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The Killing [Criterion Collection] [2 Discs] [DVD] [1956]

  • SKU: 19308027
  • Release Date: 08/16/2011
  • Rating: NR

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (4 out of 4)

    Special Features

    • Disc 1 - New Video Interview with Producer James B. Harris
    • Excerpted Interviews with actor Sterling Hayden from the French television series Cinéma cinémas
    • New Video Interview with Poet and Author Robert Polito about Writer Jim Thompson
    • Trailer
    • Disc 2 - Restored high-definition digital transfer of Stanley Kubrick's 1955 noir feature Killer's Kiss
    • New video appreciation of Killer's Kiss featuring film critic Geoffrey O'Brien
    • Plus: a Booklet featuring an essay by film historian Haden Guest and a reprinted interview with actress Marie Windsor


    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

    Cast & Crew

    • Sterling Hayden
      Sterling Hayden - Johnny Clay
    • Coleen Gray
      Coleen Gray - Fay
    • Marie Windsor
      Marie Windsor - Sherry Peatty
    • Elisha Cook, Jr.
      Elisha Cook, Jr. - George Peatty
    • Vince Edwards
      Vince Edwards - Val Cannon

    Customer rating

    Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars with 4 reviews

    would recommend to a friend

    Most relevant reviews

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    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      The Thick, Pulpy Roots of Modern Heist Epics

      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      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.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Kubrick Was Just Getting Warmed Up...

      • My Best Buy Premier Silver MemberElite Plus Member

      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!!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Criterion Lover

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      I own over 900 Blue Ray and DVD this is a must for the collection excellent Film Noir movie

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Very entertaining.

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      A great look at early Kubrick and his take on a more traditional movie. Tremendously entertaining.

      I would recommend this to a friend

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