The Killing

Screening on Film
Directed by Stanley Kubrick.
With Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards.
US, 1956, 35mm, black & white, 83 min.
Print source: HFA

The final film of Kubrick’s independent period, The Killing is a low-budget production that has the gritty feel of his early film documentaries and of the still-photography work he produced for magazine assignments. Essentially a heist movie, the film employs a highly elaborate temporal structure, allowing Kubrick to dissect an intricately planned racetrack robbery in successive flashbacks while building suspense. Equally successful is the ensemble cast of mainly character actors, who here receive major supporting roles. With its screenplay by Kubrick and novelist Jim Thompson, The Killing combines the vividness of documentary with the pleasures of great crime fiction.

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Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: J–M