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Watching "The Killing" right now, it occurs to me I really appreciate the story line about planning and pulling off a heist.

 

I used to read a lot of Donald E. Westlake comedic crime novels (any Dortmunder fans here?) but I can't think of many other dramatic movies that feature this type of story.

 

What other titles can you suggest?

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I can't suggest any other title...but "The Killing" was an excellent pix. Puts me to mind of "The Asphalt Jungle" another heist gone bad motion pix.

 

LOVED Elisha Cook Jr. in this film. How this little runt could pull a babe like bedroom eyes Marie Windsor is one of the great casting feats. No one comes out on top in this film: from the Sniper to the accomplices. How much is that doggie in the window...Arf! Arf!

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Thanks for the reply, CineMaven

 

Marie was another acquired taste for me. She's very appealing to me now but not when I was young. I thought her eyes made her look a little odd. Now I can look at them all day.

 

I always got the feeling that her character latched on to Elisha's cuz he had promised her big things (don't go there, lady) but didn't deliver.

 

One scene that I always wince at though is the parking lot attendant's at the track. He starts off talking tough and turns instantly solicitous, only to walk away pouting when his kindness is rebuked. I wonder if Kubrick was going for some racial angle there but didn't quite know how to pull it off.

 

I can't think of another in this category, though there must be some. Anyone?

 

A good companion piece to this one is "The Treasure of Sierra Madre," if you know what I mean.

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LuckyDan -- I just got Rififi on DVD but I haven't sat my tail down to watch it yet. It's a film that is often cited as one of the greatest (if not the greatest) heist films of all time.

 

I'm probably going to purchase Robert Wise's Odds Against Tomorrow. It's a heist film that I'm very interested in seeing.

 

Criss Cross features a heist but I wouldn't necessarily call it a "pure" heist film.

 

I'm sure Dewey, Ken, and Arkadin will be able to provide you with some good heist film suggestions.

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Thanks for the titles, Mr. Grimes. "Odds" looks to be like the kind of thing I'm looking for.

 

I've not seen "Criss Cross" but I am aware of several mentions of it on the boards. If nothing else it has Yvie D.

 

Come back and let us know your thoughts on "Rififi."

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Rififi is probably the the best heist film ever made. Odds Against Tomorrow is a racial film under the guise of a heist film. Criss Cross is an ok film. I can't think of a ton of these types of films, but off the top of my head:

 

He Ran All The Way (1951)

The Good Die Young (1954)

Across 110th Street (1972)

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

High Sierra (1941)

Sexy Beast (2000)

Cry Terror (1958)

Bob le Flambeur (1956)

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I loved the early "Dortmunder" novels by Donald E. Westlake. "The Hot Rock," "Bank Shot" and "Jimmy the Kid" are my favorites in that series. "The Hot Rock" was filmed with Robert Redford as Dortmunder.

 

"Five Against the House" is a rob-the-casino movie from the mid-Fifties. The original "Oceans' 11" and "Seven Thieves" are also rob-the-casino movies.

 

"Gambit" starring Michael Caine is a caper film/comedy from the mid-Sixties. In the Sixties, caper films tended to have a lot of humor. "The Italian Job," also with Caine from the end of the Sixties, is very well done.

 

"Violent Saturday" is part heist film, part small town (Peyton Place) movie from the Fifties about a bank robbery.

 

"Lavender Hill Mob" and "Big Deal on Madonna Street" are British and Italian films that spoof the caper film.

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Hello Mike,

 

Jimmy The Kid was the first I read, then I went back and devoured all the prior novels, even the non-Dortmunders. Bank Shot was filmed with George C. Scott as Dortmunder, but they changed the character's name for some reason.

 

Thanks for the heist movie suggestions.

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Wasn't *The Killers* also about a heist?

 

*Assault on a Queen* is an exciting if seldom seen heist yarn which takes place at sea---a motley group get together to rob an ocean liner via submarine. It stars Frank Sinatra, Virna Lisi, Richard Conte and Tony Franciosa. It's not as well known as Sinatra's "Tony Rome" movies made at the same time, but in my opinion it's much superior to them.

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I'm not sure either version of "The Killers" would qualify as a heist movie - more like a no-honor-among-thieves sorta thing - but I don't know either film very well.

 

"Assault On A Queen" looks very interesting, especially with Rod Serling a co-writer.

 

Thanks for the tips

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LUCKY DAN:

"One scene that I always wince at though is the parking lot attendant's at the track. He starts off talking tough and turns instantly solicitous, only to walk away pouting when his kindness is rebuked. I wonder if Kubrick was going for some racial angle there but didn't quite know how to pull it off."

 

CINEMAVEN:

"I saw 'The Killing' a few years ago and must have seen an edited version becuz that scene in the parking lot not only made me wince, but I was taken aback.I don't remember that scene and in fact, I felt like I got smacked by Joan Crawford when I heard the sniper refer to the parking lot attendant by the "N" word. I didn't expect it and was totally like "WHOA!"

 

I think Kubrick was making some kind of racial statement; guess they couldn't let it stand that James Edwards was telling this guy what he could and couldn't do. But it also could've been plot related...you know, the plot probably needed the scene to create some tension that the sniper might be interrupted. It also could've shown a Black man so grateful that a white man talked nicely to him that he thought he made a new friend. NOT.

 

In any event, the scene was an "OUCH!!!" Loved the actor that played the sniper AND in his part as one of the doomed men in "Paths of Glory.") At one point when he agreed to do the job...he mumbled something that made me think of Benicio DelToro mumbling in "The Usual Suspect."

 

GREAT FILM. Oh yeah...glad you came around to Marie Windsor. Some of our lovely actresses need to wait for men to mature before they're appreciated."

 

And I'll leave alone the comment about Elisha offering Marie bigger things in life. I'm biting my tongue.

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>I think Kubrick was making some kind of racial statement; guess they couldn't let it stand that James Edwards was telling this guy what he could and couldn't do. But it also could've been plot related...you know, the plot probably needed the scene to create some tension that the sniper might be interrupted. It also could've shown a Black man so grateful that a white man talked nicely to him that he thought he made a new friend. NOT.

 

I'm sure Kubrick wanted some tension, as you suggest. I wonder though if our discomfort with the scene is due to the hindsight our times provide. I'd like to hear from some posters who saw the film upon release, or shortly thereafter, on that. The scene just seems awkward to me, even without the racial epithet.

 

>In any event, the scene was an "OUCH!!!" Loved the actor that played the sniper AND in his part as one of the doomed men in "Paths of Glory.") At one point when he agreed to do the job...he mumbled something that made me think of Benicio DelToro mumbling in "The Usual Suspect."

 

Isn't he a distinctive actor? I can never recall his name, so I looked it up. He is Timothy Carey. I too enjoyed him here and in PTG. And yes, he would have made an excellent Suspect.

 

> Oh yeah...glad you came around to Marie Windsor. Some of our lovely actresses need to wait for men to mature before they're appreciated."

 

Mature. I don't often hear that one, CineMaven. Thanks. (I think.)

 

>And I'll leave alone the comment about Elisha offering Marie bigger things in life. I'm biting my tongue

 

Not too hard, I hope. Being tactful is always wise, but if you've got something, go with it.

 

Thanks again for your reply.

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Asphalt Jungle, another film starring Sterling Hayden, who at one time I thought was the world's second worst actor. Thor Johnson wins # 1 hands down. Sam Jaffee, Louis Calhern, Mark Lawrence, and James Whitmore are excellent in this film. Oh yes, there is a girl named Marilyn Monroe in this film, as Calhern's mistress,I guess later she become somewhat well known.

 

Criss Cross is another excellent Noir involving a heist, with Yvonne at her sexiest .

 

Message was edited by: ken123

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LuckyDan -- I wasn't around when *The Killing* was in the theaters, but I'd like to share my thoughts on the jarring sniper scene.

 

The 7th race was just about to start and Nikki (Tim Carey) had to concentrate on the job at hand. He could not afford to be bothered at all and he surely didn't want to be watched. The security guard was in the way and he needed to shed him as fast as possible. The best way he could do this was to call him a name that would cause the guard to leave him alone. He chose the right word.

 

The scene is interesting to me because the guard was initially strict with Nikki but Nikki quickly won him over with his paraplegic/war injury talk. The guard then felt sorry for being mean towards Nikki and he wanted to make good by thanking him and offering him a "lucky" horseshoe. His generosity was met with, "you're wrong, ..."

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Yes, I think I recall that Monroe kid in a film or two (kinda cute, isn't she?) but I am embarrased to admit that if I have ever seen "Asphalt Jungle," I don't recall it. (Which is another way of saying that if I saw it, it was during the 80s.)

 

I share your sentiment on Mr. Hayden, too. I read somewhere that he found being an actor embarrassing. (I recall Spencer Tracy also felt that acting was a strange occupation for man.) But with "The Killing" I began to forgive Hayden his one-dimensional screen persona.

 

And I'm sure you know he was a man of the Left. He turned to writing in his later years and I recall his appearance on "The Tonight Show" where, long-haired, bearded, and quite obviously stoned, he talked about his novel "Voyage: A novel of 1896."

 

I wonder if that's on YouTube. It was hilarious.

 

Message was edited by: LuckyDan

 

Message was edited by: LuckyDan

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Thanks, Frank. I understand the maennig of the scene, I just thought it was awkwardly performed. But its a great movie. Not every scene can be a gem. Thanks for dropping in.

 

Soooo, when can we expect your "Rififi" review? No pressure.

 

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In " The Asphalt Jungle " Louis Calhern plays a " Capitalist Pig " Oh ! I mean a highly respected lawyer, who is really a crook. That MM is very fetching I must say, but IMHO Yvonne betters hers (in sex appeal ) in " Criss Cross ", directed by Noir great Robert Siodmak.

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>In " The Asphalt Jungle " Louis Calhern plays a " Capitalist Pig " Oh ! I mean a highly respected lawyer...

 

You mean, like, John Edwards? (He has such pretty hair, IMO)

 

You just can't leave it at home, can ya boyo?

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I can't stand any of the Demcratic Presidentail choices , the GOP'ers are beyond description.

 

 

LUCKYDAN - You should see " Asphalt Jungle " and " Criss Cross ", the latter Noir is great and Jungle not far behind,

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LuckyDan -- I understand the maennig of the scene, I just thought it was awkwardly performed.

 

Oops, my fault. Timothy Carey and "awkwardly performed" are kissing cousins. Carey loves to talk through his teethy grimaces. It's called acting. Well, at least to him it was. Carey is one of wackiest actors I have ever seen. Ya gotta love the mug.

 

Rififi is on the way.

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No worries, old buddy and pal.

 

Not to be argumentative, but I thought the awkwardness was more James Edwards than Tim Carey. He starts off all, "Get outta here! We're closed!" but is soon offering to fluff Carey's pillow and heat up some Ovaltine.

 

I'm off tomorrow but am expecting some contractors to do some work around the house. Maybe I'll have time to run to Blockbuster and rent "Rififi" and we can do a Siskel and Ebert number

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