Speaks his mind on music & movies!
We open at a busy race track. Something is being set in motion that doesn’t feel right. A narrator starts to fill us in as we turn the clock back a few days. We meet a group of men as they plan a robbery of the race track, hoping to take 2 million in cash. Johnny Clay is the leader and he has the heist worked out to the minute. Everyone involved has a specific task which relates to the success of the job. We follow the build up the day of the robbery as our group of criminals try to stay on task so they can go to the track and make a “Killing”.
Another film CB saw at his local rep theater. I was getting used to the kind of movies this place was showing so I knew it would be worth a watch. The draw for me was that Stanley Kubrick was the director and I’d seen a few of his later films and liked them. The movie has an off center style but it works. Kubrick has Lucien Ballard by his side on camera which is a plus. Well shot and put together. Jim Thompson helped with the screen play and brings his unique dialogue and vibe to the flick. It’s adapted from a Lionel White novel. They even throw in narration for guys like CB that need help figuring things out. Regular folk with half a brain probably won’t need it.
For CB the thing that really works is the casting. Sterling Hayden as Johnny Clay has a stiff delivery but it works. It fits his all business focus. Kubrick puts together a great group of character actors who bring their specific personalities to the film. Anytime you get Timothy Carey and Elisha Cook Jr in a film you have to watch it. Carey is just plain crazy and off the wall (I wonder what 50’s audiences thought of this guy?). Elisha Cook is simply one of the best and when his character and Maria Windsor’s (also another CB fave) do their husband wife thing, it’s about as far away from marriage bliss as you can get. Poor Elisha.
One of those off beat crime films. So strap in for the caper, the score, ‘The Killing’ and remember, bad things happen to bad people.
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