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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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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

Certificate:

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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Taken out of context
18 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

****SPOILERS**** A number of women have been attacked in the city over the last two months where they were mugged of their handbags and had their left cheek slashed by the mugger. Dr. Pete Graham, Kent Smith, a police psychiatrist, after interviewing a number of the mugging victims thinks that the reasons for the muggings is not money but for some kind of sexual gratification on the part of the mugger. Even when we see the mugger in action he looks more like a secret service agent, with his sunglasses and tailored cloths, then your average mugger.

Were introduced early in the movie to Eddie, James Franciscus, a cabbie who's a friend of Dr. Graham and his family his wife Molly, Dolores Sutton, and her younger sister Jeannie, Sandra Church who's having an on and off again affair with Eddie's next door neighbor Grecco, George Maharis. We see right away that there's some connection with the mugger and Eddie's family members, especially Jeannie but just what kind of connection is it?

The mugging of women continue and later in the movie there's a break in the case when it's found out that a certain criminal Skippy Randolph, Arthur Storch, was released from jail in Chicago on July 29. Skippy committed the same crimes that are happening here in town and the crimes just began on July 29. After being arrested and checked out it's found out that Skippy was not involved in the muggings so who can the mugger be?

"The Mugger" is one of those films with a double-plot to it which you don't notice until the very end of the movie. Dr. Graham and the police track down the mugger later in the film but before they do Jeannie becomes a victim but unlike the other mugging victims she ends up being murdered. The film is extremely complicated for a run of the mill crime movie with a surprise ending that exposes the killer of Jeannie but not before the mugger responsible for the earlier crimes was apprehended.

It turns out that Jeannie's killer took advantage of the muggings for cover to kill her and then have him, the mugger, blamed for her death. Unknown to him he was seen with Jeannie the night that she was killed by an undercover policewoman Claire Thownsond, Nan Martin, who was at the dance club shadowing her.

What really floored me was how the killer just went to pieces when he was confronted by Dr. Graham and Policewoman Thownsond with his whereabouts the night of Jeannie's death. I was also surprised how irresponsible both of them, Grahm & Thownsond, were by risking their lives with the killer in a position to where he could have easily have killed them! When all they had to do was have him arrested later at his home where they and the police knew where he lived.

The ending of the movie was a bit off the wall with the killer being chased by the police as he was chasing a ferry and jumps to his death as he missed his ride and gets chopped to ribbons by the ship's propellers. All right the killer wasn't all there and was desperate trying to escape from the police but why risk, and lose, his life trying to get to the ferry! Even if the killer made it he would have been arrested by the police on the other side of the river who were waiting for him?


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