Film Noir 2023
Screening Dates
  • August 9, 2023 8:30
  • August 13, 2023 6:30
  • September 2, 2023 8:50

Arguably Kubrick’s most perfectly conceived and executed film … Not to be missed.”

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

Stanley Kubrick’s third feature—the legendary director’s breakthrough work—is a marvelously assured hard-boiled noir thriller centring on the classic criminal caper. Sterling Hayden, in one of his most memorable turns, stars as mastermind Johnny Clay, an ex-con who assembles a team of small-time losers and dreamers in order to pull off the perfect” robbery of a racetrack. The film was adapted from the novel Clean Break by American pulp-fiction writer Lionel White; the screenplay was co-written by another noted noir author, Jim Thompson. The Killing brought Kubrick considerable critical attention for its extraordinary performances, claustrophobic compositions, and complex, innovative use of time. Influenced by John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle (which also starred Hayden), it would later serve as inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.

A masterpiece … The Killing may seem like an anomaly among Kubrick’s work, but it’s not … [he] always tweaked genres, upturning convention with something harder, funnier, more philosophical, beautiful, and ugly.”

Kim Morgan, Sight and Sound