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Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: drinkanddestroy on June 02, 2012, 07:11:32 PM

Title: Killer's Kiss (1955)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 02, 2012, 07:11:32 PM

Killer's Kiss (1955)

Previous discussion on Film Noir Discussion Thread begins here

cigar joe: Revisited Killer's Kiss (1955) director Stanley Kubric, with Frank Silvera as sleazy dime-a-dance hall owner Vincent Rapallo, Jamie Smith as boxer Davey Gordon, Irene Kane as ballroom taxi dancer Gloria Price and Jerry Jarrett as Albert (the fight manager). Could very well be the quintessential New York Noir, from the opening scenes of the old Pennsylvania Station, the decadence of Times Square to the industrial alleys and rooftops of lower Manhattan, it speaks volumes of what can be accomplished in a short film on a shoe string using real locations, and of the talent of Kubric as a director, writter, cinematographer, and editor.

The story is basically, a prize fighter falls for the taxi dancer he peeps on from across the air shaft in his apartment house, juxtaposed cuts of him fighting a loosing bout in the ring and her fighting off the advances of her horny boss establish the dynamics of the story. He comes to her rescue after Rapallo accosts Gloria in her apartment, and they hit it off. Exchanging hard luck stories they decide to take a vacation from the city and to travel West to Seattle to a horse farm that Davey's uncle owns.

Davey needs his money from his last fight and Gloria needs her paycheck. They arrange with Davey's manager to meet at the ballroom. All goes hay-wire and the events that propel the story to a memorable conclusion are started in motion.

Definitely on the A-list with another 10/10.

dave jenkins:  Interestingly, Criterion is bringing out The Killing on DVD and BD and will be including Killer's Kiss as an extra.

T.H. This is the first I've heard that. Great news.

dave jenkins: Just announced this week. Apparently Killer's Kiss, on the BD, will also be in 1080p.

Title: Re: Killer's Kiss (1955)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 02, 2012, 07:21:17 PM
Having grown up in the 90's with the post-Rudy Giuliani cleaned-up version of Times Square, I'd only heard about what that place used to be like but never seen it. This movie gives me some idea!

True story: once in 9th Grade, I once went out with some buddies, my parents asked me where, I calmly replied "Times Square," and they kind of flipped out. I told them the sordid  Times Square they'd heard about was a thing of the past. They told me they'd call the local police precinct to ask, I challenged them to go ahead and do so. (I don't know if they really spoke to someone at the police station or not, but) the next day they informed me that they called and the captain there said I was correct  ;D

As with many noirs, this movie has a framing device, it's all in flashback, as the main character is recalling the events of the past few days -- all in his own mind. But one thing that is different is that rather than simply having a framing device in the first scene and the last scene, it repeatedly cuts back to him, doing nothing but pacing around the train station deep in thought, emphasizing and re-emphasizing that this is all his recollections of the past few days' events. I don't know why Kubrick would do that, rather than simply showing the framing device in the first scene and the last. I am not sure how it helps us to have several interspersed scenes of the guy pacing around the train station, recollecting. The whole movie is narrated by him anyway, so we know that it's all his thoughts as he is waiting there for the train.


According to Wikipedia, United Artists forced Kubrick to do the happy ending. I was kinda relieved when I read that cuz that ending did seem strange to me
Title: Re: Killer's Kiss (1955)
Post by: Groggy on June 03, 2012, 06:09:36 AM
10/10 seems, erm, ridiculously high. I'd give it a 6 or so myself.
Title: Re: Killer's Kiss (1955)
Post by: stanton on June 03, 2012, 07:13:49 AM
Maybe 7
Title: Re: Killer's Kiss (1955)
Post by: cigar joe on June 03, 2012, 12:27:08 PM
With what he had to work with? I'm still going 10/10 its quite an achievement.
Title: Re: Killer's Kiss (1955)
Post by: Groggy on June 03, 2012, 01:40:21 PM
I don't give points for small budgets.
Title: Re: Killer's Kiss (1955)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 03, 2012, 02:41:40 PM
you should know by now that for films noir, cigar joe gives points overwhelmingly for location and style.
I can certainly enjoy even a subpar Western if it has great landscapes, and it may earn a few extra points on the rating. And there is no doubt that using real city locations certainly makes a noir more enjoyable than when it is obviously shot on a silly studio backlot. But I would never give a movie "10/10 on locations alone." (I wouldn't advise people to see a movie just cuz I happen to personally get a kick out of the fact that I took the same train that is shown in a movie  ;)) I recently gave Niagara a 9/10 rating almost entirely based on locations, but that is a rare exception for me.
IMO, locations is one of several important elements of a movie, but there is no single element that is worth an automatic 10/10.

On a general note RE: budgets: I take budgets somewhat into consideration in praising or criticizing a movie, but I am not sure whether I'd consciously give a higher rating based on that. Take FOD for example: a ridiculously low budget, and Leone did some awesome things with it. If you compare it to Leone's other 3 Westerns (I am not gonna include DYS in this discussion for a variety of reasons, let's just compare it to the Dollars Trilogy and OUATITW), I think FOD is clearly the least great of Leone's Westerns, but it still holds a very special place in my heart for being, besides the one that started it all, a movie that did amazing things on a shoestring budget. If Leone had had a million dollar budget for that movie, would people feel the same way about it? who knows.