Killer's Kiss

Killer's Kiss

Director: Stanley Kubrick Cast: Frank Silvera, Jamie Smith, Irene Kane

DVD (Black & White / Mono / Dolby 5.1)

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Stanley Kubrick's Killer's Kiss came to DVD without a lot of notice in 1999, and it's a shame that more people haven't seen fit to grab it up -- in contrast to his final film, Eyes Wide Shut released posthumously that same year, this is Kubrick at the outset of his career and at his least pretentious, writing his own screenplay, operating his own camera, doing his own editing, and co-producing as well as directing, all on the streets in New York for virtually no money at all. Kubrick was, no doubt, happy to have finished the movie -- how it would look or sound 50 years later was not in his or United Artists' thinking when they purchased the completed film from him. That said, the movie has come down to us looking amazingly good and sounding even better -- either UA was unusually good to this movie by accident, or somebody recognized, probably on about the time the studio had him doing The Paths Of Glory or Lolita for the same company, that Kubrick's movies were worth watching out for and might matter in the future. The 67 minute film retains the amateurish feel that the director aimed for, but the transfer is smoother and cleaner than one has a right to expect -- the smoke from Frank Silvera's cigar 11 minutes in looks like it's being puffed into the same room with you, and you can see the pores on the skin of the boxer in the medium shot at 12:45 seconds into the picture. Even the darkened room shot as 17:15 shows enough detail to be usable in advancing the narrative, and the detail is so sharp, that the window seen in the mirror shot at 18:20 offers useful picture information on the small-screen. In other words, watching this DVD is a lot like restoring the wonder of watching the original release unspool in a theater back when, so many layers of age and wear have been penetrated. Just to prove how much someone at MGM/UA Home Video liked this movie, the 67-minute drama has been given 20 chapters, and the original trailer has been included as well. Indeed, one strongly suspects that, in pure dollar terms, a lot more money was spent transferring this movie digitally and producing the DVD than Kubrick spent making the original picture. The result, when coupled with Kubrick's decision to film on location in New York, in Greenwich Village and such lost locales as the original Pennsylvania Station, is also one of that relative handful of feature films -- which includes Jules Dassin's Naked City, John Cassavetes' Shadows, Jack O'Connell's Greenwich Village Story, and Edward Dmytryk's Mirage -- that give modern viewers a delightful glimpse back to a lost New York City. The fact that Killer's Kiss has been given a $15 list price makes deciding whether or not to purchase this disc practically a no-brainer. The disc opens on a simple menu that is straightforward and very easy to use.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/29/1999
UPC: 0027616770721
Original Release: 1955
Rating: NR
Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [B&W]
Sound: [Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time: 1:07:00

Special Features

Four-page booklet goes behind the scenes with Stanley Kubrick -- his style, technique, and creative genius; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Logos/Title/Credits [1:43]
2. A Fighter Remembers [2:52]
3. A Lovely Neighbor [2:34]
4. A Letter Frome Home [:49]
5. Dancing & Boxing [4:34]
6. The Final Countdown [4:08]
7. Talking While Gazing [3:36]
8. A Lover's Quarrel [6:20]
9. A Ballerina's Tale [5:51]
10. For Love Or Pity? [1:45]
11. Tormented By Loss [1:20]
12. "Watch Your Step" [8:35]
13. Spying On Trouble [3:30]
14. "Where Is She?" [2:21]
15. Decked By Pros [3:00]
16. "14-Carat Sucker" [2:40]
17. Rooftop Pursuit [3:26]
18. A Model Murder [5:17]
19. Seattle Bound [1:42]
20. Surprise Ending [1:03]

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