The Prowler

1951

Drama / Film-Noir / Thriller

46
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 2,554

Synopsis


Downloaded 7,474 times
June 8, 2019

Director

Cast

Dalton Trumbo as John Gilvray
Evelyn Keyes as Susan Gilvray
Madge Blake as Exasperated Lady on Train
Van Heflin as Peter Denver
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
768.44 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
92 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.46 GB
1920×1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
92 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by melvelvit-1 9 / 10 / 10

This gris world is pure noir

Patrolman Webb Garwood (Van Heflin), called to the upscale home of a late night radio DJ to investigate a reported prowler, covets the man's wife (Evelyn Keyes) and lifestyle and proceeds, through seduction, manipulation, and murder, to attain them with ironic results... Alain Silver, in his "Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference To The American Style", notes that "like most of Losey's American films, THE PROWLER is concerned with complex social issues, which make it marginal to the film noir series." I couldn't agree more that using Film Noir to enlighten dilutes the dark universe the cycle represents but in this case that's a moot point. THE PROWLER doesn't examine social issues, complex or otherwise, and isn't an indictment of America in the mid-twentieth century as much as it is an expose of modern life itself with all its banality and dull aspiration. Better yet, there are no explanations, causes, or, thankfully, remedies offered for the ultimately empty American Dream. Existentially, there's no escape for the outwardly normal anti-hero who is, ironically, a psychopath sworn to "protect and serve" the very ideals he doesn't share. Lonely housewives in unhappy marriages, failed dreams of stardom and college scholarships, soulless ambition for mediocre achievement hidden beneath deceptive outward appearances, and hopes for a future (linked to a motor court) that isn't much better than the past or present all serve to point up the futility of upward mobility. In a bitter irony, Garwood has perverted the American dream but, once attained, that very dream becomes inverted and its ultimate reward (creating a family) proves his undoing. That the birth takes place in a desert ghost town perfectly illustrates a wasteland where everyone is either unfeeling, unsuspecting or dull-witted ...and everything's nothing, really. In its depiction of a monotonous, gray world, THE PROWLER is pure Film Noir and Joseph Losey skillfully conveyed the often pervasive sense of dissatisfaction and ennui with bourgeoisie life but, because of his off screen politics, the film was unfairly tarred with the same brush that derailed the director's career in Hollywood.

Reviewed by Spikeopath 8 / 10 / 10

Edgy noir piece in desperate need of a wider audience.

Van Heflin plays Webb Garwood, a grumpy and unhappy cop who is called to investigate a suspected prowler at the home of Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes). Garwood is smitten with the young and attractive woman from the off, and sensing her marriage to a late night radio personality is far from happy, he sets about wooing her, obsessively. It's the start of a coupling that is going to travel down a particularly dark road. The film opens quite brilliantly with a quick shift of tone, Susan Gilvary is pampering herself in her bathroom, we see her from the window, domestic contentedness. This shot is accompanied by jaunty and jolly music, but then in the blink of an eye, she spies something out the window (it's us you know), a scream, the music becomes troubled and she draws the blind. Welcome to Joseph Losey's creepy skin itcher, The Prowler. Very much a two character piece, The Prowler flips the favoured femme fatale formula around to great effect. Here it's the male protagonist that is the seducer, a cop no less, the abuse of power hanging heavy over proceedings like, yes, some "prowler" lurking in your back garden. It's made clear to us very early on that Garwood is troubled, he's up to no good, with a snarl here and a shifty smirk there, we just know that poor Susan is under threat from a man meant to protect her. Yet in a perverse piece of writing, Garwood surely does love Susan, but the bile within and the skew whiff way he now views the world-and his place within it, has ultimately made him a most dangerous anti-hero. It's evident that the makers here are wryly observing, but without preaching about, the shady underbelly of the American dream, the social differences of the two characters a most intriguing aspect of the story. As is the shift from the affluent setting of the Gilvray home in the first half of the piece, to the finale played out amongst the ghost towns in the Mojave Desert. The desolation of the landscape has rarely been so apt in a noirish world. Technically The Prowler boasts high quality. Losey's direction is tight and holds the viewer in a vice like grip, while the art direction from Boris Leven is superb, particularly in that first quarter as the bright Gilvray house is cloaked in sparse darkness. But it's with Heflin, and to a lesser extent, Keyes, that the film reaches its high points. Keyes' character frustrates immensely, her decision making annoys and her surrender to Garwood is at first hard to swallow. But this is a testament to the good work that Keyes does, that she can induce these feelings for the character is surely a job well done. Heflin, tho, is a different kettle of fish. A criminally undervalued actor in his generation, Heflin serves notice here that he could play a bad guy convincingly, almost terrifyingly so too. His shift from meek, almost puppy dog love yearner, to conniving bastard is handled adroitly and gives film noir one of its best homme fatales. Back on release big hitting critics such as Manny Farber and Wallace Markfield unreservedly praised the film. While pulp writer supreme James Ellroy is quoted as saying it was one of his favourite films. So it's somewhat surprising that it took until late 2010 to receive a DVD release, that, much like the machinations of Webb Garwood, is very much a crime. Moody, bleak and corrosive in its telling, this is a must see for noir and Heflin purists. 9/10

Reviewed by bmacv 8 / 10 / 10

Heflin's edgy menace rivets in another bad-cop noir

As an actor Van Heflin rarely got his due. He has a passive, even recessive quality that nonetheless lets viewers see clearly into the roilings of his characters' restive minds. In The Prowler, he plays a disgruntled cop -- a disgruntled human being, really, who blames the world for everything that fate and his own shortcomings in the mental-health department have brought him. Called to investigate a peeping tom by Evelyn Keyes (another edgy presence) -- her well-to-do husband works nights as a radio farm-show host -- Heflin falls for her. Obsessed (now we'd call him a stalker), he woos her despite her initial reluctance (now we'd call her a born victim). After they fall in love, Heflin dreams up a scheme in which a phantom "prowler" would be a good scapegoat if her husband should happen to get dead all of a sudden. Losey, in his early career, displayed a sensibility that grows ever more forlorn and hopeless as Heflin and the now-pregnant Keyes go on the lam, first to a motel he owns near Barstow then to a ghost-town called Calico. The Prowler draws on a number of emblematic "noir" themes yet plays them in a new key.

Read more IMDb reviews

0 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment