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Without Warning! (1952)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 8 May 1952 (USA)
Quiet, unobtrusive LA citizen Carl Martin picks up look-alikes for his estranged blonde wife and murders them with garden shears.

Director:

Arnold Laven

Writers:

William Raynor (story) (as Bill Raynor), William Raynor (screenplay) (as Bill Raynor)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Adam Williams ... Carl Martin
Meg Randall ... Jane Saunders
Edward Binns ... Lt. Pete Hamilton
Harlan Warde ... Police Detective Sgt. Don Warde
John Maxwell ... Fred Saunders
Angela Stevens ... Blonde
Byron Kane ... Police Chemist Charlie Wilkins
Charles Tannen ... Wolf
Marilee Phelps Marilee Phelps ... Virginia
Robert Foulk ... Wilson, Motel Manager
Connie Vera Connie Vera ... Carmelita
Robert Shayne ... Dr. Werner, Police Psychiatrist
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Storyline

Carl Martin is a morose and deranged Los Angeles gardener, who,in retribution for the infidelity of his unfaithful wife, sets about to kill as many blonde's as he can. From the time the film opens, to the sound of a radio turned up full-blast over the still-warm corpse of a blonde, the audience knows the identity of the killer. The film depicts, with documentary realism as it was shot on location in and around Los Angeles, how the police, using laboratory techniques against the few clues they have, track down Martin. Their key clue is a spring from a pair of garden shears. The police move in just as Martin is about to add Jane Saunders, the daughter of a greenhouse owner, to his long list of victims. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He can't help it... When they kiss him he loses control... AND HAS TO KILL! (US half-sheet) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 May 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Story Without a Name See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Allart Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Marilee Phelps, who plays Virginia, the undercover policewoman who Carl (Adam Williams) takes on the long ride, was Adam Williams' wife at the time this movie was made. Lee Phelps, the uncredited actor who plays "Doc," the police coroner, was Marilee Phelps' father (and Adam Williams" father-in-law). See more »

Goofs

As Lt. Hamilton and Sgt. Warde talk to the police captain, they hand him a neat police file which he opens. As the camera cuts for a closer look, he's suddenly holding a bunch of papers. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Breaking Bad: Sunset (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Without Warning! (1952)
3 January 2012 | by MartinTellerSee all my reviews

Like THE SNIPER and HE WALKED BY NIGHT, this film follows both the police and the serial killer they're trying to catch. And it lives up to that standard of quality. As usual, the procedural elements are the weakest parts, with nice attention to detail but rather dry and routine (the corny voice-over, the forensic evidence, the false confessions, the rounding up of the usual suspects, the psychological profiling, the dead-end leads and near misses). But the film absolutely shines when dealing with the killer. Adam Williams (recognizable as the baby-faced baddie from NORTH BY NORTHWEST) is creepy without being at all silly, an air of quiet danger hangs over him. There's a thick tension and dread as he stalks his victims and evades the authorities, with those conflicted moments when you almost don't want him to get caught. The supporting performances are not as memorable, but overall quite solid without anything to complain about. The photography is generally excellent, with terrific use of close-ups and a lot of good location work. Nice score as well. Well-paced and riveting film with some very fine qualities, a nice hidden gem. I'll be buying this one.


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