One evening alone, bored housewife Susan Gilvray (Keyes) spies a prowler watching her through a window. She calls the police, but this brings even worse trouble to her door in the form of beat cop Webb Garwood (Heflin), a seemingly kind fellow Hoosier who immediately takes an unhealthy interest in the beautiful dame. Soon the two are embroiled in a torrid affair, dreaming of escaping together to a new life. When Webb takes some drastic steps to make this happen, he risks everything on love, and appears to succeed — at first.
Joseph Losey’s dark, cynical, twisted B-thriller is remarkable for touching on taboos too numerous to count at the dawn of the safe, conservative fifties, including adultery, sexual obsession, and out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Keyes is terrific as Susan, but Heflin steals the picture with a deliciously hateful performance as Webb. “The Prowler” is an unjustly neglected classic that stunned audiences in its day — and it’s still easy to see why. Now that it’s back in circulation, don’t pass up the chance to let it work its dark spell on you.