Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


Adam Williams
WITHOUT WARNING! (1952). Director: Arnold Laven.

A pretty young woman with blond hair is stabbed to death in a motel room. No, it's not Psycho, it's Without Warning!, a thriller/police procedural that follows cops as they search for a man who murders woman with garden shears. The killer, who is revealed early on, is gardener Carl Martin (Adam Williams), and Edward Binns [Young and Dangerous] is Lt. Hamilton, the chief investigator on the case. Carl tries to form a friendship with Jane Saunders (Meg Randall), the daughter of a guy who owns a nursery from where Carl gets his supplies. Although the film's climax is too protracted to be entirely effective, many other scenes are quite suspenseful, such as when Carl tries to get away when his car -- with a dead blonde inside -- is caught in the mud of an underpass as cops drive by. Adam Williams [Fear Strikes Out] was a busy actor of this period and this, his fourth film, was a rare starring role for him; he is excellent. Angela Stevens plays another victim. Only one of the murders is depicted, but not in a sensational or bloody manner. Arnold Laven also directed The Monster That Challenged the World.

Verdict: Moody and absorbing. ***.

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