Born to Kill

Born to Kill

Director: Robert Wise

Cast: Lawrence Tierney, Claire Trevor, Walter Slezak

     
 

Somehow the titles of the films of hardcase actor Lawrence Tierney seemed to be extensions of the man's personality, as witness such films as The Devil Thumbs a Ride and Born to Kill. In the latter picture, Tierney starts the ball rolling by committing a double murder in a jealous pique. See more details below

Overview

Somehow the titles of the films of hardcase actor Lawrence Tierney seemed to be extensions of the man's personality, as witness such films as The Devil Thumbs a Ride and Born to Kill. In the latter picture, Tierney starts the ball rolling by committing a double murder in a jealous pique. Claire Trevor discovers the bodies, but says nothing to the police; she's leaving town and doesn't want to be impeded. Trevor and Tierney meet and fall in love on the train to San Francisco. Unfortunately, Trevor is married, so Tierney shifts his affections to her sister, Audrey Long (later the wife of director Billy Wilder). He marries Long, though he keeps up his illicit affair with Trevor. When detectives investigating the murders come snooping, they are bought off by Tierney's pal Elisha Cook Jr.--who is then murdered by Tierney, who suspects that Cook is carrying on with Trevor (Cook seldom survived to the end of any of his films). When Tierney finally does face arrest, it's at the instigation of the jealous Trevor, who is shot full of holes for her trouble. Born to Kill was based on James Gunn's novel Deadlier Than the Male.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Adam Bregman
L.A. gangster Mickey Cohen once said of actor Lawrence Tierney, "A lot of them actor guys, like the guy that played Dillinger, Lawrence Tierney, started to think they was Dillinger. I guess when actors are given a certain part to portray, and they portray it year in and year out, they begin to play it somewhat for real." This may be the reason Tierney is so convincing as a scumball crook in Born to Kill. He spent much of his life in and out of jail. As Sam Wild, Tierney is at his most menacing, ready to tear into anybody for any reason, and in Born to Kill he leaves a sizable body count. Helen Trent (Claire Trevor) is a bad girl, but has some conscience, which makes her actually look down upon Sam, even though she's in love with him. Elisha Cook Jr. is great here playing a low-rent crook and pal of Sam's, who also has something in the way of a conscience. But Sam is pure violence incarnate, with absolutely no control over his murderous tendencies. This is one mean B-movie with some great action and a gripping ending.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/05/2005
UPC:
0053939724622
Original Release:
1947
Rating:
NR
Source:
Turner Home Ent
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:23:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by Eddie Muller, author of The Art of Noir and Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir with audio excerpts of director Robert Wise ; Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lawrence Tierney Sam Wild
Claire Trevor Helen Trent
Walter Slezak Arnold Amett
Phillip Terry Fred Grover
Audrey Long Georgia Staples
Elisha Cook Marty Waterman
Isabel Jewell Laury Palmer
Esther Howard Mrs. Kraft
Kathryn Card Grace
Tony Barrett Danny
Grandon Rhodes Inspector Wilson
Sam Lufkin Crap Dealer
Sayre Dearing Crap Dealer
Sammy Shack Crap Dealer
Ruth Brennan Sally
Tommy Noonan Bellboy
Al Murphy Cab Driver
Philip Warren Chauffeur
Ben Frommer Delivery Boy
Netta Packer Mrs Perth
Lee Frederick Desk Clerk
Demetrius Alexis Maitre d'Hotel
Martha Hyer Maid
Beatrice Maude Cook
Ellen Corby 2nd Maid
Jean Fenwick Margaret Macy
Napoleon Whiting Porter
Perc Launders Detective Bryson
Jason Robards Conductor

Technical Credits
Robert Wise Director
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
Russell A. Cully Special Effects
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director
Robert de Grasse Cinematographer
Eve Greene Screenwriter
Walter E. Keller Art Director
Richard Macaulay Screenwriter
Les Millbrook Editor
Sid Rogell Executive Producer
Paul Sawtell Score Composer
Herman Schlom Producer
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
Edward Stevenson Costumes/Costume Designer
John Sturtevant Set Decoration/Design

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Credits [1:08]
2. Divorce Day [3:21]
3. Roll of the Dice [2:36]
4. Killer in Waiting [5:02]
5. What I Want I Take [2:34]
6. Fellow Travelers [4:07]
7. Retaining Arnett [3:07]
8. Fourth for Dinner [3:22]
9. Shall We Dance? [4:03]
10. Decided on Marriage [2:32]
11. Upset [4:46]
12. Her Sister's Keeper [3:24]
13. No Longer Upset [2:58]
14. Newlyweds at Odds [4:18]
15. Soulmates [4:07]
16. I Don't Get Her [3:02]
17. Most Attractive Man [3:19]
18. Mrs. Kraft's Visitors [6:02]
19. The Way He Wants [3:21]
20. Murder in the Dunes [3:12]
21. Figuring Things Out [3:37]
22. Want to Live or Die? [3:07]
23. Not Rotten Clear Through [5:46]
24. Telling Georgia the Truth [4:30]
25. Way of the Transgressor [3:59]
26. Cast List [:27]

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