher B
21 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Killer is Loose" is a 1956 B film directed by Budd Boetticher, and it's pretty good. It stars Wendell Corey as Leon Poole, a man who is working in a bank when a robbery occurs. It doesn't take long for the police to determine that he's the inside man. They go to his house to arrest him, and he refuses to answer the door, shooting through it. The police break in, the lights are off, and Detective Wagner (Joseph Cotten) sees a form emerging from the bedroom and shoots, killing Poole's wife. When Poole is sentenced, he promises to pay Wagner back for killing her.

I've never understood what happened to Joseph Cotten's career, but by the '50s, he was appearing in B movies after being part of so many important films in the '40s. He's good in this, as is the beautiful Rhonda Fleming, who plays his wife. Corey is excellent as Poole, a disturbed man with a flat affect; he never knew any happiness until he got married and goes crazy when his wife is taken from him.

Good noir.


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