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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Cost of Living" )


directed by Joseph Losey
USA 1951


Famed director Joseph Losey's long neglected masterpiece, scripted by legendary blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, has been restored to its original bleak splendor by the Film Noir Foundation and the UCLA Film & Television Archive. A nefarious cop stalks a lonely, repressed Los Angeles housewife and decides to win her in the traditional film noir fashion - by knocking off her husband!


Webb Garwood (Van Heflin) is a cynical policeman who believes that success comes from lucky breaks. Responding to a... prowler complaint at the home of Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes), he is immediately attracted to her and her wealth. He returns to check up on Susan, and they begin an affair, conducted while listening to her husband William (Emerson Treacy)'s all-night radio program. Feeling guilty, Susan ends the relationship, but Garwood remains obsessed. He pretends to be a prowler on the Gilvray property so he can respond to another police call. Drawing William outside, he shoots him and makes it appear accidental. When Garwood manipulates Susan's confusion about the shooting, she buys his story, and the lovers marry. However, upon discovering that Susan is pregnant too soon, they flee to give birth in secret, but eventually Susan learns the devastating truth. Intense performances by Heflin and Keyes bring alive this story of a prowler who preys on a woman's loneliness while also representing the forces of authority who literally screw those they are supposed to serve.~ Steve Press, All Movie Guide.


Theatrical Release: May 25th, 1951 (premiere)

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DVD Review: VCI - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:32:51

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.45 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by Eddie Muller
• 'The Cost of Living: Creating The Prowler' featurette (24:58)
• 'Masterpiece in the Margins' featurette (Bertrand Tavernier on The Prowler) (20:06)
• 'On the Prowl: Restoring The Prowler' featurette (9:20)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (1:49)
• Pressbook Photo Gallery (2:58)

DVD Release Date: February 1st, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 12



The Prowler is one of the finest film noir titles that unfortunately has been overlooked until Film Noir Foundation and its founder, Eddie Muller, collaborated with UCLA to restore this title and bring it to the big screen at Film Noir Festival in 2008. Last year it premiered at TCM and now VCI gives this film a royal treatment with this special edition DVD release. The dual-layered disc features excellent image quality with hardly any marks or damage. However, regrettably, VCI has not learned how to flag progressive transfers for their DVDs (their Blu-ray release of A Christmas Carol is progressive) as the transfer is interlaced. The mono soundtrack is without any issues and it's worth noting that VCI provides English subtitles for this release.

The disc is stacked with extra features including an excellent audio commentary by Eddie Muller, a very informative 25-minute documentary on the making of the film and a separate featurette with Bertrand Tavernier. There is also featurette about film's restoration, a theatrical trailer - in a very good shape - and a pressbook photo gallery. Besides the unfortunate drawback of interlaced transfer, the disc is top-notch and should easily make my top list of 2011. A highly recommended release.

  - Gregory Meshman


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Region 0 - NTSC



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