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Killer's Kiss (1955)

Ready to catch a train to his hometown, a washed up boxer tells us about the strange and twisty events that happened to him the past couple of days.

Director:

Stanley Kubrick

Writer:

Stanley Kubrick (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Silvera ... Vinnie Rapallo
Jamie Smith Jamie Smith ... Davey Gordon
Irene Kane Irene Kane ... Gloria Price
Jerry Jarrett Jerry Jarrett ... Albert
Mike Dana Mike Dana ... Gangster
Felice Orlandi ... Gangster
Shaun O'Brien Shaun O'Brien ... Landlord
Barbara Brand Barbara Brand ... Taxi Dance Lady
David Vaughan David Vaughan ... Conventioneer #1
Alec Rubin Alec Rubin ... Conventioneer #2
Ralph Roberts ... Bouncer #1
Phil Stevenson Phil Stevenson ... Bouncer #2
Arthur Feldman Arthur Feldman ... Policeman #1
Bill Funaro Bill Funaro ... Taxi Driver
Skippy Adelman Skippy Adelman ... Mannequin Factory Owner
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Storyline

Prize-fighter Davy Gordon intervenes when private dancer Gloria Price is being attacked by her employer and lover Vincent Raphello. This brings the two together and they get involved with each other, which displeases Raphello. He sends men out to kill Davy, but they instead kill his friend. Gloria is soon kidnapped by Raphello and his men, and it is up to Davy to save her. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Exposed! The mobs, molls, and mayhem of New York's clip-joint jungle! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Killer's Kiss See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Minotaur Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To shoot the scene in which the fight manager is murdered in an East Side alley, Stanley Kubrick had to first negotiate with five transients who had set up a makeshift home in the alley and were unwilling to relinquish their turf. See more »

Goofs

When Vinnie drives Davy to the loft, they take a lift up to at least the second floor. However, when Davy jumps through the loft window, he falls only one story. See more »

Quotes

Vincent Rapallo: Like the man said, "Can happiness buy money?"
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Ecstasy Girls (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh, Susanna
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Performed by one of the conventioneers on a harmonica
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A early start to Kubrick's fantastic career.
12 February 2000 | by Bowie718See all my reviews

With 3 short films and a feature (Fear And Desire [1953]) under his belt, none of which had received any notice (in fact, Kubrick bought up all of the existing prints of Fear And Desire, because he thought it was poorly done [not to mention that it was being billed as a sexploitation film]), Kubrick decided to try out something new. He decided to go with Film-Noir.

The film is filled with Kubrick trademarks through and through. He uses boxing (which was the subject of his very first short Day of the Fight [1951]), zooming techniques, flashbacks (also used in his next film The Killing [1956]) and narration. The cinematography is exquisite, as usual, with many shots (particularly in the boxing studio and the train station) being backlit with a soft, grey light to give it a disconnected, almost rear-screen-projection feel. However, it is obvious that this is the early, naive Kubrick at work here. The entire movie, like Fear And Desire, is post-dubbed (much like a Fellini film), with all of the sound effects being done over by a meticulous Kubrick. And, of course, the Film-Noir. Davey Gordon (played to perfection by Jamie Smith) is the almost-stereotypical Noir anti-hero, with Irene Kane (aka journalist Chris Chase) as his anti-heroine. Frank Silvera, who had the lead role in Fear And Desire, is the slimy villain, whom you actually want to die (a good sign [for a villain]).

This Kubrick film can most be compared to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) or Barry Lyndon (1975), in that, once you get past a slow beginning, the end is absolutely riveting. Kubrick knows that he wants to grab his audience, and he does so with perfection. Some of it is padded (the ballet sequence is not particular interest), but the rest it great, from the initial boxing sequence to the chase scene at the end. If you're a fan of Kubrick, see it. If you're a fan of great cinema, see it. If you're a fan of Film-Noir, see it (but take it with a pinch of salt). If you're none of these things, see it, and you will be.


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