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The Prowler

DVD

4.3 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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(Feb 01, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Amazon.com

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


Special features

"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 details

  • Actors: Van Heflin, Evelyn Keyes, John Maxwell, Katherine Warren, Emerson Treacy
  • Directors: Joseph Losey
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B004C2523M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,728 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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