The Killing (film)

1956 film by Stanley Kubrick

The Killing is a 1956 American film noir about crooks who plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Vince Edwards as Val Cannon
Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Written by Stanley Kubrick and Jim Thompson, based on the novel Clean Break by Lionel White.
...In All Its Fury and Violence  (taglines)

Johnny Clay

  • You'd be killing a horse - that's not first degree murder, in fact it's not murder at all, in fact I don't know what it is.
  • You like money. You've got a great big dollar sign there where most women have a heart.
  • You know Fay, the biggest mistake I made before was shooting for peanuts. Five years have taught me one thing, if nothing else: Anytime you take a chance, you better be sure the rewards are worth the risk. Because they could put you away just as fast for a $10 heist as they can for a million dollar job.


  • Narrator: At exactly 3:45 on that Saturday afternoon in the last week of September, Marvin Unger was, perhaps, the only one among the hundred thousand people at the track who felt no thrill at the running of the fifth race. He was totally disinterested in horse racing and held a lifelong contempt for gambling. Nevertheless, he had a $5 win bet on every horse in the fifth race. He knew, of course, that this rather unique system of betting would more than likely result in a loss, but he didn't care. For after all, he thought, what would the loss of twenty or thirty dollars mean in comparison to the vast sum of money ultimately at stake.
  • Maurice: You have my sympathies, then. You have not yet learned that in this life you have to be like everyone else - the perfect mediocrity; no better, no worse. Individuality's a monster and it must be strangled in its cradle to make our friends feel confident. You know, I've often thought that the gangster and the artist are the same in the eyes of the masses. They are admired and hero-worshiped, but there is always present an underlying wish to see them destroyed at the peak of their glory.
  • Sherry Peatty: [to George] It isn't fair. I never had anybody but you. Not a real husband. Not even a man. Just a bad joke without a punch line.


Johnny Clay: A friend of mine will be stopping by tomorrow to drop something off for me. He's a cop.
Joe Piano: A cop? That's a funny kind of a friend.
Johnny Clay: Well, he's a funny kind of a cop.

Maurice: I'd like you to call this number and ask for Mr. Stillman. Tell him that Maurice requires his services.
Fisher: Sounds pretty mysterious. What's it all about?
Maurice: There are some things, my dear Fisher, which bear not much looking into. You have undoubtedly heard of the Siberian goatherd who tried to discover the true nature of the sun; he stared up at the heavenly body until it made him blind. There are many things of this sort, including love, and death, and... maybe we'll discuss this later today. Please remember to make that call if I'm not back at 6:30.

Johnny Clay: Alright sister, that's a mighty pretty head you got on your shoulders. You want to keep it there or start carrying it around in your hands?
Sherry Peatty: Maybe we could compromise and put it on your shoulder. I think that'd be nice, don't you?

Joe: Thank you, Randy. I was sure you'd see it my way. Take good care of yourself.
Randy Kennan: I'll take care of myself, mister. That's my specialty.

Fay: Johnny, you've got to run!
Johnny Clay: Eh, what's the difference?


  • ...In All Its Fury and Violence
  • These 5 Men Had a $2,000,000 Secret Until One of them told this Woman!


  • Celebrated as Stanley Kubrick’s first mature film and made when he was only twenty-eight years old, The Killing (1956) is remarkable for boldly announcing so many of the stylistic and thematic preoccupations that would become important constants of his cinema. The film’s dark, unrelenting irony and complexly fractured narrative immediately distinguished it from his previous work and revealed the posture of the willfully, often provocatively, “difficult” director that he would cultivate throughout his career.


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