Kansas City Confidential (Phil Karlson, 1952, 99')
Kansas City Confidential is a 1952 film noir crime film directed by Phil Karlson and starring John Payne, with Coleen Gray, Preston Foster, Neville Brand, and Lee Van Cleef. The film was marketed with the tagline "Exploding like a gun in your face!" and released in the United Kingdom as The Secret Four. This film is now in the public domain. Karlson and Payne teamed up a year later for 99 River Street, another noir, followed by a 1955 color film, Hell's Island.
Four robbers hold up an armored truck, getting away with over a million dollars in cash. Joe Rolfe (John Payne), a down-on-his-luck flower delivery truck driver is accused of being involved and is roughly interrogated by local police. Released due to lack of evidence, Joe, following the clues to a Mexican resort, decides to look for the men who set him up both to clear his name and to exact revenge. What he doesn't know is that the heist involves a retired policeman who is also intent on revenge.
Kansas City Confidential, an imaginative little noir from 1952, exemplifies the bread-and-butter UA film of the '50s....When the film was released in DVD format in 2002, film critic Gary Johnson said, "This is prime Karlson. It's brutal, hard-edged, and unflinching, but it's also livened by a distinct streak of optimism. Whereas some directors of film noir preferred the deterministic pessimism of Out of the Past and Raw Deal, Karlson tempered the surface cynicism of his films with an underlying sense of hope."
(Above compiled from Wikipedia)
To me, the film came across as mediocre, with not much life apart from the storyline. The studio Mexico is poorly done, the only female stereotype. For historical interest, three stars, but actually one when held against The Killing or Touch of Evil.
127 - Kansas City Confidential (Phil Karlson, 1952, 99') - 9/8/2012