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Killer's Kiss [DVD]


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Killer's Kiss [DVD] + The Killing [DVD] + Paths Of Glory [DVD] [1957]
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Product details

  • Actors: Frank Silvera, Irene Kane, Jamie Smith, Jerry Jarrett, Mike Dana
  • Directors: Stanley Kubrick
  • Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Howard Sackler
  • Producers: Stanley Kubrick, Morris Bousel
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, English, German
  • Dubbed: German, Italian, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 15 July 2002
  • Run Time: 64 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068C3D
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,720 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Low budget film noir directed by Stanley Kubrick. Boxer Davy Gordon (Jamie Smith) finds himself in a world of trouble when he intervenes and saves dancer Gloria Price (Irene Kane) from her seedy and violent boss Vincent Raphello. Davy and Gloria fall in love and plan to leave the city and make a fresh start, but Vincent is angry and jealous and sends his men to kill the young lovers.

From Amazon.co.uk

An exercise in film noir fairytale, 1955's Killer's Kiss was Stanley Kubrick's second feature film (he had the first buried forever) and shows just how powerful a filmmaker he was right out of the gate. Followers of Kubrick's career will note the appearance of themes and images that recurred (a final axe-fight in a warehouse full of disembodied mannequin parts would not be out of place in The Shining), but this is also notably unlike later Kubrick films in its use of authentic locations and its 65-minute running time.

The plot is a tiny anecdote about a washed-up boxer (Jamie Smith), a dance hall dame (Irene Kane) and a slimy hood (Frank Silvera) during one crowded weekend of brutality and romance.

There's a sense of a young director playing games: the boxing match (a definite influence on Raging Bull) is all low-angle close-ups and subjective shots with plenty of thump and dazzle, and the traditional Expressionist look of noir is exaggerated with many a tricky shot or doomy plot twist. The three unfamiliar leads are all excellent as small-timers struggling with big passions, and there is already a potent use of raucous source music and subtle sound design to augment the stark, haunted black and white imagery.

On the DVD Killer's Kiss on disc features no extras other than a blaring trailer ("a picture as brazen as the naked lights of Broadway, as hard as the New York streets in which it was shot!"). The black and white picture is 4:3, and comes with soundtracks in English, German, Italian and Spanish; subtitles in English, German, Italian, French, Dutch and Spanish. --Kim Newman


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth F. Mcara VINE VOICE on 19 July 2009
Format: DVD
Killer's Kiss (1955) was, after the barely-released and now-unavailable Fear & Desire, the first of Kubrick's movies to see the light of day. It draws heavily upon a short boxing documentary which Kubrick produced earlier called "The Day of the Fight", which would have made a great 'extra' on this disc, but is none the worse for that, and certainly has its moments. Look out for the scene amongst the shop dummies and the chase through the streets near the end which is eerily prescient of the much later 2001 - A Space Odyssey [Blu-ray] [1968].

Worth a look if you're a cinema fan and want to see how Kubrick's style developed from this early attempt.

There is also a great Kubrick triple 'starter-pack' which includes this film, Stanley Kubrick Collection - The Killing/Paths Of Glory/Killer's Kiss [DVD]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Mar 2011
Format: DVD
The second feature film directed by future critical darling Stanley Kubrick, Killer's Kiss isn't a particularly good film. With its very basic "B" film noir plot, choppy editing, post-dubbing and "interesting" acting from the unknown cast, the film should really be a chore to get thru. However, it represents a worthwhile investment of our time for two main reasons. One is of course to witness the early work of a most revered and talented director. The other is because of some indelible images that exist within the piece, images crafted around authentic New York locations.

The plot revolves around Davey Gordon (Jamie Smith), a 29 year old New York boxer at the end of his career, and his relationship with a dancer and her violent employer. Love, violence and revenge all crammed into one sweaty New York weekend. Kubrick co-wrote the screenplay with Howard Sackler, he also edited, co-produced and photographed the picture himself. All financed by cash generated from friends and family of the novice director.

While there is nothing to write home about in the writing, certainly there is no hint of the creative writing flair Kubrick would show later in his career, it's with the visuals and to a lesser extent, the sound work, that Killer's Kiss shows that the powerful director was quick out of the traps. The whole film comes across as some feverish fairy-tale, one which at frequent moments shifts to some sort of surrealistic nightmare. The effects aided by the use of negative film stock and the tilting blend of opposing character scenes. Sexual aggression segues with a brutal boxing match, a ballerina dancing sequence takes one away from the hustle and bustle of the loud streets.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 April 2003
Format: DVD
There is much to admire in this movie. The way it presents the boxing sequence probably influenced the stunning subjective techniques used in classic sports films like 'This Sporting Life' (rugby) and 'Raging Bull' (boxing). Comparisons with 'Mean Streets' in its documentary portrayal of the city landscape and its exploration of romance within the ugly urban sprawl are also appropriate.
So, 'Killer's Kiss' is an influential movie, but does it stand alone as a decent film? I must admit, if I hadn't known it was a 'Kubrick movie', I would probably have written it off as nothing special. But there's the paradox, I DID know it was by Kubrick, and he is one of my favourite directors. He is treated with similar reverence by most film critics. In many ways, it is a 'Citizen Kane'-like situation: I want to say I hate this movie, but risk being outcast by those professional critics who claim to know what they are talking about.
That said, I enjoyed the film. It was well paced and refreshingly short, so there wasn't time to get too irritated with it. I recommend this movie to Kubrick fans, to film noir fans, and to fans of low budget 'cult' style cinema.
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Format: DVD
This low budget film noir makes a good companion piece to Stanley Kubrick's brilliant The Killing (1956) due to the fact that they were his only two film noirs and boasts some atmospheric and brilliant direction. While a man waits for a train he recounts in flashback his life as a boxer as he meets and falls in love with his neighbour. Both live trapped lives: him by his brutal boxing life and her working in a small dance hall for a slimy and creepy boss who controls her. Each wanting to escape represented by the man in beginning waiting for his train to escape. The boxing scenes are expertly directed: raw and upfront the viewer feels he is the boxing ring. Kubrick captures a jazzy and downbeat atmosphere and boasts a brilliant ending in a empty warehouse with mannequins. This is without doubt one of his most experiential films with camera boasting all sorts of tricks the film has been criticised as a weak film but personally anyone with a appreciation for film noir will see this as classic and one Kubrick's best although not as good as his heist noir The Killing.
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