6.7/10
1,294
36 user 27 critic

The Killer Is Loose (1956)

An unhinged, deceptively mild-mannered bank robber escapes prison, seeking revenge on the cop who accidentally killed his wife during a gun battle.

Director:

Budd Boetticher

Writers:

Harold Medford (screenplay), John Hawkins (from a story by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joseph Cotten ... Detective Sam Wagner
Rhonda Fleming ... Lila Wagner
Wendell Corey ... Leon 'Foggy' Poole
Alan Hale Jr. ... Denny (as Alan Hale)
Michael Pate ... Detective Chris Gillespie
John Larch ... Otto Flanders
Dee J. Thompson Dee J. Thompson ... Grace Flanders
John Beradino ... Mac
Virginia Christine ... Mary Gillespie
Paul Bryar ... 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:

He was no ordinary killer... She was no ordinary victim... This is no ordinary motion picture! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blutige Hände See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Crown Productions (II) 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?

Goofs

When the police cars are shown at the roadblock, they are clearly Highway Patrol vehicles. Afterwards, Wagner is shown meeting with State Policemen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Trapped Ashes (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Some great stuff, but abounding in HUGE plot holes and dumb characterizations
2 February 2007 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

First, I must point out that the role Wendell Corey played was exceptional. Usually, Corey was relegated to supporting roles but here he is what helps carry this very limp film. Without him and the character he played, the film would have been a lot worse--hardly meriting a 2 or 3.

So why did I hate the rest of the film so much? Well, one of my pet peeves is when characters act "too stupid to live". You can't base major plot points on the assumption that your major characters are completely stupid (unless having a brain injury is part of the plot, of course). But this is exactly what happens in this film. Wendell Corey is a crazed man who has murdered three innocent people and they know his next target is Joseph Cotten's wife. So what do they do? Yep, they provide really inadequate police protection and a plan that makes no sense at all (no marksman and guys with shotguns that are so far away they probably WON'T stop this madman). And if this isn't bad enough, the marked woman inexplicably runs away from her hiding place and walks right into the WORST possible place she could be! Is anyone THAT stupid?!?! Arrrggghhhh---I hate when movies have such dumb characters. In fact, I found myself rooting for Corey since I felt the idiots deserved to die for their behaviors! In addition to these clichéd characters, there was also a bit player who fainted. Sure, seeing your husband shot MIGHT cause someone to faint, however in real life this is a rare occurrence--people rarely faint unless there is a medical reason. So, combining this with the above character problems is a real nightmare for people who are looking for realism--something Film Noir movies MUST have.

All these serious problems are even more infuriating since Wendell Corey's character is amazingly well-written and conceived. It was his chance to shine as an actor--too bad the rest of the movie was so limp that Corey and the basic plot idea are sunk. This is one film that could really use a remake--but this time without brainless characters.


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