Two homicidal drifters (played to creepy perfection by Warren Oates and Corey
Allen) wander off the beach and into the seemingly-perfect Los Angeles home of
unhappy housewife Kate Manx, in this long-lost California noir written &
directed by THE OUTER LIMITS creator Leslie Stevens. Lensed in stunning B&W by
master cameraman Ted McCord (THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE), PRIVATE PROPERTY
is both an eerie, Jim Thompson-esque thriller and a savage critique of the
hollowness of the Playboy-era American Dream.
Warren Oates delivers his first screen performance here, years before he
emerged in THE WILD BUNCH and TWO-LANE BLACKTOP as one of the finest character
actors of his generation; his bizarre Lennie-and-George relationship with the
underrated Corey Allen (James Dean's hot rod rival in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE) is
fueled by a barely-suppressed homoerotic tension. Director Stevens (a protégé of
Orson Welles) and lead actress Manx were married at the time, and the film was
shot in their home; several years later, Manx tragically committed suicide and
her fragile spirit seems to hang over the film.