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
Stanley Kubrick and producer James B. Harris first attempted to produce the movie around New York, where they lived, but after failing to find an East Coast racetrack that would allow the crime to be filmed there, they moved it to Bay Meadows, near San Francisco, which closed in 2008. Although named "Lansdowne" for the movie, "Bay Meadows" can be seen above the starting gate at the start of the race early in the film. See more »
When the parking lot attendant hands Nikki a horse shoe, he holds the round part in one shot and the end in the next. 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...
See more »
Director Stanley Kubrick is best known for "2001: A Space Odyssey." "A Clockwork Orrange" or "The Shining" but I always found this to be my favorite of his films. This is film noir at some of its best: a tight no-nonsense story with tragic consequences, some of the best film noir actors in the business and great cinematography, which looks even better on DVD.
Sterling Hayden is the gang leader in this heist film and the big man was up to the task as he usually was in these kind of crime films. He wasn't as rough a character as he was in "Asphalt Jungle," but his role reminded me of that film.
What made this movie so appealing to me were four very interesting character actors: Elisha Cook Jr., Marie Windsor, Kola Kwariani and Ted de Corsia. Few people had those loser-type film noir characters down pat as well as the tough-talking Windsor and the meek and wimpy Cook. They played a husband-and-wife team here: that's film noir heaven!
Kwariani plays a burley chess-playing wrestler who fights six cops at one time and Carey is a long-distance racist rifleman who talks through clenched-teeth and shoots a racehorse! As I said, some very interesting characters here.
And, oh yeah.....for you over-55 readers, there's Vince Edwards, alias Dr. Ben Casey of TV fame, as a Windsor's young adulterer boyfriend trying to horn in on the money from the robbery.
This film is full of surprises and always fun to watch.
82 of 112 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this