Combustible Celluloid
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With: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen, Elisha Cook Jr., Marie Windsor, Ted de Corsia, Joe Sawyer, James Edwards, Timothy Carey, Joe Turkel, Jay Adler, Kola Kwariani, Tito Vuolo, Dorothy Adams
Written by: Stanley Kubrick, Jim Thompson, based on a novel by Lionel White
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 85
Date: 20/05/1956

The Killing (1956)

4 Stars (out of 4)

On the Right Track

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Stanley Kubrick's third film established him as a full-fledged filmmaker and a potential master. It's a rich, vicious caper flick populated by whole plethora of character actors and nervy personalities. Sterling Hayden leads the pack as the job's mastermind, but Elisha Cook Jr. as a jittery accountant and Marie Windsor as his shrewish wife are just as memorable. The film jumps around through both space and time to the various aspects of the complicated heist, and not a shot is wasted or labored. It also has one of the most perfect, concise endings in cinema history. Kubrick adapted Lionel White's novel "Clean Break," and cult crime novelist Jim Thompson (The Grifters) provided the dialogue. In 2011, the Criterion Collection released a Blu-Ray.

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