THE KILLING

Funny like I'm a clown, like I'm here to amuse you? (1956)
With Sterling Hayden, Marie Windsor, Elisha Cook, Jr., Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen, Coleen Gray
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Black and White
Reviewed by JL

    Orson Welles declared Stanley Kubrick's THE KILLING to be "a perfect film," and indeed it's difficult to find any flaws or room for improvement in one of the most gripping and fast-paced films noir of all time.  Sterling Hayden is the leader of a gang of small-time losers who plan a daring racetrack heist that will net them millions.  With an emotionless narrator and staccato, naturalistic acting in the manner of Jack Webb's DRAGNET, the film is also marked by its multiple flashbacks, each one recounting events from a different point of view.  Solid acting throughout, especially from Marie Windsor as the devious and self-absorbed Sherry Peatty, and Elisha Cook, Jr. as her timorous lapdog of a husband.  One of the all-time great caper flicks, THE KILLING grabs the viewer by the throat in the opening seconds and doesn't let go until its unforgettable conclusion 83 minutes later. 5 - JL

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