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The Killing (1956)

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1:33 | Trailer
Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director:

Stanley Kubrick

Writers:

Stanley Kubrick (screenplay), Jim Thompson (dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,753 ( 791)
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 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:

...Like No Other Picture Since "Scarface" and "Little Caesar"! See more »


Certificate:

18 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 November 1956 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

De millioenenroof See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$320,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The car Nikki was driving was an MG-TD with a Jaguar hood ornament. See more »

Goofs

When Mike leaves for the bus station, for the flower box, the street outside his apartment is wet. When he arrives a few minutes later at the bus station, the street in front of it is dry. 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...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 71st Annual Academy Awards (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Ol' Kubrick
18 December 2012 | by ChristophCinemaSee all my reviews

Stanley Kubrick is one of the greatest directors of all time. He's made some of the greatest, thought provoking, controversial films of all time, and his style is out of this world. But before The Shining, before A Clockwork Orange, before 2001, before Dr. Strangelove, even before Spartacus, there was The Killing. It's a very good movie, but it's not one of Kubrick's best; and I was sort of expecting that. Rarely is a director's first movie his best, and even though it has some flaws, it's still a great movie. One problem I have with this movie is the unnecessary narration. I know that wasn't Kubrick's idea, but it's bad, and it's noticeable. It's actually pretty insulting to the audience's intelligence. I think Kubrick trusted his audience to be smart enough to follow the film, and I wish they would just remove it from the film. Another thing is that the movie feels very lopsided. The first half isn't bad, but the second half is definitely stronger. We get a lot of dialogue for the first half, and then we see the action in the second half. It's very well written, and it does keep my interest, but the scale is totally tipped. It's similar to Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill movies. The first movie is non-stop action and wildly entertaining, and the second movie has very minimal action, and is mostly talking. Like I said, I love dialogue (especially when it's well written), but I wish it was more balanced with the action. So what's good about this movie? Well, the characters are great. You can tell Tarantino took a lot of inspiration from this movie when he made Reservoir Dogs. It's one of the first instances where the main characters are bad guys, they're very mean spirited, but you cheer for them anyway. Also, the ending is unique for the time. Just like I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, the ending is just very haunting, and leaves you with a dark feeling. I think the best thing about this movie is the cinematography. Kubrick is known for his incredible cinematography, and it's really cool to see where it all started. You can just see the future genius that lies within. The Killing isn't a perfect movie, but it's still really good. For a low budget crime drama from the 1950s, it's amazing. And even though it's so low budget, you can still see that Kubrick style slowly growing. It may not be one of his best, and it does have its flaws, but it's still an engaging, dark, intelligent movie.


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