The Killer is Loose (1956)

September 18th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Bud Boetticher | Cast: Joseph Cotton, Rhonda Fleming, Wendell Corey | US noir thriller

After a decade spent making programmers Bud Boetticher was on the verge of finding his vocation as a director of westerns.

The series of oaters Boetticher made with Randolph Scott on which his reputation rests were bookended by two very twentieth century crime dramas shot in black & white by veteran Lucien Ballard.

It’s ironic that Wendell Corey’s grievance at his wife’s death makes him the villain, since that’s often what motivates Scott. The title’s a bit of a misnomer as Corey is far from your usual psychopath and remains inscrutable to the end.

The subject would have been right up Andrew Stone’s street but displays far more ruthlessness and has a higher casualty rate (there’s a particular nasty moment with a hoe).

I was rather disappointed that far more screen time was devoted to Joseph Cotten than Corey but the conclusion proved satisfyingly tense, @RichardChatten

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