- Number of Discs: 2
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 24 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: August 16, 2011
- Originally Released: 1956
- Label: Criterion
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Note: Disc 1 - New Video Interview with Producer James B. Harris
- Excerpted Interviews with actor Sterling Hayden from the French television series Cinéma cinémas
- New Video Interview with Poet and Author Robert Polito about Writer Jim Thompson
- Disc 2 - Restored high-definition digital transfer of Stanley Kubrick's 1955 noir feature Killer's Kiss
- New video appreciation of Killer's Kiss featuring film critic Geoffrey O'Brien
- Plus: a Booklet featuring an essay by film historian Haden Guest and a reprinted interview with actress Marie Windsor
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.66
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
"You got a great big dollar sign there, where most women have a heart."
- Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) to Sherry Peatty (Marie Windsor)
USA Today - 12/21/1989
"...Sterling Hayden and a great second-rung cast -- Vince Edwards, Elisha Cook Jr., Marie Windsor, Timothy Carey and more -- are sizzling as a litany of losers..."
Sight and Sound - 10/01/2002
"...This is bravura filmmaking. It's not just the formal brilliance that makes the film so distinctive, but the affection and wry humor with which Kubrick portrays his low-life protagonists..."
A.V. Club - 08/24/2011
"[T]he young Kubrick had an eye for great character actors, which in THE KILLING includes Jay C. Flippen, Elisha Cook Jr., and Timothy Carey..."
Sight and Sound - 10/01/2011
"With its sliding-through-walls Ophuls-like shots passing along railroad flats, it was Kubrick's most polished to date, the calling card that led to PATHS OF GLORY, and further glories."
Film Comment - 09/01/2011
"THE KILLING is able to breathe through Kubrick's direction, with remarkable camerawork that circumnavigates the sets and elicits definitive expression from his actor's faces."
Sterling Hayden stars in Stanley Kubrick's crime noir classic, THE KILLING, based on crime Lionel White's novel CLEAN BREAK. Hayden plays Johnny Clay, an ex-con with a plan to steal $2 million from a San Francisco racetrack. He assembles an odd collection of tough guys and moles to participate in the heist. But just as there is no such thing as the perfect murder, there is no such thing as the perfect crime...
The film features terrific performances from Hayden, Elisha Cook, Marie Windsor, and the rest of the talented cast. Kubrick, who brought in pulp writer Jim Thompson to create the perfect dialogue, tells the story with a nonlinear, fractured-time narrative, following each of the main characters separately as they prepare for the big day. Featuring Kubrick's flawless direction and wonderfully atmospheric photography, anchored by a jazz-tinged score by Gerald Fried, THE KILLING is one of the most intense noir heist films ever made.
THE KILLING made director Stanley Kubrick famous, influencing many future features, including Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS. The tense, tight story flashes back to examine with clinical precision the events that lead up to a racetrack robbery..
Essential Cinema |
Scams And Cons |
- Filmed in on location at the Golden Gate Racetrack in San Francisco and at Chaplin Studios in California.
- Estimated budget: $330,000. The film was shot in 24 days.
- THE KILLING premiered as the second half of a double feature; Richard Fleischer's BANDIDO! was the main film.
- Director Stanley Kubrick formed a production company with James B. Harris, Harris-Kubrick Pictures, before making this film.
- Kubrick and Harris bought the rights to the Lionel White novel for $10,000.
- The union would not allow Kubrick to serve as the cameraman, so he oversaw Lucien Ballard's work very closely.
- DAY OF VIOLENCE and BED OF FEAR were both working titles for the film.
- Jack Palance and Victor Mature were both considered for the part that went to Sterling Hayden.
- Kubrick took no fee as director of the film.
- The target horse was named Red Lightning, running in the seventh race, the $100,000 Added Landsdowne Stakes.
- Rodney Dangerfield appears as an extra in the racetrack fight scene.
- One of the horses in the race in which all of the characters are called to a meeting is Stanley K, named for the director.
- Joe Turkel, here playing a hood, played eerie Lloyd the bartender in Kubrick's THE SHINING.
- United Artists originally wanted CLEAN BREAK as a vehicle for Frank Sinatra.
- Sterling Hayden was paid $40,000 for his lead role.
- Art director Ruth Sobotka was Kubrick's wife at the time.
- Kubrick delayed filming in order to to wait until actress Marie Windsor was finished with another film, Roger Corman's SWAMP DIAMONDS.