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Paid to Kill (1954)

Five Days (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Drama | 25 June 1954 (USA)
A failed business deal forces James Nevill to blackmail his weak-willed friend into murdering him so that his wife can collect his insurance, but circumstances suddenly change.


Montgomery Tully


Paul Tabori

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Cast overview:
Dane Clark ... James Nevill
Cecile Chevreau Cecile Chevreau ... Joan Peterson
Paul Carpenter Paul Carpenter ... Paul Kirby
Thea Gregory Thea Gregory ... Andrea Nevill
Anthony Forwood ... Peter Glanville
Arthur Young Arthur Young ... Hyson
Howard Marion-Crawford ... Cyrus McGowan (as Howard Marion Crawford)


In London, the businessman James Nevill is the president of Amalgamated Industries and adores his wife Andrea. When he is betrayed by his uncle Cyrus McGowan in a risky business that will bankrupt the company, he decides to force his former friend Paul Kirby to kill him so that Andrea receives a life insurance policy to have a good life. However Kirby refuses and devastated with the proposal, he drinks too much disclosing the request in public in his girlfriend's bar. Out of the blue, James' uncle changes his position and the business succeeds. James tries to find Kirby to call off their arrangement but does not locate him. After three attempts of murder, James suspects that Kirby is not who is trying to kill him. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 June 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Paid to Kill See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.65 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


During Jim's struggle with the killer the shadow of a boom mike is visible in the upper left of the screen. See more »


James Nevill: How would you like to make 500 pounds?
Paul Kirby: Hanh?
James Nevill: Cash! With another 500 to come later.
Paul Kirby: [joking] Who would I have to murder for that?
James Nevill: [gravely] Just one man.
See more »


Music by James Tarver
Arranged by Otto Zurmuehle
Boosey & Hawkes Ltd
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User Reviews

PAID TO KILL (Montgomery Tully, 1954) **1/2
11 October 2007 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

I'd always been interested in catching some of the films from Hammer's pre-horror boom; so far, the only title I'd come across was PHANTOM SHIP (1935) which was made a couple of decades before the studio reached its peak period but which, presciently, starred one of the era's horror icons – Bela Lugosi.

Anyway, Hammer apparently made a whole slew of ultra low-budget noirs featuring either faded American stars or second-tier leading men. This one, then, happened to be shown on late-night Italian TV and, knowing it's been released on DVD by VCI, I made it a point to check it out. It turned out to be a decidedly modest but not unpleasing little film: the star in this case is Dane Clark (not exactly top rank, you see) and, as I lay watching, felt that he wasn't really noir material – an opinion which, incidentally, I would change the very next day when I saw this same actor in the superior French-made GUNMAN IN THE STREETS (1950)! The plot, though far-fetched, is engaging: Clark's business fails and, in order to provide for his wife, proposes to have himself killed so that she can collect on his insurance; soon after, his fortune unexpectedly turns and he desperately seeks to stop his killer from carrying out the assigned task!

Even if I watched the film dubbed in Italian, the London settings and character types offer a whole different atmosphere to the American noirs – the same thing goes for the French locations of GUNMAN IN THE STREETS – and this does help keep one's mind off the measly production values. The denouement provides a few surprises – Clark's wife emerges a villainess (which allows him free rein with the devoted secretary who had really loved him all along), the attempts on his life turn out not to have been done by the person he paid expressly for that purpose – which elevates the whole slightly than would otherwise have been the case. Besides, the film is short enough at 75 minutes not to overstay its welcome or allow the proceedings to slip into tedium. By the way, the original British title of this one is FIVE DAYS (the period of time over which events take place) but got changed to the more evocative PAID TO KILL for the U.S.

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