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Prowler [Import]

DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 16.84 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Prowler [Import] + Where the Sidewalk Ends (Fox Film Noir) + Fallen Angel (Fox Film Noir)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By J. Lovins TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
United Artists presents "THE PROWLER" (1951) (92 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- Joseph Losey's Bourgeois noir 'The Prowler' lingers long in the memory - and remains one of the genre's most emotionally powerful installments --- As harsh and gut-wrenching as it is bold and satisfying --- With great direction and an outstanding cast that brings realism with the label of "noir".

The story goes something like this, when officer Webb Garwood (Van Heflin) investigates a wee-hours peeping-Tom call with his veteran partner Bud (John Maxwell), he finds himself drawn to the victim - attractive and vulnerable housewife Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes) --- Dutiful and quietly desperate, Mrs. Gilvray spends evenings listening to her DJ husband John's late-night radio show - which he ends every night by cooing "I'll be seeing you Susan..." ---

Tense and taunt dialogue with one of his best performances by somestimes overlooked veteran actor Van Heflin.

The radio announcer heard throughout the film is actually the voice of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who wrote the film under the pseudonym, Hugo Butler.

Under the production staff of:
Joseph Losey [Director]
Robert Thoeren [Story]
Hans Wilhelm [Story]
Dalton Trumbo [Screenplay]
Hugo Butler [Screenplay]
Sam Spiegel [Producer] (as S.P. Eagle)
John Huston [Producer]
Lyn Murray [Original Film Score]
Arthur C. Miller [Cinematographer]
Paul Weatherwax [Film Editor]

BIOS:
1. Joseph Losey [Director]
Date of Birth: 14 January 1909 - La Crosse, Wisconsin
Date of Death: 22 June 1984 - London, England, UK

2. Van Heflin [aka: Emmett Evan Heflin Jr.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars July 7 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  44 reviews
128 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Prowler: a corrosive corruption of the soul Nov. 16 2010
By Laurence Tuccori - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
THE PROWLER is one of the best film noir you've probably never seen.
I first discovered it more than 25 years ago on late night tv in the UK (those were the days when the BBC still screened old movies) and it hooked me right away. The story of illicit passion and murder exuded an incredibly compelling sense of suffocating claustrophobia and barely suppressed tension, and that memory's stuck with me for the ensuing quarter century.
So when I was finally able to get my hands on a VHS copy my concern was that the reality wouldn't live up to the memory, and I'd be left wondering what on earth is was I ever saw in the film.
I watched THE PROWLER again last night all my worries were put to rest. This 1951 film is a five star classic.
Van Heflin stars as Webb Garwood, a police patrolman in an upscale neighborhood in Los Angeles. One night he and his dull as ditchwater partner, Bud Crocker, are called to investigate a prowler at one of the big houses on their beat. They find an attractive young woman, Susan Gilvray, home alone and Webb takes an instant liking to her. Even though she's married and initially resists his advances, Webb determines to seduce her and use her to get what he wants out of life.
Heflin's masterful performance is a major factor in this film's effectiveness. As an actor he often played characters who exuded a certain vulnerability borne of physical or moral weakness, but here he turns it into a strength. Garwood's moral compass has been so eroded by the acidic bitterness of failed dreams that he's no longer restrained by any sense of right and wrong. He targets Susan like a tiger stalking its prey. His cynical and unscrupulous manipulation of her undermines everything that his police uniform represents.
In the hands of Evelyn Keyes, Susan is a not entirely unwilling victim. Looking and acting like a bargain basement Lana Turner, she comes across as only slightly less untrustworthy than her seducer. Trapped in a loveless and controlling marriage to a much older man, she wants to believe that Webb is the solution to her unhappy existence, and at times it's difficult to determine just who is manipulating who.
On a larger scale THE PROWLER is an unsettling indictment of the corrupting influence of materialism on the American Dream. Webb bitterly resents his inability to get ahead yet he's unwilling to put in the honest toil required to bring even his modest ambition of running a motel within his grasp. Susan has more than Webb can ever aspire to yet she lives the life of a bird trapped in a gilded cage, paid for by her husband's syrupy, insincere shilling for the sponsors of his late-night radio show.
What is perhaps most depressing is the lack of viable alternatives offered up by the story. A man in Webb's situation, it says, has no choice but to act boldly and disregard accepted norms of behaviour if he's to avoid being crushed by conformity. The best that the American Dream can offer is the life of mind-numbing soul destroying tedium embodied by Webb's middle-aged partner Bud. The biggest kick in Bud's life is showing off his collection of rocks amassed during his annual vacation to the California desert.
Reportedly shot in just 17 days on a budget of $700,000 THE PROWLER offers up more food for thought than any of the bloated, special effects engorged thrillers which pass for cinematic entertainment these days.
I can't wait for 11 February 2011 and the release of THE PROWLER on DVD. To see the film in its restored version will only enhance its brilliance. Beg, borrow, buy or steal a copy of this film. It will stay with you for life.
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Prowler (1951) ... Van Heflin ... Joseph Losey (Director) (2011)" Jan. 18 2011
By J. Lovins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
United Artists presents "THE PROWLER" (1951) (92 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- Joseph Losey's Bourgeois noir 'The Prowler' lingers long in the memory - and remains one of the genre's most emotionally powerful installments --- As harsh and gut-wrenching as it is bold and satisfying --- With great direction and an outstanding cast that brings realism with the label of "noir".

The story goes something like this, when officer Webb Garwood (Van Heflin) investigates a wee-hours peeping-Tom call with his veteran partner Bud (John Maxwell), he finds himself drawn to the victim - attractive and vulnerable housewife Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes) --- Dutiful and quietly desperate, Mrs. Gilvray spends evenings listening to her DJ husband John's late-night radio show - which he ends every night by cooing "I'll be seeing you Susan..." ---

Tense and taunt dialogue with one of his best performances by somestimes overlooked veteran actor Van Heflin.

The radio announcer heard throughout the film is actually the voice of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who wrote the film under the pseudonym, Hugo Butler.

Under the production staff of:
Joseph Losey [Director]
Robert Thoeren [Story]
Hans Wilhelm [Story]
Dalton Trumbo [Screenplay]
Hugo Butler [Screenplay]
Sam Spiegel [Producer] (as S.P. Eagle)
John Huston [Producer]
Lyn Murray [Original Film Score]
Arthur C. Miller [Cinematographer]
Paul Weatherwax [Film Editor]

BIOS:
1. Joseph Losey [Director]
Date of Birth: 14 January 1909 - La Crosse, Wisconsin
Date of Death: 22 June 1984 - London, England, UK

2. Van Heflin [aka: Emmett Evan Heflin Jr.]
Date of Birth: 13 December 1910 - Walters, Oklahoma
Date of Death: 23 July 1971 - Hollywood, California

3. Evelyn Keyes [aka: Evelyn Louise Keyes]
Date of Birth: 20 November 1916 - Port Arthur, Texas
Date of Death: 4 July 2008 - Montecito, California

the cast includes:
Van Heflin - Webb Garwood
Evelyn Keyes - Susan Gilvray
John Maxwell - Charles 'Bud' Crocker
Katherine Warren - Mrs. Grace Crocker
Emerson Treacy - William Gilvray
Madge Blake - Martha Gilvray
Wheaton Chambers - Doctor William R. James

SPECIAL BONUS FEATURES:
1. Documentary featurette "The Cost of Living: Creating The Prowler," with James Ellroy, Christopher Trumbo, Denise Hamilton and Alan K. Rode,
2. "Masterpiece in the Margins": Bertrand Tavernier on The Prowler,
3. "On the Prowl: Restoring The Prowler." The Film Noir Foundation & UCLA Film &TV Archive Partnership.
4. Audio Commentary by Film Noir Expert - Eddie Muller
5. Original theatrical Trailer
6. Photo Gallery
7. Optional English Subtitles

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 5 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 92 min on DVD ~ United Artists ~ (02/01/2011)
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally!! Feb. 12 2011
By Phillip - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I received the DVD of The Prowler from Amazon yesterday and watched it immediately. I was blown away. This ranks in the very top tier of noirs along with Double Indemnity, Out of the Past, The Narrow Margin, and a very few others. Heflin shows again he is THE most under appreciated actor of the golden age.....his performance as a sociopathic cop is subtle and chilling.

Many thanks to the Film Noir Foundation and UCLA for recovering and restroring this lost orphan. The movie looks great, the sound is clear, and the special features are informative and interesting. The commentary by Eddie Mueller is the highlight as it is every time he does one of these.

Not to be missed.............highest praise possible.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Losey collaboration with Dalton Trumbo Nov. 23 2008
By Aldo L. Parisot - Published on Amazon.com
I've only seen The Prowler once on tv in England, a late night screening, but I was absolutely stunned by this brilliantly crafted story of the corruption of a Los Angeles police officer. The screenplay and Losey's direction combine to retain a crucial ambiguity in the character played by Van Heflin - is he motivated by love or by money? His ultimate demise is the fulfillment of a tragic irony and embodies Trumbo and Losey's view of the destructive effect of the capitalist system on the individual caught in its entrails. This movie is critical to any serious study of Losey's career and should be available on DVD.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Creepy Man and an Unhappy Woman in a Reversal of Classic Noir Roles. May 25 2011
By mirasreviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"The Prowler" was a film noir made in 1951, just after the peak of the style in the late 1940s, while the taste for cynical, Freudian crime films was still strong, but a 1950s sensibility was beginning to creep in. The screenplay was written by Dalton Trumbo, whose name was removed from the credits for decades due to his blacklisting for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee about communism in Hollywood. He was one of the "Hollywood Ten". "The Prowler" may be unique among film noirs for its reversal of iconic male and female roles. It features an homme fatal and his willing victim who, in falling for his enticements, falls prey to her own foibles.

Police officers Webb Garwood (Van Heflin) and Bud Crocker (John Maxwell) investigate a report of a prowler at the home of Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes), a comely housewife who stays up nights to listen to her husband's radio program. Webb thinks Susan is "quite a dish" and decides to return at the end of his shift to check up on her. The pair discover they have a connection in their youth. They become friendly. Susan's marriage is unhappy, and Webb keeps appearing on her doorstep. He's manipulative and a bit boorish. But she can't resist. Webb has bigger plans than a fling with a frustrated housewife, though. He wants her comfortable bourgeois lifestyle too.

The crime writer James Ellroy has called "The Prowler" "perv noir". Psychosexual deviance is a common theme in film noir. "The Prowler" is not the most sophisticated in that respect. Rather, it is in-your-face creepy. Webb Garwood is outrightly predatory. His motives are thinly veiled, if at all. They are the motives of a femme fatale: sex as a means to money. His name is suggestive of the Black Widow. Susan Gilvray is not just a good girl attracted to a bad boy. He's a nearly sociopathic creep whom she insists on believing is honest. She plays the traditional male role in falling prey to the homme fatal, whose predations only serve to ensnare her in her own weaknesses.

It's all about sex and money, but with a dim view of post-War materialism. Webb believes in the American Dream -after a fashion. He wants to live on easy street but doesn't care for the socially acceptable ways of getting there. Van Helflin is fantastic as this working class guy, a predatory police officer, who dreams constantly of bourgeois comfort. He sees the world through covetous eyes. Appearances are all that matters. Susan married for comfort but found herself a virtual prisoner of a sterile husband who locks her out of her own furnishings. Somehow she can't resist the trouble that comes knocking. "The Prowler"'s small budget shows, but the lead performances pack a punch.

The DVD (VCI 2011): There are 3 featurettes, an original theatrical trailer (2 min), a Press Book Photo Gallery, and an audio commentary by film noir historian Eddie Muller. "The Cost of Living: Creating the Prowler" (25 min) interviews authors James Ellroy, Denise Hamilton, Alan K. Rode, Eddie Muller and Dalton Trumbo's son Christopher, now deceased, about the film's production history, themes, actors, the Production Code, and its 20-day shoot. "Masterpiece in the Margins" (20 min) is an interview with French director Bernard Tavernier, who praises and analyses the film. "On the Prowl: Restoring the Prowler" (9 min) interviews archivists and preservationists at the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Stanford Theater Film Lab about restoring this film and others. Eddie Muller's feature commentaries are always good, but this one is especially informative and insightful. He provides scene-by-scene analysis of themes, characters, story, structure, and background. Not a lot about technical aspects. Subtitles for the film are available in English.
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