Stranger on the Prowl



IMDb Rating 6.5 10 101


Downloaded 5,555 times
September 25, 2019



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665.93 MB
23.976 fps
82 min
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1.28 GB
23.976 fps
82 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ripplinbuckethead 6 / 10 / 10

Uneven, but worth a look

A drifter (Paul Muni) is kicked off a ship he'd been stowing away in and begins wandering around town. At the same time, a poor young boy named Giacomo (Vittorio Manunta) is sent by his mother to get milk. He doesn't have enough money and decides to steal it while the shopkeeper isn't looking. As he leaves the shop, he passes the drifter, who begins eating a piece of cheese. The shopkeeper objects, he grabs and silences her, and she dies. (heart attack?) Now both are on the run from the police and they stick together. This was an interesting one. It's a sort of slice-of-life-in-Italy film, focusing on the poor and abused, who just happen to get embroiled in some very difficult circumstances. The story is decent, the scenery is nice, and performances are solid, including that of Joan Lorring as a woman who steals from her lecherous employer and is forced to pay for it his way. But it all kinda feels a little average and a bit too long. It has its moments, but there are no real big moments that grab you (save for the end, to a degree), and the empathy for, or interest in, the characters isn't strong enough to make the tension tense enough. Certainly not Muni's best, nor Losey's, but still worth a look.

Reviewed by david-546 7 / 10 / 10

Underrated Joseph Losey Gem

Underrated gem from blacklisted director Joseph Losey (M, The Prowler both 1951) and blacklisted writer Ben Barzman. This little seen film stars Paul Muni best known for winning an Oscar in the 1937 film The Good Earth and Tony in the original Scarface (1932). Here Muni plays a homeless stranger looking to escape and start a new life by boarding a ship but he doesn't have the money. He tries to raise money by selling his only possession, a gun. Hungry he steals some food from a confectionery and when confronted by the shop owner accidentally kills her. It was here that he crossed paths with a young boy Giacomo played fabulously by a young Italian lad by the name of Vittorio Manunta who only did 3 films. Giacomo had been sent by his mother to buy milk and return laundry but on the way he lost the money in a marbles game. Unable to buy the milk he steals it just before the Stranger came into the same confectionery. The two are now on the lam and join forces with young Giacomo thinking the police are looking for him for stealing the milk. Beautifully filmed in b&w in post war Italy with gritty neo-realism amongst the bombed out ruins of a coastal Italian town in Tuscany the story is tender yet contained classic film noir elements with the accidental murder, the innocent theft and the chase. Joan Loring (The Gangster, The Verdict, The Big Night) in a bit part as a lonely woman. Worth the find. Wonderful little seen film.

Reviewed by RNQ 7 / 10 / 10

Getting darker

The Italian title, Imbarco a mezzanotte / Shipping Out at Midnight, suggests a plot moving increasingly into the noir. Right at the beginning one learns that the character called the Stranger is unwanted in a town he has been shoved into off a boat and that he is expected to get back out of quick and pay for the privilege. Early on, we learn he has a good gun that he wants to sell. "On the Prowl" says the English title, and we might imagine a character shady from the start. But there is a noble error in casting, having Paul Muni as the actor--Pasteur, Jaurez, beacon of progressive aspiration. He limps, he shambles, bad things may happen, but we have no way of supposing this character is bad. As the film shambles toward a conclusion, yes (spoiler if you like) there is the dangerous involvement of a child. It could be like Hemingway's stories of a somewhat older Nick Adams faced with criminals. But for Muni's Stranger it is out of character. Meanwhile, this is a brilliantly filmed take on Italian Neorealism in a town still ruined from wartime bombing.

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