After getting out of prison, Johnny Clay masterminds a complex race-track heist, but his scheme is complicated by the intervention of the wife of a teller (George Peatty) in on the scheme, the boyfriend of the wife, airport regulations, and a small dog. Written by
Andrew Hyatt <email@example.com>
The total budget for the film was $320,000 - $200,000 was put up by United Artists, with the rest raised by producer James B. Harris. This was a paltry budget for a feature even by 1950s Hollywood standards. See more »
On the day of the robbery a scene with the character, Johnny Clay, shows him awake and dressed and says "At seven that morning, Johnny Clay began what might be, the last day of his life". He wakes another character and they talk awhile. This scene is immediately followed by an airport scene in which the narrator says: "It was exactly 7:00AM when he got to the airport". See more »
At exactly 3:45 on that Saturday afternoon in the last week of September, Marvin Unger was, perhaps, the only one among the hundred thousand people at the track who felt no thrill at the running of the fifth race. He was totally disinterested in horse racing and held a lifelong contempt for gambling. Nevertheless, he had a $5 win bet on every horse in the fifth race. He knew, of course, that this rather unique system of betting would more than likely result in a loss, but he didn't...
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Everything about this movie fascinates me. Even the unexpected ending has a compelling and unique flavor to it. Sure, it looks like many crime dramas of the 50's. But we are talking about of a movie with a director of the prodigious talents of Stanley Kubrick.
Sometimes you wonder which genre Kubrick could not have handled brilliantly. He seems to know exactly what to do in such a wide variety of movies...Crime, Drama, War, Surreal, Historical Epic, Science Fiction and Black Comedy. My only wish would have been if Kubrick could have made MORE movies. When he died, that left only Woody Allen as the only major director who is working as a pure artist in the film medium.
THE KILLING is filled with crime-noir touches that form an absorbing whole that is hard to beat. The acting is top-notch, the scenes are set in gold taking from every crime movie and creating a whole that could not have been done so well by just any director - perhaps only Hitchcock could have pulled this off. Then there's the jazzy score that underlines the action which punch and atmosphere that just curdles off the screen.
Even if you're not a Kubrick fan (which might surprise many people when they find out he was the director) you will enjoy this movie.
Right to the end...which I won't reveal...but has an inevitability written with classical balance and a submission to fate that leaves a wry smile on your face.
Sterling Hayden is great in this role and he populates this character with just the right sort of mystery to keep you guessing until the end.
Recommended without reservation.
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