|Format||Multiple Formats, Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC|
|Contributor||Evelyn Keyes, John Maxwell, Katherine Warren, Joseph Losey, Van Heflin, Emerson Treacy|
|Runtime||1 hour and 32 minutes|
AVAILABLE AT LAST ON DVD! Famed director Joseph Losey's long neglected masterpiece, scripted by legendary blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, has been restored to its original bleak splendor by the Film Noir Foundation and the UCLA Film & Television Archive. A nefarious cop stalks a lonely, repressed Los Angeles housewife and decides to win her in the traditional film noir fashion - by knocking off her husband! Bonus Features: Documentary featurette "The Cost of Living: Creating The Prowler," with James Ellroy, Christopher Trumbo, Denise Hamilton and Alan K. Rode, "Masterpiece in the Margins": Bertrand Tavernier on The Prowler, On the Prowl: Restoring The Prowler. The Film Noir Foundation and UCLA Film & Television Archive Partnership, Photo Gallery, Audio Commentary by Film Noir Expert Eddie Muller, Original Theatrical Trailer Product Specs: DVD9; Dolby Digital 2.0; RT - 92 minutes; B&W; Aspect Ratio - 1.37:1 - 4x3; Year - 1951; SRP - $19.99
Joseph Losey's The Prowler is one of the darkest and most daring entries in the film noir pantheon, a thriller that challenges the accepted notions of not only screen morals but the very fabric of America in its gritty story of a rogue cop who brings disaster to a Los Angeles housewife. Van Heflin is the patrolman who becomes fixated on Evelyn Keyes (wife of producer Sam Spiegel's partner, John Huston) after a run-in with a peeping Tom. Greed, lust, and loneliness bind the pair together, with only Keyes's radio-personality husband (Emerson Treacy) standing in the way of their unholy union. Heflin's plot to eliminate this roadblock leads The Prowler into very unsavory territory, including sexual obsession, pregnancy out of wedlock, psychological terrorism, and finally, an inexorable dalliance with mental instability. Though The Prowler's flirtations with taboo breaking have made it a favorite among noir cognoscenti (including James Ellroy, whose hot-blooded comments are featured throughout the disc), the film's most subversive element is its looking-glass take on society as a whole; the intense pressures that come with the pursuit of the American dream produce not winners in Losey's eyes, but sociopaths who tear down everyone around them as they attempt to claw their way towards the promised Good Life. It's heady stuff, delivered in flinty visuals by blacklist victims Losey and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, billed here as Hugo Butler, and most definitely required viewing for those with a taste for the seamier side of crime cinema. The wealth of extras on VCI's disc follow the film's resurrection from "lost" status to restoration by the UCLA Film Archive and The Film Noir Foundation; the picture's production history, which was marked by financial clashes between Trumbo and Spiegel, is also discussed by Ellroy and Trumbo's son, Christopher, among others, while director Bertrand Tavernier (The Princess of Montpensier) gives a thoughtful, largely academic take on the picture. An original trailer and glimpses of the film's racy pressbook round out the superlative presentation. --Paul Gaita
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : Unrated (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 0.7 x 5.4 inches; 0.8 Ounces
- Director : Joseph Losey
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
- Run time : 1 hour and 32 minutes
- Release date : February 1, 2011
- Actors : Van Heflin, Evelyn Keyes, John Maxwell, Katherine Warren, Emerson Treacy
- Studio : Vci Video
- ASIN : B004C2523M
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #28,742 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #678 in Documentary (Movies & TV)
- #5,485 in Drama DVDs
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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It is set effectively in black and white. Although the film is not difficult to understand, it communicates characters intentions subtly, so that you have to pay close attention to the body language and facial gestures of Webb and Susan to figure out hidden intentions. We notice also that Webb is the true "prowler" here as he masterminds his way into Susan's heart to be able to live a wealthy lifestyle that he may never achieve as a cop. So I think this film is worthwhile for any noir fan, or any film buff who loves to watch a challenging movie. Five thumbs up.
There is a crawly, uncanny feeling here straight from the first frame. Heflin's unhappiness with how his life has developed is palpable. The former high school basketball star is a bitter, sad guy. Look for the frame in which he reads "Muscle Power" magazine. Noirish fate deems that the pair will run off together. What did the obviously intelligent Keyes see in this man? Why does she leave a comfortable, stable, if boring suburban marriage to run off with a creep? How many similar women in the movies (and real life) make such a slip?
Commentary on the plot is ending here. That is because "The Prowler" features a major (!) as well as ingenious plot twist. A good review should maintain an air of mystery. Suffice it so say that this "twist" changes everything for Heflin and Keyes. They wind up in the bleak California desert, far from comfy suburbia. Look for the contrast!
The strict rating call from this source is 3 stars, though "The Prowler" plausibly rates a 4th. This reviewer was uncomfortable with the cumbersome finale, yet others may be pleased. On the positive side, Keyes and Heflin are excellent. The supporting cast is absolutely first rate. The cloying, confining, orderly 50s suburbia creates a perfect mood. In the noir lineup, "The Prowler" counts as a winner.
Top reviews from other countries
This particular DVD is NOT Region 1. It is in fact Region "All" and plays perfectly on two different DVD players of mine, both of which are UK only. The best thing about this release are the 'Special Bonus Features', namely:
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
These provide a wealth of background information including how the film was restored and a charming 20 minute exposition on the film (and other matters film related) by the French Director Bertrand Tavernier. These 'extras' make this version of the film a very worthwhile investment.
Never seen Van like this before.He excelled himself!Evelyn Keyes also as his lonely vulnerable prey!