Monday, April 13, 2015

Director Week: Stanley Kubrick- The Killing

Good day and welcome to Day 1 of Director Week: Stanley Kubrick. I wanted to tap into some of his earliest works and this little film noir came my way. Our Director Stanley Kubrick (Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove and 2001: A Space Odyssey) helmed our movie as it was his third full-length feature film about a robbery gone wrong. So let’s hold out in the flop house, clean and prep the Roscoes and try to keep a cool head. This is The Killing.

GIN!!   Dammit, we are playing Poker!!

Our movie’s leading role ain’t one of the good guys but a career criminal that is planning one last score before he and the missus settle down for the house with the white picket fence. Tough guy Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden of Flaming Feather, Hellgate, The Golden Hawk, The Star, So Big, Dr. Strangelove and 1900) is as vicious as they come but with a heart of gold. His doll baby Fay (Coleen Gray of Kiss of Death, Red River, Kansas City Confidential and Cry from the Mountain) is a gal with great stems and a can do attitude and Johnny would move the heavens just to give her a better view.

With a few choice teammates he assembled Johnny plans to rob a little over two million dollars from a racetrack during a high stakes race. With using a betting teller George Peatty (Elisha Cook Jr. of The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, House on Haunted Hill, Blacula and Salem’s Lot: The Movie) giving the access to the back room, a crackshot sniper who is cold as they come, Nikki Arcane (Timothy Carey of Rio Conchos, Beach Blanket Bingo, Gunsmoke, A Time for Killing, Head and What’s the Matter with Helen?) a corrupt cop Randy (Ted de Corsia of The Lady from Shanghai, The Naked City, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Delta Factor), a wrestler Maurice (Pro Wrestler Kola Kwariani of The Killing) for crowd distraction. The deck is stacked and ready for game time.

Pour you a boob er um a glass??

One slight hitch is George blabs the plan to his annoyed wife Sherry (Marie Windsor of Force of Evil, The Narrow Margin, Swamp Diamonds, The Day Mars Invaded Earth, Bedtime Story and Salem’s Lot: The Movie) who schemes to get her gunsel boy toy Val Cannon (Vince Edwards of Ben Casey, The Victors, The Devil’s Brigade, The Return of Ben Casey and Son of Darkness: To Die For II) to rob the lot of them and do them in if they get out of line. The heist is set and everyone knows their part but George tells Johnny his wife knows everything and Johnny takes care of business with Sherry telling her to know her place and she and George are getting a big piece of the action as it is. Will the scheme go off without complications or will it blow up in their faces?

A handful of facts now. Our lead Sterling Hayden pocketed a cool 40 gees while Kubrick didn't get a dime. Jack Palance and Victor Mature were alsom considered for the part of Johnny Clay.

Kirk Douglas was so blown away by the film that he sought out Kubrick for Paths of Glory. Shot in 24 days, Kubrick was dissatisfied with the use of narrative in this fim because most of the information was either in error or just plain false. Day of Violence and and Bed of Fear were the working titles for this movie and frankly I think we can all agree that The Killing hits all the requirements for a title.

Mugsy the Clown goes on a shooting spree, slaying five!