“Sometimes You’ve Just Got to Assassinate a Horse…”

Plot out your nefarious deeds, because The Killing (1956) is the Greatest Movie EVER!

Click on the movie title or the DVD cover above to download our review of the film, featuring M.O.M., the Mistress of Malapropisms.

Review in a Nutshell: A late period film noir crime caper directed by Stanley Kubrick before he went full art monster, The Killing (1956) is a stylish and suspenseful heist flick featuring a strong cast of character actors that is well worth a watch or two.

3 Comments

  1. I didn’t mind the voiceover at all. It fit the noir genre, and since it’s a rather large ensemble the third-person omniscient perspective works better than if it had just been Johnny.

    I don’t think the movie was making a point with having some of the crew be immigrants. That’s just to be expected in an urban crime drama, and even in WW2 movies from around that time there would usually be an assortment of ethnicities to help distinguish the members of a squad.

    The Deerhunter is one of the most overrated movies of the 20th century. Full Metal Jacket is a much better Vietnam movie. One vet in my family said it was the most accurate film about the war (due to observing some of “McNamara’s morons” who just shouldn’t have been let into the Army), and this isn’t too surprising since it was adapted from a book by an actual vet, whereas the Deer Hunter was a script about Russian roulette in Vegas that turned into a Vietnam movie by writers who didn’t know much about the war. Plus, De Niro’s character is way too idealized.

    Black & white is effective particularly for low budget indie movies, because it can help hide imperfections that would look unrealistic with high-def color film footage.

  2. I’d agree with MOM that noir can’t be seen solely as a reaction to World War II, especially as so many of its literary influences predate the period.

    Interestingly Nino Frank’s original essay is more interested in structure than theme. Most of the essay is about the change in a Sherlock Holmes style of storytelling in which the detective is a vehicle to walk the reader through a puzzle box narrative, whereas the Chanderlian story was more interested in the detectives internal neurosis with a central mystery that is often nebulous or incoherent.

    I’d love to see y’all cover more noir films. Perhaps a neo noir like Chinatown, Night Moves or The Long Goodbye could be interesting. Those movies are very self consciously political and interested in the detective as an emblem of Americanness in a way that makes for good podcast material. It’s such a highly self-conscious tradition the neo-noir, it always seems to become a rumination on 20th century America as a whole.

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