(This seven-part series focusing on film noir during what’s known as “Noirvember” will consist of 100-word pieces intended to be as punchy as any good noir screenplay.)
The Killing (1956) – Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Q: Who would ever attempt to rob a racetrack? A: Sterling Hayden. He’s the architect of a scheme that, like all great film noir plans, is doomed to fail. Acting plaudits go to Elisha Cook, Jr. in perhaps his finest performance ever as one of Hayden’s partners and Marie Windsor – the ultimate B-movie bad girl – as Cook’s devious wife, plotting his downfall (and her payday) from the get-go. Lucien Ballard’s cinematography is a master class in black-and-white and most of the screenplay comes courtesy of Jim Thompson, famous for authoring hardboiled novels like The Killer Inside Me and The Grifters.