Wednesday 7 February 2018

Night of the Prowler - 1962 film review

Night of the Prowler is a 1962 B movie which begins extremely well before tailing off as the flaws in the villain's cunning plan become all too evident. The screenplay was written by Paul Erickson, a Welsh actor and writer who became quite a successful scriptwriter, working on Doctor Who, as well as crime series such as No Hiding Place, The Saint, Paul Temple, and The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Not a bad CV.

The story opens with the murder of one of the partners in a business which is involved with racing cars. A message is received by the surviving partners - a chap called Langton (Patrick Holt), his wife, from whom he's separated (Colette Wilde) and his friend Paul Conrad (Bill Nagy). The message indicates that the crime has been committed by a chap whom the partners had sent to prison fr theft.

Rather surprisingly, the partners take things in their stride, and an offer of police protection is declined. The official investigation is led by DI Cameron, played by John Horsley, long before he became celebrated as the inept Doc Morrissey in The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perring  Langton has a new girlfriend (Mitzi Rogers, later to feature in Coronation Street among other shows), while Conrad and Mrs Langton are developing a relationship.

I enjoyed the early part of the film, but felt that it went downhill as it progressed. The culprit's scheme didn't seem as cunning to me as it did to the scriptwriter, and as the body count rose, the failure of the killer's targets to seek adequate police protection began to seem suicidal. Not a bad film, but it didn't maintain its initial promise.

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