IMDb > The Killing (1956)
The Killing
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The Killing (1956) More at IMDbPro »

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The Killing -- Trailer for The Killing


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Up 21% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Stanley Kubrick (screenplay)
Jim Thompson (dialogue)
View company contact information for The Killing on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 June 1956 (USA) See more »
These 5 Men Had a $2,000,000 Secret Until One of them told this Woman! See more »
Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. See more »
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User Reviews:
Good Ol' Kubrick See more (365 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sterling Hayden ... Johnny Clay

Coleen Gray ... Fay

Vince Edwards ... Val Cannon

Jay C. Flippen ... Marvin Unger

Ted de Corsia ... Policeman Randy Kennan (as Ted DeCorsia)

Marie Windsor ... Sherry Peatty

Elisha Cook Jr. ... George Peatty (as Elisha Cook)

Joe Sawyer ... Mike O'Reilly
James Edwards ... Track Parking Attendant

Timothy Carey ... Nikki Arcane
Kola Kwariani ... Maurice Oboukhoff

Jay Adler ... Leo the Loanshark

Tito Vuolo ... Joe Piano

Dorothy Adams ... Mrs. Ruthie O'Reilly
Herbert Ellis ... 2nd American Airlines Clerk

James Griffith ... Mr. Grimes - Airline Supervisor
Cecil Elliott ... Lady with Small Dog

Joe Turkel ... Tiny (as Joseph Turkel)
Steve Mitchell ... Brown - American Airlines Clerk
Mary Carroll ... Woman Asking Kennan for Help

William 'Billy' Benedict ... American Airlines Clerk (as William Benedict)
Charles Cane ... Plainclothesman at Airport (as Charles R. Cane)

Robert Williams ... Plainclothesman at Airport (as Robert B. Williams)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tom Coleman ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)

Rodney Dangerfield ... Onlooker (uncredited)

Franklyn Farnum ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)

John George ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)

Art Gilmore ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Sol Gorss ... Track Guard Slugged by Johnny (uncredited)
Harry Hines ... Chess Player (uncredited)

Kenner G. Kemp ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)

Carl M. Leviness ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Hal J. Moore ... Race Track P.A. Announcer (uncredited)

Harvey Parry ... Bartender (uncredited)
Richard Reeves ... Bill - Track Employee in Locker Room (uncredited)

Frank Richards ... Track Employee in Locker Room (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey ... Racetrack Cashier (uncredited)

Directed by
Stanley Kubrick 
Writing credits
Stanley Kubrick (screenplay)

Jim Thompson (dialogue)

Lionel White (novel "Clean Break")

Produced by
James B. Harris .... producer
Alexander Singer .... associate producer
Original Music by
Gerald Fried 
Cinematography by
Lucien Ballard (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Betty Steinberg 
Art Direction by
Ruth Sobotka 
Set Decoration by
Harry Reif 
Makeup Department
Robert Littlefield .... makeup artist
Lillian Shore .... hairdresser
Production Management
Clarence Eurist .... production supervisor (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Milton Carter .... assistant director
Paul Feiner .... second assistant director
Howard Joslin .... second assistant director
Art Department
Karl Brainard .... assistant set decorator (as Carl Brainard)
Christopher Ebsen .... chief carpenter
Bud Pine .... construction supervisor
Robert L. Stephen .... chief painter
Ray Zambel .... property master
Sound Department
Rex Lipton .... sound effects editor
Earl Snyder .... sound
Special Effects by
Dave Koehler .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Louis DeWitt .... photographic effects
Jack Rabin .... photographic effects
Fred Gabourie .... stunts (unconfirmed)
Sol Gorss .... stunts (unconfirmed)
Gil Perkins .... stunts (unconfirmed)
Wally Rose .... stunts (unconfirmed)
Eddie Saenz .... stunts (unconfirmed)
Don Turner .... stunts (unconfirmed)
Bob Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
Harvey Parry .... stunts (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Camera and Electrical Department
Lou Cortese .... best boy
Paul Eagler .... process camera operator
Carl Gibson .... head grip
Robert Hosler .... second assistant camera
Bobby Jones .... gaffer
Richard Towers .... camera operator (as Dick Tower)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Beaumelle .... costumes: Miss Windsor
Rudy Harrington .... wardrobe: women
Jack Masters .... wardrobe
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Gerald Fried .... conductor
Gilbert D. Marchant .... music editor (as Gilbert Marchant)
Transportation Department
Dave Lesser .... transportation
Other crew
Mary Gibsone .... script supervisor
Joyce Hartman .... assistant to director
Marguerite Olson .... production assistant
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
85 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Canada:14A (video rating) | Finland:K-15 (2003) (uncut) | Finland:K-16 (1959) (cut) | Finland:(Banned) (1956) (uncut) | Iceland:L | Ireland:12 | Italy:VM16 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1956) | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:15 | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (PCA #17836) | West Germany:12 | West Germany:18 (nf) (original rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Film debut of Rodney Dangerfield. NOTE: He appears as an extra in the racetrack fight scene. When the fight is shown the first time he is at the end of the bar. A clearer shot of him doing a characteristic double take occurs when two cops come out of the door to the stairwell to the safe room with Sterling Hayden next to it, watching the fight/distraction develop.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: 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...
See more »
Movie Connections:


Is "The Killing" based on a novel?
Any recommendations for other horse track heist films like "The Killing"?
What is the heist plan?
See more »
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Good Ol' Kubrick, 18 December 2012
Author: ChristophCinema from United States

Stanley Kubrick is one of the greatest directors of all time. He's made some of the greatest, thought provoking, controversial films of all time, and his style is out of this world. But before The Shining, before A Clockwork Orange, before 2001, before Dr. Strangelove, even before Spartacus, there was The Killing. It's a very good movie, but it's not one of Kubrick's best; and I was sort of expecting that. Rarely is a director's first movie his best, and even though it has some flaws, it's still a great movie. One problem I have with this movie is the unnecessary narration. I know that wasn't Kubrick's idea, but it's bad, and it's noticeable. It's actually pretty insulting to the audience's intelligence. I think Kubrick trusted his audience to be smart enough to follow the film, and I wish they would just remove it from the film. Another thing is that the movie feels very lopsided. The first half isn't bad, but the second half is definitely stronger. We get a lot of dialogue for the first half, and then we see the action in the second half. It's very well written, and it does keep my interest, but the scale is totally tipped. It's similar to Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill movies. The first movie is non-stop action and wildly entertaining, and the second movie has very minimal action, and is mostly talking. Like I said, I love dialogue (especially when it's well written), but I wish it was more balanced with the action. So what's good about this movie? Well, the characters are great. You can tell Tarantino took a lot of inspiration from this movie when he made Reservoir Dogs. It's one of the first instances where the main characters are bad guys, they're very mean spirited, but you cheer for them anyway. Also, the ending is unique for the time. Just like I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, the ending is just very haunting, and leaves you with a dark feeling. I think the best thing about this movie is the cinematography. Kubrick is known for his incredible cinematography, and it's really cool to see where it all started. You can just see the future genius that lies within. The Killing isn't a perfect movie, but it's still really good. For a low budget crime drama from the 1950s, it's amazing. And even though it's so low budget, you can still see that Kubrick style slowly growing. It may not be one of his best, and it does have its flaws, but it's still an engaging, dark, intelligent movie.

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