The Killer Is Loose

The Killer Is Loose

Infobox Film
name = The Killer Is Loose

image_size =
caption = Theatrical poster
director = Budd Boetticher
producer = Robert L. Jacks
writer = Story:
John Hawkins
Ward Hawkins
Harold Medford
narrator =
starring = Joseph Cotten
music = Lionel Newman
cinematography = Lucien Ballard
editing = George A. Gittens
distributor = United Artists
released = March 2 1956
runtime = 73 minutes
country = United States
language = English
amg_id = 1:97713
imdb_id = 0049405

"The Killer Is Loose" is a 1956 crime film noir directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Joseph Cotten, Rhonda Fleming and Wendell Corey. cite web |url= |title=New York Times: The Killer Is Loose |accessdate=2008-08-17|work=New York Times]


An employee for a savings and loan desperate for cash plans and successfully robs a bank as an inside job. At first bank employee Poole is considered a hero during the bank robbery but the police quickly figure out he's involved in the crime. The police catch up with Poole and his young wife at their apartment. Poole's wife is shot to death accidentally. Poole is sent to prison.

While behind bars, Poole plans his escape and revenge on the men that killed his wife.


* Joseph Cotten as Det. Sam Wagner
* Rhonda Fleming as Lila Wagner
* Wendell Corey as Leon 'Foggy' Poole
* Alan Hale Jr. as Denny, Detective (as Alan Hale)
* Michael Pate as Det. Chris Gillespie
* John Larch as Otto Flanders
* Dee J. Thompson as Grace Flanders
* John Beradino as Mac, Plainclothes Cop
* Virginia Christine as Mary Gillespie
* Paul Bryar as Greg Boyd, policeman

Critical reaction

New York Times reviewer Bosley Crowther found nothing original about the film calling the lead actors (Cotten and Corey) "first rate" and the crime film "third rate." [ [ Crowther, Bosley] . "New York Times," film review March 3 1956.]

Critic Bruce Eder gave a more favorable review and wrote, "Budd Boetticher was a filmmaker of consummate skill and many surprises, as anyone who's seen his best Western dramas can attest. "The Killer Is Loose" (1956) only enhances his reputation in a totally unrelated genre, and in a stylistic mode that's about as far as he could get from his most familiar work. Using a cast of conventional -- albeit top-flight -- Hollywood professionals, Boetticher takes them out of the studio and puts them into an almost totally location-shot drama, and turns them loose in that naturalistic setting. The result is an array of performances that are as arresting as the script is filled with improbabilities; indeed, the narrative momentum of Boetticher's direction, coupled with a handful of excellent performances, overcomes a script that is just a little too heavy on coincidences to otherwise play true." [amg movie|id=1:97713|title=The Killer Is Loose.]

More recently, critic Dennis Schwartz wrote, "A typical 1950s noir, distinguished by its rapid pace and taut script, that delves mainly into the character of the villain -- making him out to be someone who went over-the-edge when he couldn't take being ridiculed as a failure, anymore...The suburban atmosphere and the no-nonsense style of telling the story add to the blandness of the story and the failure to elicit anything out of the ordinary to the build-up of the suspense that comes with the climax. The result is a watchable film which could be seen for the sense of nostalgia of the 1950s it evokes, a time when it was more receptive for noir to work as well as it does." [ [ Schwartz, Dennis] . "Ozus' World Movie Reviews," film review, July 12 1999. Last accessed: August 30 2008.]


External links

* [ "The Killer Is Loose"] at Film Noir of the Week

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