The Killing (1956)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

USA, 1956.  Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, dialogue by , based on the novel Clean Break by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by , .  Film Editing by .

Stanley Kubrick’s reputation was made on this crime caper, a sleek and economically plotted but stylishly directed film highlighted by its memorable characters and intelligent dialogue by Jim Thompson (The Grifters). assembles a crew to rob a racetrack of its grosses, recruiting, among others, an inside man () whose troubled marriage (to , who is fantastic) is one of the heist’s surprise threats. The film is worth noting for its non-sequential plotting, pretty much the only obvious flourish that Kubrick allows himself, but it is his spartan style of storytelling that makes it such a great film; for such a young director he has an incredible amount of confidence in his ability to spin a good yarn, and rightly so.

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