The Killing (1956)

DailyView: Day 139, Movie 214

Director Stanley Kubrick and one of his earliest films is the DailyView today. The Killing was a film noir that told a story about a carefully plotted heist at a horse race which was based on a novel called Clean Break by Lionel White.

Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) has come up with a daring idea: a robbery of Lansdowne Racetrack as one of the biggest horses, Red Lightning, was racing. Johnny compiled a five-man team to play their respective parts. Johnny believed that he could get away with over $2 million. Unfortunately, everything did not go quite the way it was intended.

The storytelling gimmick of the film was telling the story in a non-linear manner, something that was not being done as much in 1956 as it is today. There is a voice over narrator helping the audience keep track of what was going on. It was an intriguing way to present the story of the film and may have been too ahead of its time for the 1950s audiences.

Joining Sterling Hayden in the cast was Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen, Ted de Corsia, Elisha Cook Jr, Marie Windsor, Joe Sawyer, and Kola Kwariani. The cast was outstanding.

I enjoyed this movie. It felt a film of its time, yet had some creative ideas that made it more than just another 1950s movie. The ending is great, filled with irony and comeuppance.

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