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The Killing (1956) Poster

(1956)

Trivia

This was the first film on which Stanley Kubrick worked with a cinematographer. Lucien Ballard was hired because Kubrick was officially working on a film union production for the first time, which meant he could not be both director and cinematographer, as he had done in the past. The two often did not agree on camera and lighting matters.
Jump to: Director Trademark (2) | Spoilers (5)
Initial test screenings were poor, citing the non-linear structure as the main problem. Stanley Kubrick was forced to go back and edit the film in a linear fashion, actually making the film even more confusing. In the end, it was released in its original form, and is often cited as being a huge influence on other non-linear films like Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994).
Kirk Douglas was so impressed with this film that he sought out the director for his next project, Paths of Glory (1957).
Sterling Hayden was paid $40,000 for his lead role (Jack Palance and Victor Mature were both considered for the part). Stanley Kubrick took no fee as director of the film.
The narration was added at the studio's insistence. Stanley Kubrick hated the idea and thus makes much of the information that the narrator provides false or mistaken.
The location where John Clay (Sterling Hayden) proposes the deal to Maurice Oboukhoff (Kola Kwariani) is a mock-up of the 42nd Street Chess and Checker Parlor in New York City. Director Stanley Kubrick was a regular chess player there, as was Kola.
The film was shot in 24 days.
Frank Sinatra expressed interest in this project, but production rights were granted to Stanley Kubrick first.
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.
The car Nikki was driving was an MG-TD with a Jaguar hood ornament.
The film was effectively dumped by United Artists, premiering as the second half of a double feature; Richard Fleischer's Bandido! (1956) was the main film. However, it made Stanley Kubrick's reputation, and Kirk Douglas and Marlon Brando soon hired him.
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.
One of the horses in the race in which all of the characters are called to a meeting is called "Stanley K", named for director Stanley Kubrick.
Art director Ruth Sobotka was Stanley Kubrick's wife at the time.
Director Stanley Kubrick formed a production company with James B. Harris, Harris-Kubrick Pictures, before making this film. Kubrick and Harris bought the rights to the Lionel White pulp novel "The Snatch" for $10,000, but found out that the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association (MPPDA) Code would not allow movies to be made about the kidnapping of children, the premise of White's potboiler. White subsequently swapped the rights to his novel "Clean Break" for "The Snatch" to get them out of the predicament. United Artists had considered buying "Clean Break" as a vehicle for Frank Sinatra. "The Snatch" later was made into The Night of the Following Day (1968) in the more permissive 1960s, when the MPPDA Code had been superseded by the ratings system.
Stanley Kubrick initially wrote a script outline. He then asked Jim Thompson to flesh it out with dialog.
Stanley Kubrick delayed filming in order to wait until Marie Windsor was finished with another film, Swamp Women (1956), Roger Corman's directorial debut.
Marie Windsor landed the part of Sherry Peatty after Stanley Kubrick saw her performance in The Narrow Margin (1952).
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Stanley Kubrick and producer James B. Harris first attempted to produce the movie around New York, where they lived, but after failing to find an East Coast racetrack that would allow the crime to be filmed there, they moved it to Bay Meadows, near San Francisco, which closed in 2008. Although named "Lansdowne" for the movie, "Bay Meadows" can be seen above the starting gate at the start of the race early in the film.
Once they had convinced Sterling Hayden to come on board, Stanley Kubrick and his producer James B. Harris were able to approach United Artists about securing the extra financing for the film.
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The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
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The racetrack scenes were filmed at the former Bay Meadows racetrack located on San Mateo , California. The track closed in 2008.
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Director Trademark 

Stanley Kubrick: [faces] George Peatty, when he finds out about his wife's dalliance.
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Stanley Kubrick: [three-way] Johnny Clay vs. George Peatty vs. Sherry Peatty.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

As Johnny leaves the store after buying a suitcase, advertised on the wall just beyond his car is a burlesque show featuring Lenny Bruce.
DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK(Stanley Kubrick): [Maniacal staring face]: George Peatty, when he confronts his wife after her lover assaulted the rendezvous point.
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Body count: nine (eight people and one horse)
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DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK(Stanley Kubrick): [bathroom]: A gun is hidden in the locker room of the racetrack.
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The horse targeted for assassination was named Red Lightning, running in the seventh race, the $100,000 Added Landsdowne Stakes.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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