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Born to Kill (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 3 May 1947 (USA)
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 Brent
Lawrence Tierney ... Sam Wilde
Walter Slezak ... Albert Arnett
Phillip Terry ... Fred Grover
Audrey Long ... Georgia Staples Wilde
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Marty Waterman
Isabel Jewell ... Laury Palmer
Esther Howard ... Mrs. Kraft
Kathryn Card ... Grace
Tony Barrett ... Danny
Grandon Rhodes ... Inspector Wilson
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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:

BULLET-MAN and SILKEN SAVAGE...(original print ad) 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

The French film maker Jean-Pierre Melville was influenced by the movie; he borrowed the lost isolated house settings, at night, the same kind of settings you have in his movie : Le Doulos. See more »

Goofs

They took a train from Reno Nv. to San Fransisco Ca. but the shot of the train coming at the camera head-on is a Pennsylvania RR streamlined K4 locomotive on their 4 track mainline in Pennsylvania. See more »

Quotes

Marty: And, Sam, in the mean time, no dames. Understand?
Sam: I've got a dame on my mind, and she's dead. And that's plenty for me.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

I Haven't a Thing to Wear
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Revel
Tune on the radio when Helen discovers the bodies
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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