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.
Prize-fighter Davy Gordon intervenes when private dancer Gloria Price is being attacked by her employer and lover Vincent Raphello. This brings the two together and they get involved with each other, which displeases Raphello. He sends men out to kill Davy, but they instead kill his friend. Gloria is soon kidnapped by Raphello and his men, and it is up to Davy to save her. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
Many scenes were photographed with a springwound Eyemo camera, which holds 100-foot loads of film. The Eyemo was borrowed from Max Glenn and was subsequently stolen from Stanley Kubrick's car. For many tracking shots, Kubrick and company used the back of a pickup truck in place of a dolly. Kubrick was on welfare during the making of this film. See more »
Before Davy jumps through the loft window, he is wearing light socks and later dark socks. When he lands on the sidewalk, he is clearly wearing white socks. See more »
This film, directed by Stanley Kubrik, is not seen often these days. It was a surprise that it was shown recently on cable as it gave all of Mr. Kubrik's fans the opportunity to watch one of his early works.
The copy that was shown is amazing in that it has been kept, or probably restored, with great care. Stanley Kubrik was a genius; he probably knew more about movies than many other of his contemporaries. Yet, his legacy is somehow meager, only sixteen full length features in almost fifty years as a director.
Killer's Kiss shows the Manhattan of 1955 like it has never been seen in other movies made in the city. Mr. Kubrik's attention to detail and style overshadows the story. The main problem is his screen play, it never involves the viewer in what he is seeing. This is exacerbated by the voice over one hears over the action. We never know what makes these people tick, much less what's going on in their heads at any given moment.
The story is told in a flashback. We see Davy waiting at the old Pennsylvania Station for the train that is to take him to Seattle. He had planned to leave with Gloria, but she seems never to appear; for all we know, he might be waiting in vain.
The streets of Manhattan come alive in the brilliant black and white cinematography by Mr. Kubrik, himself. That old New York that is no longer around, is captured by Mr. Kubrik in such brilliant detail that we mourn the fact those buildings and institutions are not around any more. The night scenes around Times Square, especially the stairway leading to the dance hall have a style that brings some of Edward Hooper's work to mind. Mr. Kubrik deserves credit for filming on location and never making it feel as though those scenes have been fixed to give that effect. In fact, that's where Kubrik's genius comes into play, we realize he had an eye for making things real.
The acting is not the main focus of this film. Frank Silvera makes a menacing Vincent, the mobster and dance hall owner. Jamie Smith and Irene Kane, go through the paces, but they don't convey to the viewer the passion that is supposed to be going on between them.
This movie should be seen by the serious moviegoer as it shows Mr. Kubrik's tremendous talent. It might be a minor film, in comparison to his best work, but being one of his first movies, one can clearly see what will come later.
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