An ex-con, a corrupt cop, a reformed alcoholic, a wrestler, a sharpshooter and a pair of inside men: these seven men intent on executing the perfect robbery and taking a racetrack for two million dollars. But this is the world of film noir, a tough, sour place where nothing quite goes as planned…
For his third feature Stanley Kubrick adapted Lionel White’s Clean Break with a little help from hard-boiled specialist Jim Thompson (The Killer Inside Me), and in doing so created a heist movie classic, one to rank alongside John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle and Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. The robbery itself is one of cinema’s great set-pieces, as taut a piece of filmmaking as you’ll ever find, expertly controlled by Kubrick, who called The Killing his “first mature work”.
Starring Sterling Hayden (Johnny Guitar, The Godfather), perennial fall guy Elisha Cook Jr (The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep) and Marie Windsor (The Narrow Margin) as his duplicitous wife, The Killing is quintessential film noir, still as brutal, thrilling and audacious as it was almost six decades ago.
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Whilst not among Stanley Kubrick's most well known films, The Killing is the first to receive critical acclaim. Arrow Films have given it a Blu-Ray release which is fitting of such an exceptional film. It is also great to see Kubrick's first film noir Killer's Kiss in the package. Though not seen as positively as later Kubrick films, Killer's Kiss does have certain 'Kubricky' elements. Arrow Films provide an essential service in allowing lesser known films to be given a wide release. Their Arrow Academy label is already has masterpiece such as Rififi, The Night Of The Hunter, and Cinema Paradiso in its repertoire, and The Killing is a fine addition to that lineup.
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Have been waiting for these 2 for a while nice to have both on the same Blu-ray disc. The 2 films are very different but show how ahead of the game Kubrick was this early in his life. Both films have cleaned up to a high standard, good documentary's and a 40 page booklet are included. Killers Kiss is a love story mixed with boxing, dance halls, and mostly shot on location in New York. The killing is the heist movie to put in the same class as The Asphalt Jungle and Reservoir Dogs. Both films have great acting casts, The Killing star's Sterling Hayden who also starred in The Asphalt Jungle a real cult actor if there ever was one. Hope Arrow Video keep releasing films as good as these 2 in the future.
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