THE KILLING (1956)

Dir. Stanley Kubrick

In the world of film noir, crime never pays—except for the filmmakers. Rarely has it paid as well as in this cult classic that helped launch Stanley Kubrick's career. After the independent Fear and Desire (1953) and Killer's Kiss (1955), he joined with producer James Harris to make his first film with a professional cast and crew. With only $320,000 to work with, he turned his low budget into an asset, moving his camera past the walls of his cheap sets to create a sense of impending doom, a technique he would repeat in later films like Paths of Glory (1957) and The Shining (1980). He assembled a strong cast—including Sterling Hayden, J.C. Flippen, Timothy Carey, Elisha Cook Jr. and Marie Windsor—to play the assorted crooks and lowlifes involved in a complicated racetrack robbery. United Artists had little faith in the film and dumped it on the lower half of a double bill, but filmmakers and actors discovered it and Kirk Douglas was so impressed he hired Kubrick to direct Paths of Glory.

In attendance: Dennis Bartok, Coleen Gray.

THE KILLING
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