19 May 2013 | swog85
A "Must See" Noir Film to Feast Upon - Again and Again!
I purchased, "The Prowler" on DVD a few years ago. It includes several extras, with a full length, excellent commentary by Noir expert, Eddie Muller. Van Heflin gives a stellar performance as a cynical police officer who doesn't "protect and serve" anyone other than himself. Officer Webb Garwood (Heflin) blames all of the people along the way in his life, for the fact that he isn't a great success. He is a shiftless and lazy character who sees the finer things in life as his, for the taking. The film opens with Garwood and his partner, Officer Bud Crocker (John Maxwell) responding to the home where a prowler has been reported. Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes) has just finished bathing, and tells the officers she saw a prowler. Bud Crocker is a true-blue cop who loves his job and treats Mrs. Gilvray with courtesy and respect. Garwood doesn't really believe there was a prowler, and doesn't care if there was; for then he might have to do some actual work! Susan's somewhat older husband hosts an all night radio program and thus, she is alone. The Gilvrays are financially secure, but Susan the woman, is insecure. Evelyn Keyes shines in the role of Susan! The body language gives credence to the two main characters, who otherwise might have seemed contrived and caricatured. Webb sees an opening for himself with the vulnerable housewife who is left alone each night. She isn't QUITE alone, as the radio is always on. Her husband's voice (doing his idiotic radio show) in the background, provides a level of quirky tension to the goings-on in the Gilvray residence! I certainly won't give anything more, but hopefully I've given just enough of the plot from, "The Prowler", to interest you! I have seen Van Heflin in numerous films, and he is wonderful; playing a guy choosing to do the "right thing" in those films. Heflin's off the chart performance as Webb Garwood is the complete antithesis of the Van Heflin roles I was familiar with. It's an absolute joy to see him in the role of a morally bankrupt cop who hates the world and wants something for nothing! Evelyn Keyes bangs it out of the park in her role as Susan Gilvray. Keyes wanted a role she could sink her teeth into. She'll leave you with some bite marks, too; giving a believable performance as a married woman without children, and lonely. She has morals, and tries to believe she is happy with her life. Webb Garwood senses her vulnerability and pounces, figuratively and literally. "The Prowler" is fun-fun-fun from start to finish. See it, love it and own it!