6.7/10
321
17 user 12 critic

Without Warning! (1952)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 8 May 1952 (USA)
Quiet, unobtrusive LA citizen Carl Martin picks up look-alikes for his estranged blonde wife and murders them with garden shears.

Director:

Writers:

(story) (as Bill Raynor), (screenplay) (as Bill Raynor)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Bigamist (1953)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Harry and Eve Graham are trying to adopt a baby. The head of the agency senses Harry is keeping a secret and does some investigating. He soon discovers Harry has done an unusual amount of ... See full summary »

Director: Ida Lupino
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Ida Lupino, Edmund Gwenn
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a brutal police detective Lt. murders a bookmaker's runner for $25,000 in cash, a deaf mute sees him do it, and now he finds he must kill again to cover his tracks.

Directors: Howard W. Koch, Edmond O'Brien
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, John Agar, Marla English
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A poor but beautiful woman sets her sights on rising to the top, and lets nothing stand in her way - including murder.

Director: Ken Hughes
Stars: Arlene Dahl, Philip Carey, Herbert Marshall
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At Kimberley Prescott's villa, a stranger shows-up and claims he is her brother who supposedly died the previous year in a car accident.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Richard Todd, Anne Baxter, Herbert Lom
Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A wealthy man hires a detective to investigate his wife's past. The detective (Franchot Tone) discovers that the wife had been a dancer and left her home town with an actor. The latter is ... See full summary »

Director: S. Sylvan Simon
Stars: Franchot Tone, Janet Blair, Janis Carter
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The struggle of a lady's garment workers' organization to unionize a New York clothing sweat shop; the owner of which is determined to keep the union out of his business at any cost.

Directors: Vincent Sherman, Robert Aldrich
Stars: Lee J. Cobb, Kerwin Mathews, Gia Scala
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Claude is a ruthless and efficient contract killer - until he finds his next target is a woman.

Director: Irving Lerner
Stars: Vince Edwards, Phillip Pine, Herschel Bernardi
Wicked Woman (1953)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A blonde floozy drifts into town and gets a job as a waitress at a local bar. She sets her sights on the bar's handsome owner, who is married to an alcoholic. Her plans are for the two of ... See full summary »

Director: Russell Rouse
Stars: Beverly Michaels, Richard Egan, Percy Helton
All My Sons (1948)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During WW2, industrialist Joe Keller commits a crime and frames his business partner Herbert Deever but years later his sin comes back to haunt him when Joe's son plans to marry Deever's daughter.

Director: Irving Reis
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Burt Lancaster, Mady Christians
Hell's Island (1955)
Adventure | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Down-on-his-luck Mike Cormack is hired to fly to a Caribbean island to retrieve a missing ruby. On the island, possibly involved with the ruby's disappearance, is his ex-girlfriend.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: John Payne, Mary Murphy, Francis L. Sullivan
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When their ship docks the crew disembark as usual to pick up their lives in postwar London. For one of them his petty smuggling turns more serious when he finds himself caught up with a robbery in the City.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Bonar Colleano, Susan Shaw, Renée Asherson
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When 2 detectives steal $80,000 from a dead robber, one of them suffers from a guilty conscience which could lead to murder.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Ida Lupino, Steve Cochran, Howard Duff
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Carl Martin
...
Jane Saunders
...
Lt. Pete Hamilton
Harlan Warde ...
Police Detective Sgt. Don Warde
...
Fred Saunders
...
Blonde
Byron Kane ...
Police Chemist Charlie Wilkins
...
Wolf
Marilee Phelps ...
Virginia
...
Wilson, Motel Manager
Connie Vera ...
Carmelita
...
Dr. Werner, Police Psychiatrist
Edit

Storyline

Carl Martin is a morose and deranged Los Angeles gardener, who,in retribution for the infidelity of his unfaithful wife, sets about to kill as many blonde's as he can. From the time the film opens, to the sound of a radio turned up full-blast over the still-warm corpse of a blonde, the audience knows the identity of the killer. The film depicts, with documentary realism as it was shot on location in and around Los Angeles, how the police, using laboratory techniques against the few clues they have, track down Martin. Their key clue is a spring from a pair of garden shears. The police move in just as Martin is about to add Jane Saunders, the daughter of a greenhouse owner, to his long list of victims. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

KILL! KILL! KILL! (US half-sheet, all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 May 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Story Without a Name  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Marilee Phelps, who plays Virginia, the undercover policewoman who Carl (Adam Williams) takes on the long ride, was Adam Williams' wife at the time this movie was made. Lee Phelps, the uncredited actor who plays "Doc," the police coroner, was Marilee Phelps' father (and Adam Williams" father-in-law). See more »

Goofs

Early in the picture, when Carl Martin (Adam Williams) leaves the little girl Carmelita (Connie Vera) with her broken doll, he has a trailer hitched to his car with a trash can located right up front. Starting out, the can has a lid covering it, but when Carl arrives at the garden shop, the lid is gone. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"There never was a good shortcut to a killer....they found that out."
6 June 2016 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Without Warning!" is a film that actually caught me by surprise. While it's a low-budget picture with mostly no-name cast (the biggest star is the character actor Edward Binns), it is a first-rate film about the police and their relentless search for a serial killer. However, these cops don't work over witnesses or act tough--they do what real cops do and the film is well worth seeing for its CSI-like style.

The film is about the search for a serial killer who remains very true to type. He loves murdering young bleach blondes who look very similar. He also kills them the same way...with a pair of gardening shears. But with very, very few clues since the killer is very bright, the police must slowly put the pieces together and do a lot of legwork to catch up to Carl Martin...a very nasty but seemingly normal sort of guy.

The film excels at showing forensics and describing police work. It also is taut and keeps the viewer interested not just in procedure but in the story itself...which seems very real and free from glamour and clichés. Well worth seeing and a film that deserves to be seen.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page