A gang of greedy petty criminals plan a race track robbery so they can live a life without monetary worries. When the plan foils disaster ensues. A taut and twisted noir aided by a radical time-shuffling narrative and razor-sharp dialogue from pulp novelist Jim Thompson.
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Kubrick's first masterful film is partly indebted to its time, partly ahead of it, but that just shows how masters have to work within trends before shattering them. It's a crackling triumph whose perverse touches make it the first fully Kubrickian microcosm: a delusional battle of order against chaos. As bonus, producer James B. Harris was at the screening to tell stories about when Stanley was young and hungry.
An expert noir that is just as intriguing for its behind-the-scenes shenanigans. The clash of egos between a 26 year old Kubrick and a reputed cinematographer (Lucien Ballard) is a clear sign that Kubrick's meticulous attitude to the aesthetic would lead him on beyond previous greats. That dolly shot is ground-breaking. Glad that Kubrick 25mm lens beat off Ballard's request for a 50mm one further back.
This is one of the most meticulous heist films ever made. With Kubrick's keen eye for detail and Jim Thompson's authentic dialogue mixed with a knockout performance from Sterling Hayden and an excellent supporting cast, this film is nothing short of a masterpiece.
A flawlessly executed noir that shows Kubrick's ability to create some of the most haunting imagery, in this case the shots with the clown mask and the briefcase. However, while it nails the big picture, it's lacking a bit in the smaller scenes with the characters and the relations. Also, it's influential nonlinear structure is surprisingly very tame and minimal and left me wanting it to used in more inventive ways.
first part is not brilliant but the second (climax) is great and Kubrick's montage apperently influenced Tarantino (Jackie Brown). don't forget Reservoir Dogs (mexican standoff) and The Dark Knight with Johnny's mask. surely one of the best heist movies ever made. with best ending. what a finale...
Easily my favorite Stanley Kubrick movie. For as gritty as the astounding and understated cast, dialogue and story are and for as early into Kubrick's career as The Killing was, his direction and camerawork are the standout and real focal point of this movie. Its a beautiful combination of a film noir and a heist movie that remains unfairly unknown.
Can quickly be overlooked by Kubrick's other, more experimental films, but this influential noir remains at the top of my personal Kubrick list. Hayden and veteran character actors like Elisha Cook, Jr. shine.
A great heist movie. If you're a Kubrick enthusiast (like me), you'll definitely notice angles and shot placements that get reused in his later films. If you just stumbled onto this one somehow, you're in for a treat. Sterling Hayden is a commanding presence as the main heist schemer, and he has some great support from the femme fatale role of Sherry. A fun ride that you'll want to soon revisit.