8.0/10
62,151
355 user 141 critic

The Killing (1956)

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director:

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Killer's Kiss (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Ready to catch a train to his hometown, a washed up boxer tells us about the strange and twisty events that happened to him the past couple of days.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Frank Silvera, Irene Kane, Jamie Smith
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou
Lolita (1962)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A middle-aged college professor becomes infatuated with a fourteen-year-old nymphet.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's aristocratic position in 18th-century England.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Four soldiers trapped behind enemy lines must confront their fears and desires.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Frank Silvera, Kenneth Harp, Paul Mazursky
Spartacus (1960)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Todd Field
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

Directors: Charles Laughton, Robert Mitchum, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
Touch of Evil (1958)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh
The Big Sleep (1946)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder - a theory that he plans to implement.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Fay
...
...
...
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
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 June 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bed of Fear  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$320,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The total budget for the film was $320,000. United Artists put up $200,000 and the rest was raised by producer James B. Harris. This was a paltry budget for a feature even by 1950s "B" picture standards. See more »

Goofs

When Johnny first arrives at the apartment, we see the car door open through the rear window - the scene cuts to a shot from the rear driver side of the car and we see the car door open again. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Hitchcock like in style...
4 November 2006 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Kubrick directed 15 odd movies in half a century (let's exclude Spartacus). His skills as an auteur may not have been recognized till Strangelove but they were on display in films like Lolita, Paths of Glory and of course The Killing, his first certified classic.

The Killing is about an intricate race-track heist involving a group of non-professionals with clean records. The mastermind, Sterling Hayden, has however spent some time in prison. The unique thing for the time is the non-linear structure of the film - particularly the heist sequence. This was probably Hayden's finest role - yes, better than Jack D. Ripper of Strangelove or Altman's The Long Goodbye - as the doomed hero, Johnny Clay. He is very tall and physical and quite brilliant in this role. He is well-supported by an old favorite of mine from The Maltese Falcon, Elisha Cook Jr. whose venomous wife, Marie Windsor plays a femme fatale of sorts. There is also the cult favorite Timothy Carey as the person assigned to shoot Red Lightning. Reservoir Dogs, a cult film inspired by The Killing is dedicated to Carey.

While The Killing is certainly noirish, it does not have the pure noir look - well, pretty much most of it is filmed in the daytime. In fact, if Kubrick was inspired, it would have been more by Hitchcock's tight pacing than by Chandler or Cain's hard-boiled dialog. The camera-work and editing are brilliant - for me even better than later Kubrick classics. Kubrick was forced to add a voice-over by the studio - something he really wasn't inclined towards. His ingenious solution was to have the VO not directly comment on the movie, but to add another layer to the films structure. It works! This film is not dated, although the Marie Windsor character is a bit one-dimensional and what is visible in the short length of the movie is the tight pacing.


32 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Somebody explain the ending for me? TheLamplightersSerenade
Narration maksattax
Would the charge be murder ? tallgiraffe876
Would this film be considered so great if another director made it? freakyfelix
Great Movie But I've 4 questions... MovieActivist
What was Marvin's purpose? psedge
Discuss The Killing (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?