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Stranger on the Prowl [Blu-ray]

2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Upon its initial American release, Stranger on the Prowl's credits read: written and directed by Andrea Forzano. In truth Forzano was two people: screenwriter Ben Barzman (Back to Bataan) and director Joseph Losey (The Servant, The Lawless), both of whom had been blacklisted by Hollywood and were forced to work under pseudonyms. The film stars screen legend Paul Muni (Scarface) as a disillusioned vagrant who accidentally kills a shop owner. While on the lam he befriends a young street urchin (Vittorio Manunta) who suspects the police are after him for stealing milk from the same shop owner. The police pursue the two lost souls through the war-torn streets and buildings of an Italian port city. This neorealist film noir was based on a story by novelist No‰l Calef (Elevator to the Gallows).

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, NTSC, Original recording remastered
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2014
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00H96KFRQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,945 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael B. Druxman on April 10, 2014
Format: DVD
Paul Muni was considered to be the greatest character actor of his day (i.e. the 1930s-early40s). He was the original SCARFACE, starred in such classics as I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG, THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA and THE GOOD EARTH, and won an Academy Award for his performance in THE STORY OF LOUIS PASTEUR (1936). Over his entire career, he only appeared in twenty-one movies.

STRANGER ON THE PROWL (1953) was one of the last two films that he made; the only one shot in a foreign country. It was directed by then blacklisted director Joseph Losey and, although there is a lot to like about this picture, it is not one of the actor’s more memorable efforts.

The story, set in post-war Italy, finds Muni playing a hungry vagrant who, in the process of stealing some bread, accidentally kills the storeowner. Fleeing the police, he is befriended by a young boy (Vittorio Manunta), who had filched milk from the same shop and has decided to escape with him.

Though the conclusion of Ben Barzman’s screenplay is foreseeable, the film does hold one’s interest throughout its 87 minute running time. Muni, playing a role that might have been better suited to John Garfield had it been made in America a few years earlier, turns in a fine performance, but he is not given much more to do than look moody. There are no “juicy scenes” for him to play or “brilliant speeches” for him to deliver, and that is a waste of a great talent.

Joan Lorring co-stars in the movie, playing a household maid who briefly befriends Muni,

Perhaps the most memorable aspect of STRANGER ON THE PROWL is Henri Alekan’s stark cinematography of the still war-scarred Italian streets.

© Michael B. Druxman
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By dominique keeler on March 19, 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
best movie made from the best book !
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