5.9/10
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6 user 3 critic

The Mugger (1958)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | November 1958 (USA)
An unidentified city is plagued by a mysterious mugger who attacks women at night, steals their purses, and cuts them on their left cheek. A police shrink, Dr. Pete Graham, is called in ... See full summary »

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(novel) (as Ed McBain),
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Dr. Pete Graham
... Claire Townsend
... Eddie Baxter
... Fats Donner
... Sergeant Cassidy
... Jim Kelly
... Chief of Police
... Jack Skippy Randolph
Bert Thorn ... Franklin Corey
Albert Dannibal ... Officer Connelly
Connie Van Ess ... Katherine Elio
... Jeannie Page
Joan Morgan
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Storyline

An unidentified city is plagued by a mysterious mugger who attacks women at night, steals their purses, and cuts them on their left cheek. A police shrink, Dr. Pete Graham, is called in when one of the mugger's victims turns up dead. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

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Crime | Drama | Thriller

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Approved
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Release Date:

November 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mutilador de rostros  »

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Film debut of Renée Taylor. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quite enjoyable and worth seeing despite a low budget.
24 August 2012 | by See all my reviews

"The Mugger" is a low-budget sleeper of a cop film from the late 1950s--the tail end of the American film-noir era. While the film doesn't have any major stars, the story is VERY modern for 1958 and might surprise you. Plus, it's a dandy little story about police profilers and a nasty case that's got everyone stumped.

Kent Smith was a very reliable actor who mostly was a supporting actor and star in Bs. In this film, he plays the lead, a police psychiatrist that's been called in to deal with a strange series of attacks. They involve women who were mugged and then slashed on the left side of the face--not a deep slash, but serious nevertheless. His job is to help determine what sort of guy would do this--the profile of what they should be looking for in the case. The story is compact, very interesting, takes a few nice detours to throw the audience off the scent and gets even more interesting when there is a murder. I'd say more but I don't want to give away the plot.

There were many good reasons I enjoyed the film--most of which boil down to dandy writing. The dialog was very snappy, there were some funny little touches (such as the blonde victim who REALLY liked Smith) and the film's not beating around the bush too much in discussing crime. You'll hear words like 'rape' and 'sexual attack' in the film and there is also a bit about a pregnant woman--stuff that the more permissive 50s films STILL rarely ever discussed but which made the movie much more realistic. I also enjoyed some of the supporting players--such as the way the policewoman handled herself in the park. Well worth seeing and a nice opportunity for Smith to show he was a very good actor with a likable style. The only negative at all I noticed was the confrontation scene at the end--who would confront a killer while the killer is driving the car?! Talk about a recipe for disaster! Oh, and the best line in the film: "Is he a friend of yours? He's in little pieces now".


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