A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.
Joe Sullivan is itching to get out of prison. He's taken the rap for Rick, who owes him $50 Grand. Rick sets up an escape for Joe, knowing that Joe will be caught escaping and be shot or ... See full summary »
A down-on-his-luck ex-GI finds himself framed for an armored car robbery. When he's finally released for lack of evidence--after having been beaten up and tortured by the police--he sets out to discover who set him up, and why. The trail leads him into Mexico and a web of hired killers and corrupt cops. Written by
Tim Foster sent telegrams dated May 22 containing the message "BORADOS, NINETEENTH", presumably meaning meet in Borados on the 19th, so it would have to mean June 19th which is the next 19th. When Joe Rolfe checks in at the Hotel Hacienda the register sheet shows May. When Timothy Foster receives the telegraph from the Police Chief of Tijuana it's dated "de Monday de fourth de 1952" and states "... MAN SHOT TO DEATH HERE NIGHT OF 14 OCTOBER ...". So Peter Harris would have had to be shot October 14, 1951 but the license plate on the Western Florist van had a 1952 date. And the closest Monday the 4th after May 1952 is August 4th. See more »
I know a sure cure for a nosebleed: a cold knife in the middle of the back.
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This absorbing crime drama is also one of the most well-crafted movies of its genre. It tells its story with few frills, but with plenty of interesting details and a well-timed pace. John Payne gets one of his best roles, with a very good supporting cast. A strong sense of danger and uncertainty is built up early, and is effectively carried through the whole movie, right up to the end.
Payne is well-cast as an ex-convict who gets framed by a very clever criminal mastermind, and who then determines to seek out the truth. In itself, the setup is a familiar one, but "Kansas City Confidential" gets quite a lot out of it, and it is hardly predictable. The story moves from one hazardous situation to the next, with very little pause for relief, maintaining the tension constantly. Preston Foster is also very well-suited for his role as the ex-police captain, and the roles of the three lowlifes are well-acted by Neville Brand and young-looking Lee Van Cleef and Jack Elam.
The atmosphere and characters both work particularly well. The story has perhaps a couple of implausible turns, but in itself it is so carefully constructed that this really doesn't matter. Director Phil Karlson certainly deserves praise for putting things together so well. Very few B-movies are this well-conceived, and as a result it still holds up very well.
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