IMDb > Kansas City Confidential (1952)
Kansas City Confidential
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Kansas City Confidential (1952) More at IMDbPro »

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Kansas City Confidential -- An ex-con trying to go straight is framed for a million dollar armored car robbery and must go to Mexico in order to unmask the real culprits.
Kansas City Confidential -- An ex-con trying to go straight is framed for a million dollar armored car robbery and must go to Mexico in order to unmask the real culprits.

Overview

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7.5/10   3,012 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
George Bruce (screenplay) and
Harry Essex (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Kansas City Confidential on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 November 1952 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
Exploding! Like a gun in your face! See more »
Plot:
An ex-con trying to go straight is framed for a million dollar armored car robbery and must go to Mexico in order to unmask the real culprits. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
The first Payne/Karlson collaboration: Everyman thrown to the wolves See more (68 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Payne ... Joe Rolfe

Coleen Gray ... Helen Foster
Preston Foster ... Tim Foster

Neville Brand ... Boyd Kane

Lee Van Cleef ... Tony Romano

Jack Elam ... Pete Harris
Dona Drake ... Teresa
Mario Siletti ... Tomaso
Howard Negley ... Scott Andrews
Carleton Young ... Martin
Don Orlando ... Diaz
Ted Ryan ... Morelli
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Orlando Beltran ... Porter (uncredited)
Ray Bennett ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Chet Brandenburg ... Robbery Spectator (uncredited)
Barry Brooks ... Player (uncredited)
Charles Cane ... Detective Barney (uncredited)
Edward Coch ... Airline Clerk (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Man at Craps Table (uncredited)
Tom Dillon ... Policeman (uncredited)
George Dockstader ... Policeman (uncredited)
Paul Dubov ... Eddie (uncredited)
Paul Fierro ... Paul Garcia - Mexican Chief of Police (uncredited)
Eddie Foster ... Shooter (uncredited)
Tom Greenway ... Policeman (uncredited)
William Haade ... Detective Mullins (uncredited)
Al Hill ... Stickman #2 (uncredited)
Harry Hines ... News Vendor (uncredited)
Paul Hogan ... Bouncer (uncredited)
Don House ... Policeman (uncredited)
Vivi Janiss ... Mrs. Rogers (uncredited)
Helen Kleeb ... Mrs. Crane (uncredited)
Paul Kruger ... Tough Detective (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Stickman #3 (uncredited)
Roger Moore ... News Vendor's Customer (uncredited)
House Peters Jr. ... Policeman (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Jailer (uncredited)
Sam Pierce ... Workman (uncredited)
Joey Ray ... Houseman (uncredited)
Carlos Rivero ... Shooter (uncredited)
Ric Roman ... Rick - Eddie's Brother (uncredited)
Frank J. Scannell ... Stickman #4 (uncredited)
Sam Scar ... Player (uncredited)
Jack Shea ... Policeman (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Stickman #1 (uncredited)
Brick Sullivan ... Policeman (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Player (uncredited)
Phil Tead ... Mr. Collins (uncredited)
Archie Twitchell ... Police Dispatcher (uncredited)
George Wallace ... Olson (uncredited)
Kay Wiley ... Woman (uncredited)
Jeff York ... Captain McBride (uncredited)

Directed by
Phil Karlson 
 
Writing credits
George Bruce (screenplay) and
Harry Essex (screenplay)

Harold Greene (story) (as Harold R. Greene) and
Rowland Brown (story)

Phil Karlson  uncredited
John Payne  uncredited

Produced by
Edward Small .... producer
 
Original Music by
Paul Sawtell 
 
Cinematography by
George E. Diskant (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Buddy Small 
 
Art Direction by
Edward L. Ilou 
 
Set Decoration by
Edward R. Robinson  (as Ray Robinson)
 
Production Management
Ben Hersh .... production supervisor
Les Nettenstrom .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ralph E. Black .... assistant director (as Ralph Black)
Gilbert Mandelik .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Fred Lau .... sound
 
Stunts
Gil Perkins .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joe King .... wardrobe
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Secret Four" - Ireland (English title) (imdb display title), UK
See more »
Runtime:
99 min | West Germany:90 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-18 (DVD rating: 2008) | Finland:K-16 (cut: 1955) | Finland:(Banned) (1953) | Portugal:M/12 | Sweden:15 | USA:Unrated | West Germany:18 (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Veteran actor Preston Foster plays a character whose last name is also Foster.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: At the beginning of the heist, just after the fake florist delivery van appears, a reflection on this van show a few crew members and a folding chair set up in the middle of the road.See more »
Quotes:
Tim Foster:What's everybody so gloomy about?
Tomaso:The weather, Senor, she's so uncertain!
Tim Foster:Up in the States they're having blizzards!
Tomaso:Ah, if something like that would only happen here, but nothing but sunshine and people catching fish. If just once a fish would catch a man!
Tim Foster:That's possible, Tomaso. It all depends on the bait.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "M*A*S*H: The Gun (#4.13)" (1975)See more »
Soundtrack:
La CucarachaSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
56 out of 62 people found the following review useful.
The first Payne/Karlson collaboration: Everyman thrown to the wolves, 18 April 2004
Author: bmacv from Western New York

Driving a truckful of posies for a florist seems about as safe an occupation an ex-con could hope for. But for John Payne in Phil Karlson's Kansas City Confidential, it gets him framed for a million-two robbery. His trouble is that you can set a clock by his punctual rounds, and that one of his deliveries coincides with the arrival of the armored car at the bank next door. His comings and goings have been meticulously stop-watched by the mastermind of the heist (Preston Foster), a disgruntled policeman forced into retirement who seeks his weird sort of revenge.

Foster's plan assembles a gang who wear masks during the plotting so they can't recognize one another, or him. Payne's just the innocent fall guy who's thrown to the cops. Those cops try to beat a confession out of him, but it won't stick. He nonetheless loses his job and ends up on the front pages as the prime suspect. So he goes on the earie and follows the robbers (Jack Elam, Lee Van Cleef and Neville Brand) down to Mexico, where they're to meet with `Mr. Big' again and divvy up the take.

The spanner in the works proves to be Foster's daughter (Coleen Gray), striking sparks with Payne as he poses as one of the conspirators killed in Tijuana en route to the rendezvous. Gray's an aspiring lawyer in ignorance of daddy's scheme – which is to turn over the robbers, thus rehabilitating himself with the force, and to collect the insurers' reward of $300-large.

Those south-of-the-border resort bungalows, during the noir cycle at any rate, were hotbeds of passion and gunplay. Karlson gives us a little of the former (not his long suit) but plenty of the latter. Over cardgames in the lobby and chance meetings amid the subtropical foliage at night, the unknown players try to sniff one another out and gain whatever edge they can. Their final gathering, aboard a boat called the Manana, shakes out as a crashing intersection of cross-purposes.

Like Dick Powell, Payne started off as a crooner and hoofer, a light leading man (his best remembered role is as Maureen O'Hara's fiancé in Miracle on 34th Street). But in three films under Phil Karlson's direction (plus Robert Florey's in The Crooked Way and Allan Dwan's in Slightly Scarlet), he ended up one of the most convincing ordinary-guy protagonists in the noir cycle. He's tough, all right, but still shows the flop-sweat of fear; and he's smart, too, but because he's forced to be – what he's trying to hang onto is all he's got.

Off-screen, he was even smarter, seeing the potential revenue in color films (like Hell's Island and Slightly Scarlet) when selling to television was at most a pipe dream. But as an actor in the ambiguous world of film noir, he's seldom given the credit he deserves. He's every bit as good as Powell or Glenn Ford, if not quite so emblematic as Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum or Burt Lancaster. Karlson's brutal, accomplished works late in the noir cycle gave Payne his place in the dark sun.

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Blu-Ray DVD rnmackenzie
Slippery guns DorgClassic
So how come John Payne's still a suspect when... corriganville
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