Combustible Celluloid
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With: John Payne, Coleen Gray, Preston Foster, Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef, Jack Elam, Dona Drake, Mario Siletti, Howard Negley, Carleton Young, Don Orlando, Ted Ryan
Written by: George Bruce, Harry Essex, based on a story by Harold R. Greene, Rowland Brown
Directed by: Phil Karlson
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 99
Date: 11/11/1952

Kansas City Confidential (1952)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

'City' Tricksters

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This amazing little film has never before been released on video, and in fact, neither has most of the rest of director Phil Karlson's work (except his later, more expensive pictures like Walking Tall and the Elvis movie Kid Galahad). Poor John Payne finds himself the unwitting fall guy of an armored car robbery. A former con, he now drives a similar car legitimately. The three men who committed the crime all wore masks and were unknown even to each other, but Payne puts the finger on one of them and finds their meeting place; a Mexican resort village. Karlson keeps everything dark and pulsating; and Lee Van Cleef and Jack Elam add to the underworld sleaziness. Karlson's other noirs 99 River Street and The Phenix City Story are often mentioned in the same breath, but neither are available yet.

DVD Details: In 2002, Image Entertainment released the

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