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The Prowler (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | 25 May 1951 (USA)
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.

Director:

Joseph Losey

Writers:

Robert Thoeren (story), Hans Wilhelm (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Van Heflin ... Webb Garwood
Evelyn Keyes ... Susan Gilvray
John Maxwell ... Bud Crocker
Katherine Warren ... Grace Crocker (as Katharine Warren)
Emerson Treacy ... William Gilvray
Madge Blake ... Martha Gilvray
Wheaton Chambers Wheaton Chambers ... Doctor James
Robert Osterloh ... Coroner
Sherry Hall Sherry Hall ... John Gilvray
Louise Lorimer ... Motel Manager
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Storyline

In a fancy suburb in California, the gorgeous housewife Susan Gilvray finds a prowler outside her house late one night and she calls the police. Officer Webb Garwood and his partner answer the call but do not find anyone. Later Webb returns to Susan's house with the pretext of checking if everything is OK. Susan invites him in to have coffee with her. Webb soon learns that Susan is married to John Gilvray, a middle-aged broadcaster of a late night radio show. They also discover that they are from the same hometown. Webb makes a pass at Susan and even though she tries to put him off they soon start a love affair. When John becomes suspicious Susan ends her relationship with Webb. Though difficult Webb stays away from Susan. Without Susan's knowledge Webb plots a scheme to get rid of John; he simulates a scenario where John is "accidently" shot dead. There is an inquest and it is ruled that John Gilvray's death was not intentional. Webb quits the police-force a job he was never happy ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cost of Living See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Horizon Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Another (uncredited) crew member of this film who got caught up in the red scare and blacklist of the time was John Hubley who designed the interiors for the Gilvray's stylish hacienda and the ramshackle house in Calico. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, Susan closes the blind in the bathroom with Webb standing outside. She does not close it all the way, leaving a couple of inches of the glass exposed at the bottom through which you can still see Webb's badge. But, in the next shot from outside, the blind is completely closed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bud Crocker: [to Webb while they walk up to the house] Quite a hacienda.
[rings doorbell]
Susan Gilvray: Oh, thank you so much for coming.
Bud Crocker: You report a prowler ma'am?
Susan Gilvray: Yes, about twenty minutes ago. I looked up and there was this man looking in the window.
Bud Crocker: Which window?
Susan Gilvray: It was one of the back windows.
Bud Crocker: Well there's an empty lot on that side isn't there?
Susan Gilvray: Yes. When he saw that I'd seen him, he jumped away from the window and I-I phoned you.
[...]
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)
See more »

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User Reviews

The sleeping tiger
5 March 2012 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

One of the many great films noirs the director made in the fifties ,which would culminate in "time without pity" :and a very successful one, thanks to Van Heflin,who at first sight seems a helpful affable cop whereas he is actually a cupid embittered man:he was not given the chance to study at the university and he became a policeman by default.He must have gone through hard times :when the woman invites him for dinner ,he catches all that he can on his way to the dining room.

In its second part the movie recalls Fritz Lang's "You only live twice "(after "the prowler" ,Losey remade "M"),but with a big difference : Lang's heroes are both victims of an unfair society whereas Susan is completely innocent (as far as the crime is concerned)but her new husband is dangerous ,verging on paranoia (the scene when you hear the dead speak on the record is stunning).It's perhaps one of the rare movies in which a baby becomes a living threat.Even the wind ,in the shack -probably Victor Seastrom's silent movie influence- becomes an enemy .


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