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THE THRILLER OF THE CENTURY: THE KILLING

Thrillers are those that would  take you to a different level of anticipation, the unpredictable sequences are always the hero of these movies, the mood of the movie changes from time to time, ultra-heightened expectation, tension, Goosebumps, suspense and when all these come together we call that a thriller of the century. And if you are looking for such a thriller, then you have "THE KILLING".

2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shinning, Full Metal Jacket- all these movies have a trade mark style of symmetry, subtlety, line between barbarism and civility and where can you see such a style? Without any doubt that would be a Stanley Kubrick movie. But one may find it hard to believe that 'THE KILLING' was directed by the same man who was behind those epics. Never ever leave a doubt about on that.

The Killing is widely considered as the first mature movie of Stanley Kubrick. The 1956 black and white noir film is based on a novel based on Clean Break by Lionel White. The film had a limited cast but a powerful one who are set in all its fury and violence. As the central character Johnny Clay says to his girlfriend Fay in his introduction scene.

" None of these men are criminals in the usual sense.They've all got jobs ,they all live seemingly normal,decent lives ,but they got their problems and they've all got a little larceny in them"

The men he is talking about are a group of middle aged people- Jay Flippen, one with a life-long contempt for gambling who funds the theft; Mike O'Reilly, a race track bartender with a paralyzed wife, to give her better life; George Peatty, a cashier at the race track with a miserable greedy wife; Randy Kennan, a corrupt police officer and all these grandpas headed by Johnny Clay a veteran criminal, the mastermind of the two million dollar theft.

The heist is planned in racetrack money counting room. All of them are assigned a job to do. The team had a plan and they would stick on to it at any cost as they believed it as a big opportunity to make their dreams a reality. The gang leader"THE KILLING".THE KILLING. also assigns a wrestler Maurice and a professional shooter Niki so as to carry out their plan.

But as always trouble come unexpectedly and that trouble here is George Peatty, the cashier at the race track one who opens up the plan to his wife Sherry Peatty, who has a big dollar sign there where most women have a heart. The villainess in turn reveals it to her secret fella Val Cannon who turns out to destroy the entire fun of the day.

On the day of heist, at the race track when the horses approached at starting gate the wrestler was all set to do his business at the lounge, the shooter was very well at the shooting range, the gang leader waiting at the door and rest of them waiting for their action, the plan started rolling. The wrestler began by starting a fight with the bartender at the race track, who was very well prepared to do so with an extra ordinary brilliance. The figh turned into a riot when the cashier who was ready to play his part opened the door to the cash counting room, without waiting a moment of second Johnny Clay entered it. Rest was for him to deal with. With all the security guards in the counting room attending to the riot at the track bar the job was very much easier for him. The bag carrying the cash from counting room was thrown through the window, which was collected by the police officer, who would leave without any traces of doubt or any chances of a witness. Johnny Clay knew that a riot at the bar was not just enough to create the heightened commotion. The plan was to create a pandemonium by shooting down the fastest horse thered lightening, adding more to the commotion at the bar.

The theft thus becomes a successful one. The plan goes as planned. The entire gang was waiting for the gang leader Johnny Clay to divide the heist money at the apartment as planned,there comes Val-Sherry's secret lover, and turns out to be the greatest disappointment for all of them. Shoot out results in the death of Val and gang members leaving behind George Peatty.

Johnny late by 15 min as per the plan meets staggering George, smells trouble and move to the airport to fly away this is girlfriend Fay to Boston. On his way to airport he buys a big suitcase he can find to put the money in the bag. Meanwhile George says goodbye to his beloved wife Sherry.

Things were not going as per the plan and Johnny Clay knew that better than anyone else. The suitcase containing money is sent to check it as regular luggage in spite of having a long conversation with the supervisor. Johnny and Fay waiting for the flight, the luggage being carried in cart, a dog suddenly jumps in front of the cart, the suit falls down and the two million dollars fly in the air aimlessly. The film ends where Johnny is arrested by two police officers.

The characters in the movies are well defined that each of them has a purpose to take part in the heist. Genuine or not they believe this to be their last resort for the promises made and the fortune they were looking for. The plan without any loopholes and the way they execute show the commitment and efficiency in the gang. The central character played by Sterling Hayden is in line with required punch and in a commanding state. Again there are Fay (Coleen Gray), Johnny's girl; Marvin Unger (Jay C. Flippen); Randy Kennan (Ted de Corsia); Sherry Peatty (Marie Windsor);her husband George Peatty (Elisha Cook); Val Cannon (Vince Edwards), Sherry's actual lover; Mike O'Reilly (Joe Sawyer); Nikki Arcane (Timothy Carey), a rifle sharpshooter; Leo the Loan shark (Jay Adler), and assorted others. 

All these people are very engaged with the movie throughout and Stanley Kubrick makes no mistake in leaving a mark of very cast in the movie well in front of the spectators.

The film went on to inspire Quentin Tarantino four decades later to make The Reservoir Dogs. And even before Robert Rodriguez gave El Mariachi to carry a gun in his guitar case for a style, Stanley Kubrick gave it to Nikki Arane, not just for the style but to make the plan in the movie sound better.

Classic film is a one which leaves a mark to every generation that has watched the film. It never loses its freshness neither it gets old. It remains classic. 'THE KILLNG' directed by Stanley Kubrick was made classic and that save the rest of the things said above.