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The Killing (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 6 June 1956 (USA)
1:33 | Trailer

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Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.



(screenplay), (dialogue) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Policeman Randy Kennan (as Ted DeCorsia)
George Peatty (as Elisha Cook)
Mike O'Reilly
James Edwards ...
Track Parking Attendant
Nikki Arcane
Kola Kwariani ...
Jay Adler ...
Leo the Loanshark
Tito Vuolo ...
Joe Piano
Mrs. Ruthie O'Reilly
Herbert Ellis ...
2nd American Airlines Clerk


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 <dres@uiuc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


...In All Its Fury and Violence See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

6 June 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bed of Fear  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$320,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The car Nikki was driving was an MG-TD with a Jaguar hood ornament. See more »


At the motel, the camera shadow can be seen on the pavement, along with the crane and operator. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Young Kubrick's triumph

Stanley Kunbrick was still in his twenties when he made this film, yet his confidence and self-assurance are all over it. It is a well-written story, co-written by Kubrick (based on a novel called "A Clean Break"), about a meticulously planned horetrack heist told from the point of view of the several people who were in on the plot. Most of these guys weren't professional criminals, but otherwise honest men who were down on their luck and needed a break. They turned to this audacious plan in desperation, thinking they could do some real good in their lives with their share of the money. I won't give away the ending of course, but keep in mind this is a Kubrick film. That's all I say about that.

Standouts include Sterling Hayden as the ringleader, Marie Windsor as a snide, manipulative woman, Elisha Cook as her milquetoasty husband, Timothy Carey, as creepy as ever, and Kola Kwariani, the thinking man's Tor Johnson, as a chess expert/hired thug.

Speaking of chess, this is the first movie I've ever seen with a scene taking place in a chess parlor. Being from a provincial New England town, and not being a chess afficionado, I never knew such places existed.

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