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The Killing (1956)

Directed by:
Stanley Kubrick
COUNTRY
USA

GENRE
Heist/Film noir

NORWEGIAN TITLE
Spillet er tapt

RUNNING TIME
84 minutes

Produced by:
James B. Harris

Written by (based on "Clean Break" by Lionel White):
Stanley Kubrick
Jim Thompson


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Johnny Clay Sterling Hayden
Fay Coleen Gray
Val Cannon Vince Edwards
Marvin Unger Jay C. Flippen -
George Peatty Elisha Cook Jr.
Sherry Peatty Marie Windsor
Policeman Randy Kennan Ted de Corsia -
Mike O'Reilly Joe Sawyer -
Track parking attendant James Edwards -
Nikki Arcane Timothy Carey
Joe "Piano" Tito Vuolo -
Tiny Joe Turkel -

Leo the Loanshark

Jay Adler -
Maurice Oboukhoff Kola Kwariani -

 

Review

Stanley Kubrick's first major success was with this clever heist movie camouflaged as noir homage. Kubrick himself adapted Lionel White's novel "Clean Break" together with Jim Thompson (The Getaway), and the end result became a tight and suspenseful little film which has stood the test of time remarkably well. Even in the segments where its affinity with contemporary genre movies remain the most prevalent, such as with regards to the Sherry character, the movie has layers and nuance, not least represented through Elisha Cook's delicate George Peatty character. And the gritty, no-nonsense depiction of the crime plot gives the movie an instant appeal. The young Kubrick was equal amounts economical and visionary, which he demonstrated emphatically here on a shoestring budget in what was his first film with producer James B. Harris. They did it again a year later with the brilliant Paths of Glory. No wonder Quentin Tarantino cited The Killing as his main influence for Reservoir Dogs they both stand as two of the best of their kind today.

Copyright 24.11.2023 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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