The Killer Is Loose | Chicago Reader

The Killer Is Loose

Chicago-born Budd Boetticher directed mostly B pictures and television, but he developed an austere yet graceful style perfectly suited to his stoic worldview and shrewd psychological insight. In this taut 1956 noir a meek, bespectacled ex-GI (Wendell Corey in a memorably creepy performance) masterminds a bank holdup, but the police track him down immediately, and after his wife is accidentally gunned down by a cop (Joseph Cotten) he vows to avenge her death by killing the cop's wife (Rhonda Fleming, unconvincing in her glamour-puss getups). Boetticher draws some interesting parallels between the two men and packs considerable tension into every scene, aided by Lucien Ballard's crisp, atmospheric cinematography. 73 min.

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