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The Killing (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 6 June 1956 (USA)
Trailer
1:34 | Trailer
Crook Johnny Clay assembles a five man team to plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director:

Stanley Kubrick

Writers:

Stanley Kubrick (screenplay by), Jim Thompson (dialogue by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,023 ( 238)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sterling Hayden ... Johnny Clay
Coleen Gray ... Fay
Vince Edwards ... Val Cannon
Jay C. Flippen ... Marvin Unger
Ted de Corsia ... Patrolman Randy Kennan (as Ted DeCorsia)
Marie Windsor ... Sherry Peatty
Elisha Cook Jr. ... George Peatty (as Elisha Cook)
Joe Sawyer ... Mike O'Reilly
James Edwards ... Track Parking Attendant
Timothy Carey ... Nikki Arcane
Kola Kwariani ... Maurice Oboukhoff
Jay Adler ... Leo the Loanshark
Tito Vuolo ... Joe Piano
Dorothy Adams ... Ruthie O'Reilly
Herbert Ellis Herbert Ellis ... Second American Airlines Clerk
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

These 5 Men Had a $2,000,000 Secret Until One of them told this Woman! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Stanley Kubrick formed a production company with James B. Harris, Harris-Kubrick Pictures, before making this film. Kubrick and Harris bought the rights to the Lionel White pulp novel "The Snatch" for $10,000, but found out that the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association (MPPDA) Code would not allow movies to be made about the kidnapping of children, the premise of White's potboiler. White subsequently swapped the rights to his novel "Clean Break" for "The Snatch" to get them out of the predicament. United Artists had considered buying "Clean Break" as a vehicle for Frank Sinatra. "The Snatch" later was made into The Night of the Following Day (1969) in the more permissive 1960s, when the MPPDA Code had been superseded by the ratings system. See more »

Goofs

During the robbery you clearly see that a significant amount of the money is in neatly banded bundles of brand new crisp bills yet when it is transferred from the dufflebag to the suitcase all of the money is loose, unstacked & well used. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: 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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Connections

Referenced in Almost Human (1974) See more »

User Reviews

Crackling heist story that will have you glued to your seat
9 August 1998 | by MeYesMeSee all my reviews

There's little to fault in Stanley Kubrick's classic robbery tale. The acting is first-rate with Marie Windsor, as Mrs. Peaty, a sarcastic stand-out. The story just pops off the screen - and at less than 90 minutes, there's literally no filler. I love the winding time line ("earlier that day" etc.), which has been liberally utilized by Quentin Tarantino (Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs). This film was made right before Kubrick's WWI marvel, Paths of Glory, and his genius is apparent in both. No wasted words or actions. Love that last line!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 June 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bed of Fear See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$320,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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