The KillingDirector: Stanley Kubrick
The Killing was director Stanley Kubrick's first major film effort -- though, like Kubrick's earlier films, it was economically produced with an inexpensive cast. In a variation of his Asphalt Jungle role, Sterling Hayden plays veteran criminal Johnny Clay, planning one last big heist before settling down to a respectable marriage with Fay (Colleen Gray). Teaming with several cohorts, Johnny masterminds a racetrack robbery. The basic flaw is that all the crooks involved are losers and small-timers who find themselves in way over their heads despite their supposed cleverness. None of the participants is more pathetic than George Peatty (Elisha Cook Jr.), who is goaded into the robbery by his covetous and far-from-faithful wife (Marie Windsor). As in a Greek tragedy, Johnny's best-laid schemes go awry. Prominently featured in the cast of The Killing are offbeat character actors Tim Carey and Joe Turkel, who'd show up with equally showy roles in future Kubrick productions. The Killing is based on the novel Clean Break by Lionel White.
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- [B&W, Wide Screen]
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Cast & Crew
|Sterling Hayden||Johnny Clay|
|Marie Windsor||Sherry Peatty|
|Elisha Cook||George Peatty|
|Vincent Edwards||Val Cannon|
|Jay C. Flippen||Marvin Unger|
|Ted de Corsia||Randy Kennan|
|Joe Sawyer||Mike O'Reilly|
|Timothy Carey||Nikki Arane|
|William Benedict||Airline Clerk|
|James Edwards||Parking Attendant|
|Kola Kwarian||Maurice Oboukhoff|
|Robert B. Williams||Actor|
|Gerald Fried||Score Composer|
|Rudy Harrington||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|James B. Harris||Producer|
|David Koehler||Special Effects|
|Harry Reif||Set Decoration/Design|
|Alexander Singer||Associate Producer|
|Earl Snyder||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Ruth Sobotka||Art Director|
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Brilliant early Kubrick featuring many film noir/B movie stalwarts.
When I was in college, a psychology professor told me that people who hurt, torture or kill animals will certainly do the same thing to people. This is a movie which involves the killing of a horse but it eventually leads to the killing of several people. And like all the great classic crime films, it's all done for money. That's the sour message delivered in Stanley Kubrick's directing debut, "The Killing". Made in 1956, Kubrick even then knew how to tell a compelling story, even though it seemed simple enough. Sterling Hayden portrays Johnny, an expert criminal who plans to rob a racetrack box office and hopefully retire. He's hired a number of cronies to help him pull this off. However, they have ideas of their own. One of these cronies is George (played brilliantly by Elisha Cook), whose wife pulls a double-cross that throws everything into disarray. Shot in grainy black-and-white with almost none of the special tracking shots that Kubrick would later be noted for, "The Killing" is told in the gritty style of a 1940's pulp fiction novel with more than a few twists. Yet, this could very well be the first Noir Heist film, one that a lot of filmmakers try to emulate but can't duplicate. Although you watch this film and you can imagine Sterling Hayden as the Boss in Quentin Tarantino's "Resevoir Dogs". Hayden, who starred in other Kubrick films, is tough, quick-thinking and delivers one great hard-boiled line after another---"Suppose they pick you up? What have you done? You shot a horse! That's not first-degree murder! It's not first-degree anything! In fact, I don't even know what it is!" The DVD which was been released by The Criterion Collection also features Kubrick's second film, "Killer's Kiss", which is nowhere neaer as great as this film is. But it's interesting to see both of these films because just two years later, Kubrick would direct "Paths Of Glory" and he became an A-list filmmaker for the rest of his life. The journey to "Dr. Strangelove", "2001: A Space Odyssey", "A Clockwork Orange" and "The Shining" all began here. Who knows what kind of a filmmaker Kubrick might have turned out to be had he continued making movies like "The Killing"?
Yes, i did like this movie, it was interesting and it did have a good plot. It was visually good as well, and the acting was good. If you want something different then this movie is worth checking out.