Film Noir Friday – The Killing


I started watching When Strangers Marry this afternoon, which is one of Robert Mitchum’s first top billings, but I fell asleep. No fault of the film. Fault goes to the turkey, and the writing life. And I have a lot of writing I want to get done this weekend, plus my first signing event. So, I don’t think I’ll get around to watching the film that TCM’s Noir Alley is airing — The Killing.

The Killing is one of Stanley Kubrick’s first films. It sits in the Holy Trinity of Noir heist films along with Asphalt Jungle (also starring Sterling Hayden) and Riffifi. I admit to much preferring heist films like Criss Cross that focus tightly on a single, main character over the ensemble casts, as featured in The Killing. But that doesn’t mean this film doesn’t have a lot to offer. I’ll give you couple.

  1. The scenes. It’s fascinating to watch how Kubrick will frame a scene from one point of view character, and then frame the same scene from a different point of view. Same action. Different story.
  2. The Elisha Cook, Jr. – Marie Windsor relationship. If ever there was a noir couple, it is these two. Cook is the putz, and Windsor is a hungry black widow.

I haven’t watched this movie in a few years, but those two observations stay with me.

If you like your femme fatales evil as hell, you have to see Windsor in this.



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