Combustible Celluloid
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With: Frank Silvera, Jamie Smith, Irene Kane, Jerry Jarrett, Ruth Sobotka
Written by: Stanley Kubrick
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 67
Date: 09/21/1955

Killer's Kiss (1955)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Boxed In

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Since Stanley Kubrick effectively suppressed his first film, Fear and Desire, this snappy little 67-minute crime film will have to serve as his official debut. It may lack production value, but it shows a filmmaker already in command of his medium. Shot when Kubrick was about 26, the film contains several hallmark shots, most notably the climactic fight scene in the mannequin factory, but also an amazing use of New York locations, deep focus, striking angles and shadows. After a losing bout, a washed-up boxer (Jamie Smith) prepares to leave New York. But he hears a woman's scream from a nearby apartment and becomes mixed up with a dance hall girl (Irene Kane). Their combined baggage crashes down upon them and results in murder. Frankly, it's a pretty wretched story, but this small, cheap film has style to spare.

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