Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Killing. A-

'The Killing' is a Stanley Kubrick movie that is not often mentioned with Kubrick's films are brought up in a conversation. Generally directors have their lesser movies and Kubrick may very well have his. But 'The Killing' certainly isn't one of them. The story is about a man named Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) who recruits a group of fellow crooks to rob the money room at the horse races. His plan is perfect except for one thing: choosing George Peatty (Elisha Cook Jr.) as one of the key members of the robbery. George is all about the guilty conscience and he doesn't want to be a part of the plan. His mistake is that he mentions the plan to his treacherous wife Sherry. (Marie Windsore) One thing I've noticed from watching Stanley Kubrick's movies is that he isn't afraid of anything. He's perhaps more daring than Hitchcock even. Though this was one of his first movies, he uses a lot of violence that would have been shocking to the audience back in '56, when the picture was released. He also uses a narrator, but unlike most movies, he is simply an anonymous person. There are several memorable moments in the movie, such as one of the final scenes when Johnny's suitcase falls off of the cart at the airport and the money flies out like falling snow. But I think the best scene in the whole movie was the final one, when the detectives approach Johnny. We know what will happen and it is the perfect way to end a great motion picture.

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