Monday, May 7, 2012

Movie of the Week – The Killing

This week’s movie is The Killing (1956).

The crime thriller is about a group of crooks, headed by Johnny Clay, who plan to pull off one big heist, stealing the earnings of a local racetrack. The film is Stanley Kubrick’s third directorial work, but probably the first true brilliant piece of the auteur’s career, as he went on to make critical hit after hit from that film on. Kubrick works with composer Gerald Fried (who also score Paths of Glory for Kubrick), cinematographer Lucien Ballard and art director Ruth Sobotka (her only film credit), and it stars Sterling Hayden. The Killing has a great film noir style to it, featuring excellent black and white photography, and the score fits the tone well. However, what makes it great, and sets it apart from many heist films of the time (influencing many to come) is its unique non-linier narrative structure and strangely unreliable narrator. United Artists did not believe in the film at all and were unhappy with it; but after it debuted as the second half of a double feature with Bandido, Kubrick’s reputation as a great new directing talent was made – leading to offers from Kirk Douglas and Marlon Brando. The Killing is a must-see for both fans of heist films and Kubrick’s work (as this the film that made him, and it is a very good heist film too). Check out the trailer.

Available on Blu-ray, DVD and Streaming

No comments:

Post a Comment