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The Killer Is Loose (1955)

Joseph Cotton , Rhonda Fleming , Budd Boetticher  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joseph Cotton, Rhonda Fleming, Wendell Corey
  • Directors: Budd Boetticher
  • Writers: John Hawkins, Ward Hawkins, Harold Medford
  • Producers: Robert L. Jacks
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: June 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 73 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0052SO06A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,866 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A bank robber's (Wendell Corey) wife is shot during his arrest by a cop (Joseph Cotten). He escapes to kill the cop's wife (Rhonda Fleming) as retribution. Despite the cop's protest, the police decide to use Fleming as a lure.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Noir Gem August 15, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was very surprised by this little known film. I purchased this DVD-R because I generally admire the work of its two primary participants, Director, Budd Boetticher and Joseph Cotten. People Generally remember Boetticher's Westerns but,this tough,fast-paced suspense film with great L.A. location photography underlines his talent as a director. The unexpected bonus to this movie is the performance of Wendell Corey. In maybe, the best performance of his career, Wendell Corey is both frightening and pathetic as he seeks his revenge. The last five minutes as Cotten attempts to bring down the assassin, are particularly wrenching. Check this little nugget out.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great suspense movie! March 21, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I purchased this movie after I saw it TCM. I was impressed with Wendell Corey's acting, he played the part so realistic as a crazed killer. If you are a Wendell Corey fan, I recommend you purchase this DVD.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wendell Corey knocks it out of the park October 17, 2013
A bank holdup. An inside job. The cops, led by Det. Sam Wagner (Joseph Cotten) figure this out pretty quickly and are soon knocking down the door of Leon 'Foggy' Poole (Wendell Corey), but when Wendell's wife is killed accidentally in a shootout, he vows revenge against the Detective. This is a solid thriller/police procedural noir with Corey really outstanding as the sweaty, beady-eyed, half-crazy/half-lucid "killer" of the title. It's a pretty remarkable performance, as he manages to be at least slightly sympathetic despite also being every bit as scary as Richard Widmark or Dan Duryea at their creepiest. I don't know a lot about Corey, but after seeing this I definitely want to check out more.

The very good Los Angeles location work and director Budd Boetticher's excellent handling of action make this an above-average noir despite the secondary storyline of the detective's troubles with his wife (Rhonda Fleming) not really adding up to what it promises early on. I don't quite buy Cotten in this role either, he just doesn't seem that involved, but as it's really Corey's show I don't consider that a major problem.
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This film is surprisingly unsettling, largely because of Wendell Corey's performance. In many ways, his Leon Poole, ostensibly the "villain" of the piece, is almost (but not quite) the film's anti-hero because you can't help but sympathize with him at least a little. By contrast, the Joseph Cotten/Rhonda Fleming lead couple are difficult to root for, especially when both characters do almost astonishingly stupid things in the final third of the movie. We can understand Poole's motives and feelings and, in a way, even his actions, far more than any other characters' in the film. Poole is the most three-dimensional person in the story, despite his almost chilling weary calmness.

I'd love to see a modern remake of this film with a different ending, though the type of ending I'd prefer can't be described without a spoiler, so I won't. But I suspect the ending they thought they were shooting felt differently on the page from the one they achieved, because I doubt they had foreseen how much more sympathetic Poole had become to us than the selfish wife portrayed by Fleming.

But even in this version, Corey undeniably makes this a film to be reckoned with, and his performance throughout is both fascinating and haunting. There is an extended sequence where Poole is in the house of his old Army superior officer from the war, and this feels like the centerpiece of the film, both symbolically and dramatically. And yet there are several other unusual and arresting sequences, including the final 5 to 10 minutes, expertly directed-on-a-shoestring for heightened tension.

Even in a fairly cluttered category of psychological thrillers in the 50s and 60s, this one has an identity and distinction all its own.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's Foggy Outside September 14, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
A decent film noir with a mile-mannered bank robber - until the cops turned him into a stone-cold killer by shooting dead his wife in a reckless break in assault. He vows revenge and he is a man of his word. If only Joseph Cotton wasn't such a wimp. With a surprising, almost laughable appearance by Alan Hale Jr. when you recognize him as the Captain from Gilligan's Island. Good old stuff with the good old thrilling end.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best noirs February 12, 2014
By Trjgirl
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I don't know why it isn't much better known. It really does compare with the best known noirs. As other reviewers said, it really is Corey's performance that stands out. He's one of the most memorable villains of early film, complex and sympathetic. That's much better and subtler than the one so so review that wanted a flat out psycho.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A pretty matter-of-fact police procedural with Cotten using his wife as bait to trap Corey, who plays against type---not too coonvincing as a bad man with google-eyed black-framed glasses and dressing in drag as he follows Fleming down a street to her home. Of course, the A grade B noir.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old is good! February 13, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I found this film to be very modern in terms of what takes place in our world today. The performances are very solid, especially Wendell Corey's (very underestimated actor). Rhonda Fleming was very true to the role of the police wife. Reminded me of some of the elements of In Cold Blood, as well. Enjoy!
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