6.7/10
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36 user 28 critic

The Killer Is Loose (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | February 1956 (USA)
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

Taglines:

The Story of a Cop Who Used His Wife as Bait for a Killer! 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

 
Very mixed bag, the best parts making it worth the worst of it!
9 December 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Killer is Loose (1956)

The first hour of this movie is really tight, very believable, nicely low key but still with some narrative excitement. Joseph Cotten is very good, and if the filming is straight forward, it's effective all the same. Then the last twenty minutes come along and what is supposed to be high drama (very intense stuff) is just so clumsy and fake you can't believe it's the same movie.

That, in a nutshell, is what will strike you. There are some elements of a cop being loyal to his job and the cop's wife not liking being a cop's wife. And the bad buy, a weirdly detached and offbeat killer, is played to perfection by Wendell Corey. There's even a cross dressing moment at the end which is fun and almost high camp.

But now I'm dredging for dollars. Enjoy the ride, but don't expect too too much.


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