Two days in the life of priest Father Fred Stadtmuller whose New Mexico parish is so large he can only spread goodness and light among his flock with the aid of a monoplane. The priestly ... See full summary »
After just being released from a five year stint in prison, Johnny Clay has assembled a five man team, including two insiders, to carry out what he estimates will be a $2 million heist at Lansdowne Racetrack, that take, minus expenses, to be split five ways. Besides Johnny, none of the men truly are criminals in the typical sense. In addition to the other four team members, Johnny has hired two men external to the team to carry out specific functions for a flat fee, the other four who will not meet the two men for hire or know who they are, while the two men for hire will not be told of the bigger picture of the heist. None involved are to tell anyone, even their loved ones, about the job, each of the five who has a specific reason for wanting his share of the money: Johnny, in wanting to get married to his longtime girlfriend Fay, the two who have known each other since they were kids, realizes that to live comfortably, he has to shoot for the moon instead of carrying out the penny ...Written by
The total budget for the film was $320,000. United Artists put up $200,000 and the rest was raised by producer James B. Harris. This was a paltry budget for a feature even by 1950s "B" picture standards. See more »
The flower box that Mike the bartender takes out of the bus station locker is considerably shorter than the box he carries into the racetrack locker room. See more »
At exactly 3:45 on that Saturday afternoon in the last week of September, Marvin Unger was, perhaps, the only one among the hundred thousand people at the track who felt no thrill at the running of the fifth race. He was totally disinterested in horse racing and held a lifelong contempt for gambling. Nevertheless, he had a $5 win bet on every horse in the fifth race. He knew, of course, that this rather unique system of betting would more than likely result in a loss, but he didn't...
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With The Killing, Stanley Kubrick established himself as a great director. Unfortunately, 55 years later, this film is unfortunately less remembered because it isn't released between 1957- 1987. It's a shame The Killing isn't seen more, because viewers are treated to an excellent and suspenseful crime noir.
Here is a heist with a straightforward plot and nonlinear storytelling. In an hour and a half, the first half is set up and the second half is all payoff. First we neatly learn about the characters, and some of their reasons for the job are exposed. The second half is pure awesome- the slick, simple heist is played out from several perspectives.
Huge success comes from the characters: they're great. Instead of a couple of stiffs, the conspirators are old, corrupt, meek, foreign; there is one stiff. Maurice and Nicky in particular stand out, great characters. Sherry as well, but for quite the opposite reasons.
The script is stellar. Most noirs are nonsensical, The Killing is correct to the minute. Dialogue comes fast and furiously, and scenes are repeated from other characters perspectives, but they don't feel redundant: we learn more each time.
There are a couple of things that have occurred in Kubrick's first three films: narration and great music. The trumpet blaring during the heist really raises the tension. On another note, it's apparent that Kubrick could now realize his projects however he wanted. A neat tidbit: I liked the chess club scenes, because Kubrick was an avid chess player.
Technically The Killing is great as well: the horse following, the tracking shot echoed by Goodfellas 35 years later... the lighting is great, like when Clay leans back into darkness as he goes over some details.
My 50's heist knowledge is quite thin, so this was very original to me. I also noted some very influential aspects, notably the entire concept of Reservoir Dogs, as well as things found in, say, The Dark Knight?
Anyway, The Killing is an excellent film that hasn't been seen as much as it should. A very well woven tale. 8.5/10
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