The Killing (1956)

by guest writer

the killing

The Killing was, in Kubrick’s own assertion, “my first professional work. The subject was a fairly bad one, but I tried to make up for it in the direction. Nevertheless, it was shot in only twenty days. The editing – I did all my films myself – took much longer.” The movie is a tightly-knitted film noir about a racetrack robbery carried out by small-time crooks. The philosophy behind the story could be summarized as a dark perception of human destiny and of the uncontrolled forces the man becomes victim of. The chronological order, used by Stanley Kubrick as a vital noir ingredient, emphasizes the sense of hopelessness and lost time in a chaotic world. The director photographs the heist scenes in depth with all its split-second timing. With rapid cutting from one member of the gang to another in a series of flashbacks, Kubrick builds up the suspense with great intensity. An early example of Stanley’s originality and versatility, The Killing makes an essential view for any film buff.

photo: still from the film, Harris-Kubrick Porductions

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