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Killer is Loose, The (United Artists 1956, Joseph Cotten, Wendell Corey)



Pulse-pounding excitement pervades nearly every frame of terrific film noir The Killer is Loose. Andrew Sarris once wrote appreciatively of its director, Budd Boetticher, that his specialty was deadly confrontations between male antagonists.’

That being the case, Boetticher’s cinematic impulse reaches a pinnacle in this semi-documentary tabloid thriller, shot on location in and around L.A.

It contains a fine performance by Wendell Corey as a bespectacled bank robber out for revenge against the cop (Joseph Cotton) who accidentally killed his wife. The finale, played out over walkie-talkies, conveys the same kind of two-way excitement as did a similar scene in Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil (1958).’

The publicity for The Killer is Loose went all out and promised: ‘He was no ordinary killer. She was no ordinary victim. This is no ordinary motion picture.’

production details
USA | United Artists | 73 minutes | 1956
Director: Budd Boetticher
Script: John Hawkins, Harold Medford, Ward Hawkins,

Virginia Christine as Mary Gillespie
Michael Pate as Detective Chris Gillespie
John Beradino as Mac
Rhonda Fleming as Lila Wagner
Alan Hale Jr. as Denny (as Alan Hale)
Paul Bryar as Greg Boyd
Joseph Cotten as Detective Sam Wagner
Wendell Corey as Leon ‘Foggy’ Poole
John Larch as Otto Flanders
Dee J. Thompson as Grace Flanders