Inside The Killing (1956)

For my money, The Killing (1956) is one of film noir’s best offerings. The characters, the dialogue, the inventive winding timeline, the use of light and shadows – all combine to create one of the era’s most watchable thrillers.

For more on this great film, read on . . .

  • One of the horses in the race where all of the characters are called to a meeting is Stanley K, named for the film’s director, Stanley Kubrick.

    Elisha Cook, Jr., and Marie Windsor. This couple is one of the many highlights of The Killing.

  • Veteran comedian Rodney Dangerfield reportedly can be seen as an extra in the racetrack fight scene.
  • Both Jack Palance and Victor Mature were considered for the part of Johnny Clay, but Sterling Hayden, who played the role, was always Kubrick’s first choice.
  • Hayden was paid $40,000 for his role.
  • The film’s art director, Ruth Sobotka, was married to Kubrick at the time of filming.
  • The film was shot in 24 days.
  • Kubrick delayed filming to wait until Marie Windsor was finished with her appearance in another film Swamp Women, which was the directorial debut of Roger Corman (and was hilariously skewered on the cult classic series Mystery Science Theater 3000). Windsor landed the part of Sherry Peatty after Kubrick saw her performance in The Narrow Margin (1952).
  • The site where Sterling Hayden hires wrestler Kola Kwariani is a recreation of the 42nd Street Chess and Checker Parlor in New York City. Both Kwariani and Stanley Kubrick were regular chess players there.
  • The Killing is based on the novel Clean Break, the first novel by pulp crime writer Lionel White. Kubrick and the film’s producer, James B. Harris, paid $10,000 for the rights to the book.
  • Stanley Kubrick hired crime novelist Jim Thompson (author of The Grifters and The Getaway) to collaborate with him on the screenplay, focusing primarily on the dialogue. Thompson also collaborated with Kubrick on the screenplay for his next film, Paths of Glory.

~ by shadowsandsatin on June 23, 2011.

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