This story of a $2 million race track holdup and steps leading up to the robbery, occasionally told in a documentary style which at first tends to be somewhat confusing, soon settles into a tense and suspenseful vein which carries through to an unexpected and ironic windup.

This story of a $2 million race track holdup and steps leading up to the robbery, occasionally told in a documentary style which at first tends to be somewhat confusing, soon settles into a tense and suspenseful vein which carries through to an unexpected and ironic windup.

Sterling Hayden, an ex-con, masterminds the plan which includes five men. Stanley Kubrick’s direction of his own script [from the novel Clean Break by Lionel White, dialogue by Jim Thompson] is tight and fast-paced, a quality Lucien Ballard’s top photography matches to lend particular fluidity of movement.

Characters involved in the crime include Elisha Cook, a colorless little cashier at the track who is hopelessly in love with his glamorous, trampish wife, Marie Windsor; Ted De Corsia, a racketeering cop; Jay C. Flippen, a reformed drunk; and Joe Sawyer, track bartender.

Hayden socks over a restrained characterization, and Cook is a particular standout. Windsor is particularly good, as she digs the plan out of her husband and reveals it to her boyfriend.

The Killing

Production

Harris-Kubrick. Director Stanley Kubrick; Producer James B. Harris; Screenplay Stanley Kubrick, Jim Thompson; Camera Lucien Ballard; Editor Betty Steinberg; Music Gerald Fried; Art Director Ruth Sobotka

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1956. Running time: 84 MIN.

With

Sterling Hayden Coleen Gray Marie Windsor Elisha Cook Vince Edwards Jay C. Flippen
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