7.3/10
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76 user 36 critic

Born to Kill (1947)

A calculating divorcée risks her chances at wealth and security with a man she doesn't love by getting involved with the hotheaded murderer romancing her foster sister.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Eve Greene (screenplay), Richard Macaulay (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Claire Trevor ... Helen
Lawrence Tierney ... Sam
Walter Slezak ... Arnett
Phillip Terry ... Fred
Audrey Long ... Georgia
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Marty
Isabel Jewell ... Laury Palmer
Esther Howard ... Mrs. Kraft
Kathryn Card Kathryn Card ... Grace
Tony Barrett Tony Barrett ... Danny
Grandon Rhodes ... Inspector Wilson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jason Robards Sr. ... Conductor (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

In Reno a man kills a girl he likes and her boyfriend out of jealousy; it may not be the first time. A woman whose divorce has just come through finds the bodies but decides not to become involved. The two meet next day on the train to San Francisco unaware of this link between them. They are attracted to each other, and the relationship survives his marriage to her half-sister for money and status. It even survives the woman discovering that he was the murderer, though she may not realise how easily someone who has killed this way before can do so again. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Story of a Woman Who Loved Unwisely...and too well! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 May 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Deadlier Than the Male See more »

Filming Locations:

Reno, Nevada, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed partially on location at Jewett Estate, 1145 Arden Road, Pasadena, California. See more »

Goofs

When Mrs. Kraft rolls down the hill in the desert, her head is pointing left when she comes to a stop. After the edit (when the stunt double is replaced), her head is now pointing to the right. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Kraft: You know, you ought to put on some meat, Laury. You're so skinny, can't grab hold of you anywhere.
Laury Palmer: I haven't noticed anybody having any trouble.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pretty Little Liars: Stolen Kisses (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

From This Day Forward
(uncredited)
Music by Leigh Harline
See more »

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User Reviews

 
If there's hard-core noir, this is it!
21 June 2000 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

Robert Wise does not come to mind as a master director of film noir, but he came through with flying colors (all black) in this gem, starting out in Reno, Nevada, and ending up in San Francisco. Claire Trevor, the dark spider of so much noir, outdoes herself in cold malevolence here (she should have copped the Oscar for this film, not Key Largo). Her evenly matched partner is the frightening Lawrence Tierney (who last showed up as Elaine Benes' author dad on Seinfeld, not to mention in Prizzi's Honor and Reservoir Dogs). The supporting cast, for once, earns its keep (though Walter Slezak, as a corrupt detective, is oddly irrelevant to the story). If you're a fan of these dark post-war films, Born to Kill is central to the canon.


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