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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




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 »

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

Better Than Usual Lippert
28 March 2015 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Looks like budget-minded Lippert productions got more bang for their buck in England than in the US. This is a well-produced crime drama, with a tight script and some good touches. Nevill's (Clark) a not very likable business bigshot, (note that he treats his board of directors with uncalled for abruptness). Trouble is his latest big deal is failing, so, in desperation, he arranges his own death. That way his wife Andrea can collect insurance and be taken care of. His plan is to hire associate Paul to do the job. But surprise, the business deal suddenly goes through and Nevill's vindicated. Now he's got to stop Paul from carrying out his part. Nonetheless, it appears that Paul's gone away. Yet, surprise, somebody really is trying to kill Nevill. But if it's not Paul, who is it and why.

Clark delivers an exemplary performance. Notice his subtle facial expressions to fit the mood. There're some good touches, like the suspenseful father in the park or the colorfully blustery Hyson, neither of which affects the plot but does add atmosphere. And catch that very last shot, suggesting that Nevill's obsession is not yet spent, despite the attempts to kill him, while poor Joan comes trailing after. It also suggests a sneaky subtext that might otherwise go unnoticed amid the murder plots. To me, the movie's much better than expected for a Lippert production. The movie's got mystery, suspense, and atmosphere, plus Clark's motivated turn. So catch it if you can.

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Release Date:

25 June 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Paid to Kill See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.65 : 1
See full technical specs »

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