I Watched… (#5)

28 Mar

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The Killing (1956)

One of the legendary Stanley Kubrick’s earlier films, this crime noir follows the story of a gang of crooks who plan, prepare and ultimately rob a racehorse track of around $2,000,000 in the perfect heist.

The story jumps back and forth with different characters providing insight into the different phases of the robbery and the preparation, clearly an influence for Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. The characters are great and well fleshed out, particularly Marie Windsor as Sherry, the devious and teasingly cruel wife of one of the crooks. Being a film-noir, the black and white style is as you’d expect with moody lighting and great uses of shadow in parts. As the genre suggests, there is no happy ending but it is still brilliant as the seemingly perfectly planned robbery crumbles thanks to human error and a rogue poodle. The ending did slightly annoy me with its contrivances; however you do sense it is all part of Kubrick’s master plan where the most comical of events can ruin even the grandest of plans.

A stunning and influential film. A fantastic plot, great acting and a dab of humour combine to give The Killing a well-earned place amongst Kubrick’s prodigious work.

8/10

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