A savings-and-loan bank is robbed; later, a police wiretap identifies teller Leon Poole as inside man. In capturing him, detective Sam Wagner accidentally kills Poole’s young wife, and at his trial Poole swears vengeance against Wagner. About three years later, Poole (until then a model prisoner) abruptly takes his chance to kill a guard and escape. It’s clear during the ensuing manhunt that Poole is obsessed in pursuit of a single end; but not quite the end everyone supposes.
Rod Crawford <[email protected]>
User Reviews: The Killer is Loose (1956)
The first hour of this movie is really tight, very believable, nicely low key but still with some narrative excitement. Joseph Cotten is very good, and if the filming is straight forward, it’s effective all the same. Then the last twenty minutes come along and what is supposed to be high drama (very intense stuff) is just so clumsy and fake you can’t believe it’s the same movie.
That, in a nutshell, is what will strike you. There are some elements of a cop being loyal to his job and the cop’s wife not liking being a cop’s wife. And the bad buy, a weirdly detached and offbeat killer, is played to perfection by Wendell Corey. There’s even a cross dressing moment at the end which is fun and almost high camp.
But now I’m dredging for dollars. Enjoy the ride, but don’t expect too too much.