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6.7/10
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110 user 59 critic

Killer's Kiss (1955)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 October 1955 (USA)
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:

Kiss Me, Kill Me 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

Unable to record the film's dialogue on-set due to technical problems, Stanley Kubrick was forced to post-sync all of this film's dialogue and sound effects. Veteran soundman Nathan Boxer was hired to record sound. However, after his boom mike and pole created many shadows, the inexperienced Kubrick was forced to fire him and his sound crew. Irene Kane was unavailable to add her dialogue later, so radio actress Peggy Lobbin voiced her role. See more »

Goofs

When Dave is reading the letter on the subway, the narration of the letter obviously very different from what is written on the page. See more »

Quotes

Gloria Price: It's a mistake to confuse pity with love.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: Episode #10.25 (2013) 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

 
The first-class suspense film that foreshadowed conscious and technique...

In 1955 a young man, who had produced a couple of 35mm. shorts and a feature which were so little known that they were never even shown in England, made a suspense thriller… From the fact that he co-produced it, wrote it, directed it and did the photography and editing himself you may deduce that he had more talent than backing… The movie was called "Killer's Kiss," and the multi-talented man who made it was the young Stanley Kubrick…

"Killer's Kiss" is a fascinating movie to look back as it is a notable thriller in its own right… It is a film about lonely people; alone people, which is not quite the same thing; their roots almost severed from a past which was once good and is now lost; solitary in the impartial big city at the end of the line…

It starts with a confident, quiet slowness that few directors would dare in the frenetic Seventies… It takes its time to develop, and for nearly half the film you can't guess what the plot is going to be… But this carefully measured film gives you a deep feeling for the characters and their context that leaves you, even after all the suspense, with an overwhelming feeling of the humanity of the movie…

The narrator, Davy Gordon (Jamie Smith) is a young and fading boxer, past it, but not defeated in his heart… The girl Gloria Price (Irene Kane), who lives in the same apartment block, has, like him, no family nor friends… She's come down to working as a dance partner in a shabby hall run by a baddie called Vincent Rapallo (Frank Silvera).

Kubrick slowly, and movingly, shows the two principals taking the downgrade: Davy fighting a losing bout in the ring while Gloria is trying to push off some heavy passes from Rapallo…

Even he, Rapallo, is made human, understandable… When he stands in his shadowed office, making up his mind to some malice, his eyes fall on cozy family photographs in nice domestic frames that he takes the trouble to keep there; and, when his mind is made up, he gestures irritably, guiltily, as if knowing he's letting them down and trying weakly to dismiss summarily aside their silent reproaches…

The whole story is condensed into three days… Yet it seems to have the natural, inevitable pace of real life; and the moments briefly taken out for little touches of New York street scenes add to the reality and place it in a context of truth…

Very little violence is actually shown except in Davy's boxing match which, in just a few minutes, gives a better feeling than most movies of what it's like to lose a fight in the ring… But, in spite of all, you're on the edge of your seat and you're glad to be there…

There is a classic chase over the rooftops, but even here there are human touches that kill cliché… These villains are not supermen, any more than Davy is: they can stumble on a fire escape, and not for laughs; one of them can fall as you or I would fall and drop out with a twisted ankle…

The suspense is not lessened by these touches: it is increased, because it is more real, seems less contrived…

"Killer's Kiss" was a first-class suspense film that foreshadowed conscious and technique that Kubrick was to take to the limit in later years… And, after all, the ending was fair enough for the Fifties… In the Seventies, Gloria would probably have got raped by the railway porter, and there'd have been a lot of unlovely detail and no suspense at all…


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