A rivetingly cool, clean thriller about the trap which inexorably closes on a woman unhappily married to a rich husband, and the cop on the make for the better things in life who, summoned to deal with a prowler, lingers to get rid of the husband and take both wife and money for himself. Superb performances from Evelyn Keyes and Van Heflin, equally superb art direction (with the white Spanish house, a symbol of affluence and its emptiness, surrounded by the night of the hunter), and direction which grips like a steel claw, loosening only in the rather melodramatic final sequences. Even here, with the lovers guiltily holed up in a derelict shack to keep her pregnancy secret from awkward questioning, and their relationship boiling to a fraught climax over the difficult birth, Losey rises magnificently to the occasion in his use of the Mojave Desert ghost town location.
Cast and crew
Hugo Butler Dalton Trumbo