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The Killing (1956)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller  |  6 June 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 58,797 users  
Reviews: 354 user | 134 critic

Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.



(screenplay), (dialogue), 1 more credit »
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Top Rated Movies #247 | 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)
Joe Sawyer ...
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


...Like No Other Picture Since "Scarface" and "Little Caesar"! See more »


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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?


Art director Ruth Sobotka was Stanley Kubrick's wife at the time. See more »


Every time Johnny Clay pulls up to the hotel you can see the shadow of the boom mic on the road. 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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User Reviews

Great Characters In Here!
23 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Director Stanley Kubrick is best known for "2001: A Space Odyssey." "A Clockwork Orrange" or "The Shining" but I always found this to be my favorite of his films. This is film noir at some of its best: a tight no-nonsense story with tragic consequences, some of the best film noir actors in the business and great cinematography, which looks even better on DVD.

Sterling Hayden is the gang leader in this heist film and the big man was up to the task as he usually was in these kind of crime films. He wasn't as rough a character as he was in "Asphalt Jungle," but his role reminded me of that film.

What made this movie so appealing to me were four very interesting character actors: Elisha Cook Jr., Marie Windsor, Kola Kwariani and Ted de Corsia. Few people had those loser-type film noir characters down pat as well as the tough-talking Windsor and the meek and wimpy Cook. They played a husband-and-wife team here: that's film noir heaven!

Kwariani plays a burley chess-playing wrestler who fights six cops at one time and Carey is a long-distance racist rifleman who talks through clenched-teeth and shoots a racehorse! As I said, some very interesting characters here.

And, oh yeah.....for you over-55 readers, there's Vince Edwards, alias Dr. Ben Casey of TV fame, as a Windsor's young adulterer boyfriend trying to horn in on the money from the robbery.

This film is full of surprises and always fun to watch.

72 of 96 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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