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The Killer Is Loose (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 7 April 1956 (Italy)
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
Otto Flanders
Dee J. Thompson ...
Grace Flanders
John Beradino ...
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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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:

7 April 1956 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Blutige Hände  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)
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Did You Know?


The rear view mirror inside Sam Wagner's Ford is missing during the interior shots, but visible from the outside shots. See more »


Referenced in Trapped Ashes (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Strong Film
26 February 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Killer is Loose, The (1956)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Budd Boetticher directed this highly intense police drama, which certainly deserves to be better known than it is. In the film, a bank robber (Wendell Corey) gets away from the scene of the crime but a detective (Joseph Cotten) tracks him down to his apartment. When the detective breaks the door in he accidentally kills the man's wife (Rhonda Fleming). The robber is eventually sent to prison but he escapes and plans his revenge by killing the detective's wife. There are plenty of twists and turns in this little gem that contains a huge amount of suspense and some terrific direction by Boetticher. This was the first film I've seen from the director but I'll certainly be seeking more out. Cotton is very good in his role as is Fleming but the film belongs to Corey as the deranged psychopath. He gives a wonderfully creepy performance and really adds a lot to the film. The start of the film in the apartment is wonderfully done but it's the ending that really packs a terrific punch. Hopefully this thing will hit DVD at some point.

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