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.
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
"All right, so I'm flying blind, but I've got you as a bird dog."
Kansas City Confidential is one of my favorite noir films and films of John Payne. It's one you can watch over and over again and still be entertained.
John Payne is a ex-con who drives a florist truck and one of his usual stops is a delivery next door to a bank. Three masked robbers use the same kind of truck to pull off an armored car heist and Payne is suspected of complicity. It don't help he's an ex-con.
This robbery has been organized a fourth man and the beauty of his scheme is that the robbers all wear masks with him and with each other so that no one can rat anyone out. They're supposed to meet in a small Mexican fishing village for the split.
Payne is freed, but the Kansas City cops are still suspicious. He gets a lead on a possible participant and tracks him down to Mexico. And that's where the fun really starts.
The suspense in Kansas City Confidential is not about who did it. The three robbers are Neville Brand, Jack Elam, and Lee Van Cleef, three of the nastiest dudes in film history. The suspense lies whether Payne can put it all together. As he says to one of them, he's flying blind in this one. After all the men don't even know each other or Mr. Big. The viewer knows all, but I won't say more.
John Payne gives a riveting performance of a desperate man and one you don't leave holding the bag without consequences. This is one of the best noir films ever done, not to be missed.
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