16 user 12 critic

Without Warning! (1952)

Quiet, unobtrusive LA citizen Carl Martin picks up look-alikes for his estranged blonde wife and murders them with garden shears.


Arnold Laven


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

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

More Like This 

Manhandled (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The secretary to a phony psychiatrist finds herself caught up in the murder of a patient's wife and realizes that her life is also in danger.

Director: Lewis R. Foster
Stars: Dan Duryea, Dorothy Lamour, Sterling Hayden
Vice Squad (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Police procedural film following a few cases assigned to LAPD captain of detectives Barney Barnaby.

Director: Arnold Laven
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Paulette Goddard, K.T. Stevens
Raw Deal (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Joe Sullivan has taken the rap for Rick who double-crosses him with a flawed escape plan and other means intended to get rid of him.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A veteran homicide detective who has witnessed his socialite girlfriend kill her husband sees his inexperienced brother assigned to the case.

Director: Felix E. Feist
Stars: Lee J. Cobb, Jane Wyatt, John Dall
Loan Shark (1952)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

At the request of factory owners and union leaders, a tough ex-con infiltrates a gang of loan sharks who are preying on financially desperate factory workers.

Director: Seymour Friedman
Stars: George Raft, Dorothy Hart, Paul Stewart
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The day before a man is to be executed, his alcoholic father shows up to try to prove his innocence.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Ann Todd, Leo McKern
City of Fear (1959)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A vicious killer escapes from San Quentin with a cannister of what he believes to be heroin but is actually a radioactive substance that threatens all Los Angeles.

Director: Irving Lerner
Stars: Vince Edwards, Lyle Talbot, John Archer
Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An alien creature stalks human prey.

Director: Greydon Clark
Stars: Jack Palance, Martin Landau, Tarah Nutter
Uptight (1968)
Certificate: M Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Black revolutionaries are betrayed by one of their own. Based on the 1935 classic, "The Informer."

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Raymond St. Jacques, Ruby Dee, Frank Silvera
The Well (1951)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A small, racially-mixed American town succumbs to violence and utter mayhem after a white man suspected of kidnapping a missing black girl is released by the white authority.

Directors: Leo C. Popkin, Russell Rouse
Stars: Gwendolyn Laster, Richard Rober, Maidie Norman
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A poor but beautiful woman sets her sights on rising to the top, and lets nothing stand in her way - including murder.

Director: Ken Hughes
Stars: Arlene Dahl, Philip Carey, Herbert Marshall


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 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


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


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


Passed | See all certifications »






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


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Michael Fox. See more »


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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Undeservedly obscure thriller kills!
20 December 2005 | by dhogan-2See all my reviews

I'd been aware of this film's existence for some years, and although I never imagined it to be a classic, it did seem promising, given the highly competent Levy-Gardner-Laven team (The Rifleman, The Monster That Challenged the World, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue), and Adam Williams, a young character actor (The Big Heat, North by Northwest, The Space Children)I've always enjoyed.

On the most basic level, Dark Sky Films has put together a splendid, bargain-price DVD presenting a 35mm print that is flawless, except for a single, brief "cut" in the film stock late in the story. Otherwise, this b&w thriller is pristine, even shimmering, without speck, scratch or other visible flaw. Where has this print been all these years--Fort Knox? I was stunned by its beauty. A photo gallery is a pleasing extra, and the menu is imaginatively augmented with visual and audio snippets. Open the case and the inner sleeve is decorated with original ad art and a scene from the film.

As a murder thriller with strong overtones of police procedural (complete with v/o narration by the fabulous Reed Hadley), Without Warning is superior stuff, with effectively understated performances, smart, concise direction and plenty of suspense and surprise, including a shock moment near the beginning that will knock you back in your chair.

Williams is creepily attractive (or maybe attractively creepy) as the quiet, psychotic killer of women, with character vet Ed Binns appealingly dogged as the working-stiff police detective assigned to bring the monster to heel. Meg Randall is pleasant and convincing as the central female character(who ends up in considerable peril), and there's a nice turn (in this UA release) by pretty Columbia contract player Angela Stevens (Three Stooges shorts, Creature with the Atom Brain, lots of westerns), as a good-time girl who comes to a bad end.

As other reviewers have commented, Without Warning also is an invaluable visual and aural record of vanished Los Angeles, particularly Chavez Ravine. As archaeology alone, then, the picture is fascinating.

I can't emphasize enough the pleasure and satisfaction Without Warning provides. It's worthy on multiple levels; grab it!

33 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed