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Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose of Darkness #25: Time for a Heist (Opening Scene of Kansas City Confidential)

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-- Discuss the role of time and timing in this scene.


 


The man in the window looks down on the street below.  The people in the street below are all doing their perspective jobs or tasks at hand.  They might not even know in what order or in what frame of time reference they are doing their jobs; they're just doing their jobs.  That brings us back to the man in the window.....he's clocking their movements...the same people every day arriving at the same time entering the band, leaving the bank...the armored car armed guards that is.  The man who delivers the flowers, is there as well.  In and out, precise timing noted by the man in the window.  His watch, the clock on the wall across the street, outside the bank.....time ticking by....seconds, minutes not really noticed by anyone but one who is marking the time.....day in and day out....planning, counting the seconds as if they count, because they count for the precision of the plan......


-- What are the film noir elements (style or substance) that you notice in the opening of this film?


The dialog rolling across the screen with the music saying, explaining, letting us know or rather might as well state:  this is film noir, be alert now, everything from this point on is crucial to your well being, especially if you're going anywhere near the bank within the next two and a half hours.....


 


 


#NOIRSUMMER


 


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In looking at today's clip from "Kansas City Confidential," I was stuck by the third suggested question. Why is a heist a good subject for film noir?

 

First, it involves criminal activity, which must be a part of any noir film, and since we are following the story from the side of the professional criminal, we are deep into the dark side of life.

 

Heist films take a purportedly realistic approach, familiar in many noir films, but rather than follow the authorities in solving a crime (as in "The Naked City") we see how the crime is planned. As things happen that (inevitably) put the plan at risk, the tension is increased, in a way that doesn't always occur in a police procedural.

 

More importantly, however, in classic Hollywood films of the era, the filmmakers were still working under a Production Code that required that criminals not get away with it. Even though that Code was starting to weaken, you could still be pretty certain no heist in the movies would be a success. Thus, while we get the thrills of watching illicit activity, we know it is doomed to failure. Doomed protagonists are a cornerstone of noir.

 

Even after the Code was eliminated, heist films still tended to end in failure. Was there ever a heist film that ended In success (other than con games and others where the target is worse than the perpetrators (like "The Sting" or "Ocean's Eleven") or spy films (like "Mission: Impossible") or even "Ant-Man")?

This is such a great point. I can't think of one heist film where everything goes off exactly as planned and those involved get exactly what they want and live happily ever after. A parody of a heist film does, though -- Tower Heist from a few years ago -- how ironic! 

 

It really just goes to show that one of the major themes in film noir continued to resonate in films well after it was considered to have ended. No matter how carefully the characters plan, even down to the last second, fate and some unseen forces always have a way to step in and mess up even the most carefully detailed plans.

 

Why that is is less certain. Is it a subconscious need for us to see that justice is carried out? Is it just so instilled in us as an audience that the bad guys can never win in the film universe? That's a much more difficult question to answer. 

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Timing plays a role in the plot and action of the clip we saw, with the old man keeping track of the movements on the street in front of the bank. But it also creates subtexts of tension and of time slipping away, just from showing a ticking clock or watch being checked by someone.

 

Noir jumps right up and bites us on the butt from the gate with this movie. The blocky titles over diagonal shadow lines, the crimey music and the blurb about the perfect crime should be enough to clue the viewer in to the fact that this is a film noir. But just in case we missed it, the fact that somebody is casing a bank and the filmmaker saw fit to include an innocent delivery driver in the shot should do the trick.

 

Heists are perfect subjects for films noir because we Americans are a greedy bunch, prone to appreciating the concepts of easy money and high living, and thus to identifying (to some extent) with characters involved in heists. Since film noir loves to cast a spotlight on the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves, what better way to do it than to make us unsure of who we are rooting for?

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This scene from Kansas City Confidential does place a great deal of emphasis on time.   There are many shots of the face of a clock or the face of a watch.  There is even a clock above the door to the bank.  There are people (the delivery man, the armed guards) who are clearly running on a schedule.  There is also a crowd of people gathering at the door of the bank, reminding the audience difference just a minute can make.  They must wait until the door is opened at exactly 10:00. 

The purpose of this is made clear when the viewer is shown a schedule of the coming and goings around the bank just prior to and immediately after opening. 

 

All of the focus on time gives the opening a feeling of tension, and this tension is probably one of the reasons the heist film can be such a good fit for a noir.  Film heists usually involve very complex and precise plans that need to be executed perfectly for the heist to succeed.  This is fertile ground to explore some of the common themes and goals of a noir.

 

First, a criminal attempting a heist needs to be intelligent and a good leader.  The fact that the criminal protagonist will have many admirable qualities makes it easier for the audience to sympathize or even identify with a main character who is a criminal.  Heists are also often planned to be non-violent, which also makes the criminals perpetrating them more sympathetic.  All of this helps to place your audience on the side of the criminals, not the police.

 

Second, as I stated before, heists involve complicated plans that leave plenty of room for things to go wrong.  Many noirs deal with the idea that fate can step in at anytime and change someone’s life (generally for the worse).  Heists leave plenty of opportunities for fate to lay to waste one man’s best-laid plans.  It also emphasizes, as many noirs do, that we live in a chaotic world in which many events are the result of random chance (or fate, depending on your viewpoint).

 

Even if the heist is successful, heists usually require a group of people to be pulled off successfully.  This provides another possible hitch in the plan, since it is difficult to know whom to trust.  All it takes is for one member of the group to get greedy and everything can fall apart.   This explores another common theme in noirs: people are not always what they seem.  In the noir universe it can be difficult to know who to trust or what people’s true motivations are.  The heist film provides a group of criminals who must work together in a high stress environment, a great set up to look at the lesser aspects of human nature.

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This scene set up is awesome!! time and timing in this is almost like a character/narrator setting up the entire film for us. The lack of words causes us to focus more because we can't just listen and not pay as much attention its really good. Everything about this perfect heist is also centered around the time stuff happens and the timing at which it happens.

 

The threatening look of the guards with their guns drawn reminded me of noir and the constant clocks brought me back to other movies where time and the idea that it will outlast us all was a central theme.

 

I think heist is a great movie to do with noir because it forces us to view criminals from their side and allows us to see possibly why they do what they do. It also can make us more sympathetic to the cause of what is in the mindset of a criminal when they do what they do. Or why they may be forced into situations that they can't get out of.

 

Mark

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When planning a heist, precision is key. The stakes are high and there's no room for error, so it's of the utmost importance to thoroughly understand the routines of all "moving pieces," from the delivery truck to the bank's opening to the arrival and departure of the security guards. And there's no tool more valuable in this case than a clock. The man in the scene is perched on an upper floor with a perfect vantage point of all goings on within the perimeter of his planned heist. He's marking the minutes, day by day, ensuring the existence of a consistent routine upon which he can lay his nefarious plan. And he does it to the sound of a moody score, underscoring the noir on which we're about to embark.

 

Films noir are often filled with intricate, convoluted plots. Nothing happens by accident. The criminals see to that. With the amount of planning and accuracy involved with plotting a heist, it makes sense that this type of crime would be central to a film noir. Often, the criminal's plan unfolds over the course of the film, and usually thanks to the efforts of a skilled private eye. In Kansas City Confidential, however, we're privy to the criminal's intent and his planning procedure from the start, offering a unique perspective. And with a lack of dialogue and a "noir-ish" score at the forefront, we kick the film off with a certain level of anxiety that is sure to increase as the plot thickens.

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In Kansas City Confidential (1952), time is an element of suspense and used in the planning of the bank robbery.  Also, time seemed to speed up the pacing of the scene.

 

Some film noir elements used in this opening scene are:  documentary realism (style) with the preface and location shot of Kansas City which makes it official and real; music (style) used to emphasize time and timing which also adds suspense; and, the 'silence' (i.e. no dialogue) has us focus closely on the man observing the bank and we see how methodical, detailed and calm he is in the planning of the bank robbery.  He must have been planning the heist for sometime now for he already has a street diagram of the location from which he is observing and has checked off his observations five times now.  We don't know why he is planning the heist yet, but, it does not seem to be only for the money since he is well attired, groomed, has an expensive watch and his room seems spacious and well decorated.

 

Besides the criminal element, a heist or bank robbery would be a good subject for film noir.  We would see how involved the planning for the heist is, what the obstacles are, what the stakes are, and what motivates the people committing the heist and may sympathize with him/her.  The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway is a good example of a heist story and has some film noir elements even if its in color (such as angular shots, music to emphasize a character trait and suspense, and social commentary about the wealthy and working class).  Faye Dunaway as Vicki Anderson is an independent insurance investigator hired to solve the perfect heist from a bank and to re-cover over $2 million stolen.  Steve McQueen is Thomas Crown, a Millionaire businessman-sportsman who committed this perfect crime as a game.  This film questioned the conventions of the time - to perform your job's duties without question, or, to follow one's own ideas and desires (i.e. society vs. individualism).

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From the opening epilogue, which details the "confidentiality" of this particular case, it's clear we're in for an old fashioned docunoir. Starting off with an image of an old lady leaving the bank (which is such a great little addition from Phil Karlson), we rise up to the top floor where we get a gander at the shady business of a Kansas City mug. John Paynes character is presented in a wonderfully ambiguous tone here, playing off the idea that he could either be in on the job about to go down or is simply an unwitting assistant.

 

The fact that the scene plays out with no dialogue and flows so smoothly is really a testament to director Karlson and the mood he was able to convey through imagery. Most documentary type films noir were clear cut and direct about their criminals, and this unclear opener throws a much needed monkey wrench in that routine. The first great pairing of Payne and Karlson (the year before 99 RIVER STREET) is a hard edged classic that fails to get old because of filmmaking chops like this.

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Agreed this has been an amazingly fun, thought provoking class & I am also feeling a Noir angst that it's coming to an end!

 

I agree as well.. I'm starting to feel a sort of film noir withdrawal! The course has really increased my love for these brilliant films, and even introduced me to some real gems that I probably wouldn't have considered watching before.

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Time and timing. So very important when it comes to the perfect crime.

This guy is really working hard at scoping out this location.. Robbing banks seems like a really tedious job. Everything has to be just so.

Yet so many things can go wrong! Will they in this case?

 

I like the fact that there is no dialogue, that the music carries the whole scene - building up the suspense and drama of what's to come!

 

I don't know though.... I just get the feeling that fate is going to come in and wipe out all of this meticulous planning. Or at least play with it a while.

Who is this guy? Is he working for someone, part of a group or on his own? For now the only hint we get is the name in his little black book...

All very noir from the theme of a bank heist to the music and the tiny details of lighting and shots. Brilliant!

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Before i say what my thoughts are did you happen to listen to the music when the guy in the window started his stop watch? it was a cleaver music 1 min cue. It stopped after one min. 

 

So clearly this man in the window has kept watch of this bank for awhile, knowing the ins and outs. I have not yet viewed this film but I got the 720p version from archive.

 

You do not have to have dialogue to have action, sometimes silence and music can tell a better story thru the action on the screen then words will ever.

 

I know this clip kept me in suspense! 

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It's interesting to see what they Hays Code was interested in keeping off of screens, and how that attitude lessened over the years. Clearly they are no longer very interested in making sure films don't depict detailed descriptions of crimes being planned and carried out. Just a few years earlier this film would not have been able to get made. At least not in the form we see now.

 

I watched this through a second time with attention to how long specific shots lasted, and while there isn't technically a pattern, it has a very musical quality. That is to say, each edit could be seen as a beat, which I guess would give it more of a morse code feel. But most of the shots last less than 5 seconds, in fact many of them are under 2 seconds long. The longest shots are of the security guard getting out of the armored car, the delivery driver getting the boxes out of his truck, a ten second pan to the clock on the outside of the building, and a long shot of the plan for the heist. In between those shots are a bunch of quick staccato edits, leading to a weird rhythm of 'bam bam bam bambam baaaaaaaam baaaaaaam bambambam.' If that makes any sense. It was very propulsive.

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We are creatures of habit, aren't we. I want to first give a cultural commentary on time and the 1950s. The 50s are always presented as a time that is clean, precise, uniform (e.g., track housing). It was as if it were believed perfection is achieved when everything is scheduled, timed, and executed as planned. I think this is reflective of the nuclear age.

Given the above, everything in this opening is precise in its execution. I specifically focused on the delivery man checking off his roster and we get the feeling it was the same roster as yesterday and the day before - always arriving at the same place at the same time. (How absolutely monotonous!) The purpose of his clipboard is the silent controlling presence of his boss ensuring routine never slips.

 

However, we as the audience are also controlled by time right from the beginning of the film. The introduction is in block style with rigid block lettering and scrolls through the screen. We read at the pace the film wants us to read. We cannot read ahead - we can't be trusted. We must follow the pace intended.

 

The music, I think, is more crime music. I think a more noir style would have been the incorporation of a ticking or a more pronounced beat to the music that would have played on our unconscious. However, the opening intro was set against a shadowed background where bars could be seen. The action and storytelling - the setting of the story - begins almost immediately and without words that is definitely noir-ish.

 

To me a heist film is sort of the definition of noir by the 50s. I still prefer the B films of the 1940s. The noir films of the 40s weren't just heist films but had varied, complex stories blurring the lines between right/wrong, good/bad. By the 1950s, there seems to be a need to fit everything - precisely - into set roles. Things are no longer blurry but seek out clarity.

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Discuss the role of time and timing in this scene.

 

The role of timing is to set-up our expectation and appreciation for how integral time is for the armoured car and bank operations and how this is the key to how the heist will unfold. Any indication of time only emphasizes the dramatic points further.

 

What are the film noir elements (style or substance) that you notice in the opening of this film?

 

There has a film noir style from the titles and the angles also inclusion of music feels very film noir. The substance is the set-up to crime. The truth is seemingly plastered all over the place but the audience privy to film noir should know different even in the opening minutes.

 

 

Why is a heist a good subject for a film noir to tackle? Put another way, how or why might a film that involves a heist affect or change what we think about criminals and/or criminal behavior on screen?

 

I'd say the criminals are no different than average Joe only they go to crime lengths breaking average Joe's laws making them different. They are considered the "bad guys" once they cross that line. It could be we desensitize to the notion of crime because it is an artifice only experienced in the comfort (unreal exposure) of theatre or on our home entertainment theatres or worse cellphones. The experience is safe as opposed to true crime lifestyle.

 

What I want to know is who is Pete Harris? and, why are those armoured car guards walking in crowded public with guns drawn looking more suspicious and paranoid?! lol, that's pure b-movie gold :)

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In Kansas City Confidential (1952), time is an element of suspense and used in the planning of the bank robbery.  Also, time seemed to speed up the pacing of the scene.

 

Some film noir elements used in this opening scene are:  documentary realism (style) with the preface and location shot of Kansas City which makes it official and real; music (style) used to emphasize time and timing which also adds suspense; and, the 'silence' (i.e. no dialogue) has us focus closely on the man observing the bank and we see how methodical, detailed and calm he is in the planning of the bank robbery.  He must have been planning the heist for sometime now for he already has a street diagram of the location from which he is observing and has checked off his observations five times now.  We don't know why he is planning the heist yet, but, it does not seem to be only for the money since he is well attired, groomed, has an expensive watch and his room seems spacious and well decorated.

 

Besides the criminal element, a heist or bank robbery would be a good subject for film noir.  We would see how involved the planning for the heist is, what the obstacles are, what the stakes are, and what motivates the people committing the heist and may sympathize with him/her.  The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway is a good example of a heist story and has some film noir elements even if its in color (such as angular shots, music to emphasize a character trait and suspense, and social commentary about the wealthy and working class).  Faye Dunaway as Vicki Anderson is an independent insurance investigator hired to solve the perfect heist from a bank and to re-cover over $2 million stolen.  Steve McQueen is Thomas Crown, a Millionaire businessman-sportsman who committed this perfect crime as a game.  This film questioned the conventions of the time - to perform your job's duties without question, or, to follow one's own ideas and desires (i.e. society vs. individualism).

 

Totally agree re the original Thomas Crown Affair.  I noted in an earlier comment that the opening in Kansas City Confidential reminded me of the opening of Thomas Crown, where Tommy is overlooking the bank across the street in the exact same way, watching, from his office the heist he's so carefully orchestrated.

 

This is also another tale of someone who apparently has everything being bored by his success, like Dick Powell's character in Pitfall.   Tommy Crown wants to beat the system he's very much part of.  He's unsatisfied by having attained the Dream, and wants more.   This has always been my favorite Steve MacQueen performance, perhaps because it played so much against his 'type'.

 

I also think the character of Vicki Anderson, wonderfully played by Faye Dunaway, is a clever variation on the traditional femme fatale: smart, self-motivated, beautiful and stylish, who ultimately falls in love with her target.  She's a spider woman of sorts, but only dangerous to Tommy because she's the only one capable of recovering what he stole.   The play between them is absolutely glorious, and it's one of the best 'win-win' endings of all time.

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1.)    The main character is constantly aware of time  ---the time it takes for the florist truck to deliver flowers,  the time its takes the bank guards to deliver the money. We see later in the see that he has a whole diagram written out where he keeps track of these times every day.  Clock are very prominent  --his wristwatch,  the bank's clock. 

 

2.)   One element of film noir style I noticed was the extreme close-up of everyday objects.  The close-up of the wristwatch,  the note/address book.  An element of film noir substance is the character/situation of Kansas City Confidential is keeping with the overall style of films noir postwar.  Male characters are disillusioned after WWII and seek to steal from big banks and corporations.

 

3.)  A heist films taps into hidden audience desire to rob from the rich.  Kansas City Confidential shows postwar breakdown of censorship restrictions after WWII;  characters are shown participating in criminal acts previous unseen on the big screen and this taps into the dark desires of viewers psychology.

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Time and timing adds to the tension. Especially when what is timed is the activity around a bank with a musical score announcing drama. The noir feeling is besides the music announced by the angles and by the "normality" of planning a heist. We are on the criminal side of life. On the verve of sympathizing with a heist (?) we are drawn in the the noir world.

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After the intertitle informs us of a major crime, we understand that Tim Foster (Preston Foster) is the man with a plan. His meticulous observation of the activity around the bank when the armored car and florist's van arrive obviously play a huge role in what he intends to accomplish. If you've seen a heist movie before, time is always the critical factor so it can be done when the police aren't around and the least danger is involved. Foster's planning and watching of the vehicles' arrival and departure hint at a certain desperation on his part -- always a key element in a noir, if it's a crime story or not.

 

That's why the caper movie is a great canvas for noir themes. The participants in the big job enter into the project believing the risk is worthwhile so they can escape whatever personal difficulties they are facing, something that money of the ill-gotten variety can solve. The characters involved in the crime have made a conscious choice, usually out of this desperation or desire to lead a better life. The obvious example is THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950), but I'm thinking of a British-made noir of 1954, THE GOOD DIE YOUNG, where a robbery involving two Americans (Richard Basehart and John Ireland) and two Brits (Laurence Harvey and Stanley Baker) goes awry, of course.

 

The build-up to the execution of the crime spends a lot of time on their individual motivations, on how three of the men (except Harvey's character, an upper-class creep who enjoys violence) have honorable intentions -- Basehart to take his pregnant wife (Joan Collins) back to the U.S., airman Ireland to win back his actress spouse (Gloria Grahame) and Baker, an ex-boxer banned from the ring, to buy a small business. An oft-told story, but well-done and totally noir in approach.

 

The noir themes explored in heist movies involve need, desire, self worth and self improvement, matched with an impulse to flee an unpleasant situation, as you will find Joe (John Payne) is pursuing in KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL, not o mention Foster's own motivations for the armored car job.

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This clip depicts the planning stages of a heist, not unlike the opening of Armored Car Robbery where William Talman times the arrival of the armored car at Wrigley Field. (As an aside, this setting threw me into a quandary as I wondered how Wrigley Field could appear in a film set in Los Angeles. Turns out there was more than one Wrigley Field. Who knew?) But I digress. We watch as Preston Foster times the arrival and departure of the armored car and the florist's van, notes the presence of guards, and so on. In case viewers are unfamiliar with the planning stages of a heist, Preston has a very neat and legible timeline written up and he checks off the key events as they play out in the time he has noted before. He checks his watch and the clock outside frequently and he places a checkmark by each point on his heist plan so that we know everything is working like clockwork. He's such a meticulous, observant, detail oriented crook that we can all sit back and relax because nothing can possibly go wrong with his plan. Undoubtedly he'll get away with the heist without the slightest snag in his plan. Surely everything will work out exactly the way he expects. But not in the noir world. Haven't seen the film before, but I'm pretty sure that this heist is about to go haywire.

 

The lack of dialog throughout this clip suggests to me that audiences by 1952 has gained some degree of familiarity with the heist theme. It's readily apparent that Foster isn't studying the movements outside his window for idle reasons. He's up to something. What is interesting to me here is how completely non-sinister Foster look's. When Talman is staking out Wrigley Field he's a shady looking character taking care that no one gets a close look at him. Foster looks like an upstanding citizen, a business man and a pillar of his community. But he's up to something, which makes him all the more threatening. He's the guy you would never suspect. I don't know if he has a criminal past, but it's pretty certain he's about to have a criminal future.

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  • Discuss the role of time and timing in this scene.

Time and timing is everything in a criminal caper. Crime, after all, according to at least one character in the movie "The Asphalt Jungle," is only a "left-handed form of human endeavor." These are professionals depicted here in "Kansas City Confidential," and they carry out their duties diligently to a T.

 

 

  • What are the film noir elements (style or substance) that you notice in the opening of this film?

The claims at the beginning of the film remind me of the doc footage in the "Border Incident" clip we watched in this series -- it sets the tone for something very real.

 

 

  • Why is a heist a good subject for a film noir to tackle? Put another way, how or why might a film that involves a heist affect or change what we think about criminals and/or criminal behavior on screen?

To me, film noir is about dark passion. What are you willing to do if you become so desperate? The characters that people these noir films live in a world of desperation, and a criminal plot might seem like the perfect response to feed the passion that lies beneath.

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Nothing ever goes this smoothly for this long.  You know from the neat row of check marks by each entry that it's time for something to go wrong.  Like watching a pitcher working on a perfect game, every pitch lowers the chance of that happening.

 

Also, the heist is a great topic for film noir because it seems like a victimless crime.  You can empathize with a character planning a heist out of a need for cash, where it would be a lot harder to do so with someone planning a murder or kidnapping.  Of course it never turns out victimless, at least not in a noir movie. 

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Clocks, schedules, operations--these are predetermined order and balance and play nicely into the Noir theme of fate. A heist is an attempt to subvert that order, giving a person a greater share of that predetermined balance. The heist then, the challenge to fate, is the perfect Noir subject matter.

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Kansas City Confidential begins with a conspiracy. We are placed in the room as part of a methodical plan for a heist. This operation is daring, will occur in broad daylight and in the middle of a crowded urban setting. There will no doubt be multiple witnesses, so they have to be crystal sharp with every single detail and execute every move with precision.

 

In terms of noir style, Kansas City Confidential typifies the move from blue collar to white collar crime and it reflects the move to a more realistic semi-documentary style. The times are changing, and the heist flicks reflect this growing criminal-mind collective conscious. As in The Asphalt Jungle as well as The Killing, it takes a group of people to pull off this crime. The importance is not so much about the act of breaking the law, it's more about the herd mentality that this group or gang will willingly and knowingly work together to participate in criminal activity. No matter how carefully they plan and prepare, it will ultimately lead to an end-of-the-line fatalist conclusion. The perfect crime is often a disposable dream come true.

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The mistakes are in the details in this case. Our grand mastermind has the plan down to seconds-almost. He even has a predetermined list of specific characters to call on. Most likely those characters are going to go along with the job because he'll blackmail them in some way. 

 

For all our predispositions to habitual behavior, humans inevitably become anomalies. Creatures of habit we may be, but throw in a late night discussion over drinks with a friend, a flat tire in a car, losing our keys, problems with the kids, etc. and we are off schedule. Every heist film from Asphalt Jungle to The Killing, to Kansas City Confidential involves precision timing. Fate is the doomsday elusive factor to overcome if any of the original plan is to come to fruition. The Big Clock is another film that involves the concept of time in slightly different way, but ultimately the concept of "being on time" is supposed to warrant some sort of profitability for the one accounting for it. In the Big Clock, the OCD CEO is ultimately brought down by his inability to maintain an order or perfection that "watching a clock" seemed to provide.

 

I recently watched The Killing with my family, and when considering the angle taken in asking the question about what a "heist" film says about a criminals it would have to be the group mentality. It is interesting that there is an air of "misery loves company" in these films. In other words, the group mentality of desperation has reached a common point in all the characters that conspire to pull off such a job. Moreover, it is increasingly interesting to see how characters who are not part of the "original plan" somehow get sucked in and either become tempted to try and partake in the reward, such as in The Killing, or are disposable heroes. In The Killing, the character George, played by Elisha Cook, is married to a gold-digger who's having an affair. She tips off her boyfriend who tries to get in on the cut of the take. 

 

To go a bit further, I think it's been said over and over again that to be criminal takes a very creative mind. There is a a certain amount of ingenious thinking and planning that occurs amongst a group of like minded people to perform such a feat. The idea that it isn't just some dope on the street that is pulling this off, it could very well be a deeply educated person, such as in Asphalt Jungle in the character Lon- someone we wouldn't suspect in the least.

 

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