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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


...Like No Other Picture Since "Scarface" and "Little Caesar"! 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?


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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Referenced in Quo Vadis, Baby? (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A movie with average plot, fair acting, but superb direction
19 May 2001 | by (Chicago, IL) – See all my reviews

Stanley Kubrick is truly one of the most gifted directors of all time. He wasn't afraid to be boring(2001: a Space Odyssey) or critically bashed(The Shining) or risque and disturbing(A Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut). He simply did his job: to provide a well made film with strong theme and meaning. The Killing is definitely not Kubrick's best work. It seems to me that Stan wasn't famous enough and too little known to make The Killing the way that he wanted to. It was though, still pretty entertaining. It has one of my favorite attributes that most movies don't even steer close to: a non-linear plot. A non-linear plot is when scenes are put in non-chronilogical order, i.e. Pulp Fiction, Out of Sight, Fight Club, etc. It makes the audience pay more attention and makes the plot seem more interesting and intricate. In this movie, the plot wasn't way out of order, but it was enough to be conidered non-linear.

Another cool part of the movie was the heist itself. It was very well planned and executed and obviously took time to think up. The depressing climax and ending lean a lot towards the work of Hitchcock. In fact, if this film had been in some parts been by Hitchcock, it would not have been too much of a surprise.

If you're in to classic, black and white crime dramas, then this movie is for you.

18 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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