The Prowler (Cost of Living ) (1951)
Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 18
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 215
Webb Garwood (Van Heflin) is a cynical policeman who believes that success comes from lucky breaks. Responding to a prowler complaint at the home of Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes), he is immediately attracted to her and her wealth. He returns to "check up" on Susan, and they begin an affair, conducted while listening to her husband John (Sherry Hall)'s all-night radio program. Feeling guilty, Susan ends the relationship, but Garwood remains obsessed. He pretends to be a prowler on the Gilvray
Dec 3, 1951 Wide
Feb 1, 2011
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Louise M. Bates
Betty Jane Howarth
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It's really a quick, deft analysis of a kind of world where corruption and easy answers are on the advance.
The way Heflin plays this rake, you never think for a second that he'd be cowed by a guilty conscience. He's a defiantly charismatic brute who turns, unconvincingly, into a wet noodle.
Losey rises magnificently to the occasion in his use of the Mojave Desert ghost town location.
The Prowler becomes a twisted vision of American entrepreneurship, with the two leads forming a grotesque nuclear family.
Losey's magnificently ruthless dismantling of his characters' veneers and delusions and self-made traps
The rectangle-within-a-rectangle symmetry of the window within the frame of the movie screen in the opening scene reinforces the notion that the filmgoer is essentially a licensed Peeping Tom...
... a classic of working class envy, restless resentment... and the brutal opportunism of a former golden boy willing to do anything to get what he's sure is due him.
Director Losey and screenwriter Trumbo aren't providing the usual mystery tale here.
Losey's script is fine, but doesn't really draw the audience in, or inspire compassion for any of the characters.
A powerful thriller from Losey before he fell foul of Hollywood's infamous blacklist.
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