7.4/10
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88 user 52 critic

Kansas City Confidential (1952)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 11 November 1952 (USA)
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

When Rolfe sees Romano and Kane's reflection on the front glass of Foster's car, he sees their exact position in the backseat, not the mirrored. See more »

Quotes

Joe Rolfe: I know a sure cure for a nosebleed: a cold knife in the middle of the back.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: In the police annals of Kansas City are written lurid chapters concerning the exploits of criminals apprehended and brought to punishment.

But it is the purpose of this picture to expose the amazing operations of a man who conceived and executed a "perfect crime", the true solution of which is NOT entered in ANY case history, and could well be entitled "Kansas City Confidential".

See more »

Connections

Featured in The World Famous Kid Detective (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
A neat B noir
13 August 2007 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

John Payne stars in "Kansas City Confidential," a 1952 noir also starring Preston Foster, Colleen Gray, Jack Elam, Neville Brand and Lee Van Cleef. Payne is Joe Rolfe, a WW II vet who delivers flowers for a living. He finds himself accused of a spectacular robbery of $1.2 million because the thieves used a truck like his as their escape vehicle. With the help of a buddy, he finds out that a criminal has split town suddenly for Mexico, and he goes there to locate the man and hopefully clear his own name. What he doesn't realize is that there were four thieves, and all of them wore masks to shield their identities from one another. When the man he's tracking is killed, Joe assumes his identity and goes to the place where the other thieves are supposed to await further instructions from their boss.

Phil Karlson directed this good noir, which has an excellent cast that includes a favorite actress of mine, the lovely Coleen Gray as an ex-cop's daughter. She shows up at the locale to surprise her dad (Preston Foster), who is actually the mastermind of the heist.

Like any actor who worked for 20th Century Fox, John Payne had to be versatile, and he was. Here he plays a rough-around-the-edges war hero who has to survive among thieves by being tougher than they are. The the man known as "The Singing Tyrone Power" at Fox pulls it off. A handsome leading man, here Payne steps into John Garfield territory with ease. Elam, van Cleef and Brand are as mean and low-down as you can get, and the film gets quite violent at times.

The print I saw was very grainy; this wasn't a studio B movie but one made on the cheap, though the film was distributed by UA. However, it stands up very well next to other noirs of that era.


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