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Kansas City Confidential (1952)

An ex-con trying to go straight is framed for a million dollar armored car robbery and must go to Mexico in order to unmask the real culprits.

Director:

Phil Karlson

Writers:

George Bruce (screenplay), Harry Essex (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Payne ... Joe Rolfe
Coleen Gray ... Helen Foster
Preston Foster ... Tim Foster
Neville Brand ... Boyd Kane
Lee Van Cleef ... Tony Romano
Jack Elam ... Pete Harris
Dona Drake ... Teresa
Mario Siletti ... Tomaso
Howard Negley ... Andrews
Carleton Young ... Martin
Don Orlando Don Orlando ... Diaz
Ted Ryan Ted Ryan ... Morelli
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Storyline

A down-on-his-luck ex-G.I. finds himself framed for an armored car robbery. When he's finally released for lack of evidence, after having been beaten up and tortured by the police, he sets out to discover who set him up, and why. The trail leads him into Mexico and a web of hired killers and corrupt cops. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Exploding! Like a gun in your face! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

11 November 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kansas City 117 See more »

Filming Locations:

Guatemala See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Edward Small Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into the public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS or DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second or third generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Goofs

Near the beginning, a man hangs up on the person he was talking to and that person immediately calls him back. It is impossible for someone to call another back so quickly using either the rotary dial telephones or the telephone switchboard operators of the time. See more »

Quotes

Tim Foster: That was a sucker move, burning down your boss. You had him all wrong. He never crossed you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: KANSAS CITY See more »

Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: The Gun (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

La Cucaracha
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by Tomaso as he delivers the mail
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"All right, so I'm flying blind, but I've got you as a bird dog."
30 September 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Kansas City Confidential is one of my favorite noir films and films of John Payne. It's one you can watch over and over again and still be entertained.

John Payne is a ex-con who drives a florist truck and one of his usual stops is a delivery next door to a bank. Three masked robbers use the same kind of truck to pull off an armored car heist and Payne is suspected of complicity. It don't help he's an ex-con.

This robbery has been organized a fourth man and the beauty of his scheme is that the robbers all wear masks with him and with each other so that no one can rat anyone out. They're supposed to meet in a small Mexican fishing village for the split.

Payne is freed, but the Kansas City cops are still suspicious. He gets a lead on a possible participant and tracks him down to Mexico. And that's where the fun really starts.

The suspense in Kansas City Confidential is not about who did it. The three robbers are Neville Brand, Jack Elam, and Lee Van Cleef, three of the nastiest dudes in film history. The suspense lies whether Payne can put it all together. As he says to one of them, he's flying blind in this one. After all the men don't even know each other or Mr. Big. The viewer knows all, but I won't say more.

John Payne gives a riveting performance of a desperate man and one you don't leave holding the bag without consequences. This is one of the best noir films ever done, not to be missed.


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