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The Killing 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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Kubrick Was Just Getting Warmed Up...
Posted by: CapricornKing from: Long Beach, CA on
This movie was filmed in the early 50's, but with today's Blu-ray technology, the clarity makes this movie so much fun to watch and enjoy no matter what time of the day. Great story and the ending was a surprise, makes you take a second look at how movies end today compared to then. A must see if you haven't already. 5 stars!!
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
Posted by: Mofrez305 from: Miami on
A great look at early Kubrick and his take on a more traditional movie. Tremendously entertaining.
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
The Thick, Pulpy Roots of Modern Heist Epics
Posted by: drqshadow from: Bradenton, FL on
Stanley Kubrick's coming-out party from the mid '50s is a startlingly accurate prediction of film's future. By way of a non-linear narration and a few remarkably fresh transitions, Kubrick adds considerable weight and magnitude to a tangled heist tale and its focus on the crooks behind a slick, daring stickup of the local racetrack. Confused by the film's radical new approach to storytelling, test audiences hated the first cut, leading to studio meddling and an almost-complete disintegration of its marketing budget. Kubrick fought back, though, and with the obvious exception of a horribly heavy-handed deadpan narration, the finished product seems virtually untouched. Concerned mostly with the planning and hand-wringing before the big theft, The Killing tensely builds anticipation throughout before finally boiling over in a machine gun-paced robbery scene, terse payoff and all-too-brief elaboration on the major players' ultimate fates. Acceptably acted at best, the real stars of this picture are the complex plot and the harvest of fresh ideas going on behind the lens. A clear inspiration for Tarantino's big hits of the '90s, it's a daring and stylish major market debut for the famed director that hints at the lengths his development would ultimately take the medium.
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
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