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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


These 5 Men Had a $2,000,000 Secret Until One of them told this Woman! 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 film was shot in 24 days. 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 »


[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...
See more »

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User Reviews

Really fantastic film noir
14 July 2004 | by (PURE MGM ZONE) – See all my reviews

Nowadays, every dang films from studios are being beef up to epic size length. To be honest, I find this very dull and pointless and too many filler scenes, which aren't necessary at all. The Killing is great example of keep it short and sweet with no fat on it. It's just straight to the point and no complicated plot twists over plot twists over plot twists like modern hesist film. Kubrick's direction is very brilliant in this film.

It's very straightfoward, even if it's in nonlinear sequences, which is very unique for its time. Nowadays, too many films are use nonlinear sequences to add gimmicky appeal to the audiences, which is waste of time. Sterling Hayden is wonderful as Johnny Clay, who is the mastermind of the hesist plan. He should have get nomination for Academy Awards because no one can play that character like Hayden. It is seldom to watch nice and taut film that is clocked approximately 90 minutes.

This film have all basic elements of film noir, which is one of my favorite genre. You can see Kubrick's signatures began to show in this film, i.e. 3 ways enemies. Kubrick is the star of The Killing, that's for sure. The directors who want to make a hesist film should learn from The Killing because it's outstanding film. One of the best hesist film of all time.


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