When you consider it came out in 1951, The Prowler is a pretty messed up movie. Van Heflin and Evelyn Keyes are great together with grime and unruliness at every turn. One of the greatest (unknown) noirs ever.
Enigmatic film noir melodrama. A great creepy performance by Van Heflin and a tense story of psychological weirdness (it’s easy to see why James Ellroy considers this one of his favorite films), even if it is ultimately a bit underwhelming.
Just watched it again today. Like the commentaries say, it's different from the standard noir. Characters are the inverse of each other. The performances are really stunning and I'm glad that Losey and Ray were around to take the genre in different directions.
The threshold of discourse between the political and the cinematic is blurred here, with the worker criminal acting the entrepreneur and the failed bourgeois actress mobilizing domesticity. Strangely outré, near irreconcilable noir: hazards the allegorical in the last act, the adulterous couple retreating into the symbolic and actual ruins of the civil to deliver their child in a ghost town, a reward of ambivalence.
Noir film by essence, a "perv flick" as James ELLROY says. In the credits : Evelyn KEYES, John HUSTON's wife. Assistant Director, Robert ALDRICH. Producer, Horizon Pictures owned by S.P. EAGLE (Sam SPIEGEL & John HUSTON), largest independent prod. cy who produced On the Waterfront, African Queen, Bridge on River Kwaï & Lawrence of Arabia.
Says Officer Garwood to Mrs. Gilvray: "So what? I'm no good, but I'm no worse than anybody else! If you work in a store, you knock down on the cash register, if you're the big boss, the income tax, if you're a ward heeler, you sell folks stuff, if you're a lawyer you take bribes. I'm a cop, so I used my gun, but whatever I did, I did for you!"