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The Killer Is Loose

20 customer reviews

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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. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.


Special Features

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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
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: June 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 73 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0052SO06A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,978 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Mischief Auteur on 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 23 people found the following review helpful By Mickee Tabor Crisp on 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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Muzzlehatch VINE VOICE on October 17, 2013
Format: DVD
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 13, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Leon "Foggy" Poole (Wendell Corey) loses his wife when she's accidentally killed during a shootout w/ police. After being found guilty for bank robbery, Poole swears vengeance on Detective Sam Wagner (Joseph Cotten), the cop he holds responsible. Two years into his prison sentence, Poole kills a guard, steals a truck, and makes a break for it. Now, Wagner must protect himself, as well as his pregnant wife, Lila (Rhonda Fleming). THE KILLER IS LOOSE is a wonderful crime thriller from 1956 w/ great tension, and a memorable finale. One thing that sets this movie apart from other, similar films, is the quiet, low-key temperament of the bespectacled antagonist. Corey underplays the role, making Poole far more frightening than some loud, tough-talking madman. Cotten is his usual solid, dependable self. Co-stars Alan Hale, jr. ...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Trjgirl on February 12, 2014
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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By Corso on 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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Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
pretty good old black and white noir movie... I remember these cars and stuff when I was a youngster, fun to see them again and the movie is good old fashioned morality tale. Not much amoral shades of gray crap here except the detective felt guilty when it wasn't his fault, the crook put his wife in danger by his choices.
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Format: DVD
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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