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(aka "Bed of Fear" or "Clean Break" or "Day of Violence")

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/kubrick.htm
USA 1956

 

Stanley Kubrick’s account of an ambitious racetrack robbery is one of Hollywood’s tautest, twistiest noirs. Aided by a radically time-shuffling narrative, razor-sharp dialogue from pulp novelist Jim Thompson, and a phenomenal cast of character actors, including Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Timothy Carey, Elisha Cook Jr., and Marie Windsor, The Killing is both a jaunty thriller and a cold-blooded punch to the gut. And with its precise tracking shots and gratifying sense of irony, it’s Kubrick to the core.

***

Stanley Kubrick's heist drama "The Killing" is one of the finest noir films of the 1950's, a film so deliberately wire-tight that it will leave exhausted and exhilarated. Its one of the most tense thrillers of all time, and likely to leave you gasping for air after it is all over.

The film introduces us immediately to a host of characters, all involved in a big-time upcoming heist of a racetrack. Kubrick introduces the device of the omniscient narrator, a sort of "Dragnet"-like voice-over that is essential in understanding and following the structure of the story, particularly the time shifts in "Rashomon" style, atypical for that time. The narrator also comments on the actions of the characters, their timed schedules and documentary-like shot scenes of their initial preparations and confrontations with others while planning and partaking in this heist.

Excerpt from Jerry Saravia's film review located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 20, 1956

Reviews          More Reviews         DVD Reviews

Incidental Reading on Stanley Kubrick (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

Kubrick: Inside A Film Artist's Maze by Thomas Allen Nelson Stanley Kubrick, Director: A Visual Analysis by Alexander Walker Stanley Kubrick: Interviews (Conversations With Filmmakers Series)
by Stanley Kubrick, Gene D. Phillips
Stanley Kubrick The Complete Films
by Paul Duncan
The Complete Kubrick by David Hughes Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures
by Christiane Kubrick
Narrative And Stylistic Patterns In The Films Of Stanley Kubrick by Luis Garcia Mainar The Stanley Kubrick Archives by Alison Castle Stanley Kubrick Companion by James Howard

Comparison: 

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

Criterion Collection, spine #575 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:25:06 1:24:20.513
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.20 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,710,428,392 bytes

Feature: 22,170,845,184 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 31.08 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate DVD

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, French, none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer - (2:02)
• 2 page liner notes on Kubrick

DVD Release Date: August 14th, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,710,428,392 bytes

Feature: 22,170,845,184 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 31.08 Mbps

Aspect Ratio: - 1.66:1

 

Edition Details:
• New video interview with producer James B. Harris (21:07 in 1080P)
• Excerpted interviews with actor Sterling Hayden from the French television series Cinéma cinémas (23:40 in 1080i)
• New video interview with poet and author Robert Polito about writer Jim Thompson (18:42 in 1080P)
• Restored high-definition digital transfer of Stanley Kubrick’s 1955 noir feature Killer’s Kiss (1:07:19 in 1080P)
• New video appreciation of Killer’s Kiss featuring film critic Geoffrey O’Brien (9:14 in 1080P)
• Trailers for The Killing and Killer's Kiss (1:48 and 1:47 in 1080P)
• Liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film historian Haden Guest and a reprinted interview with actress Marie Windsor

 

Blu-ray Release Date: August 16th, 2011
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 23

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - July 11': There is a lot to appreciate about the new Criterion 1080P transfer of Kubrick's The Killing. Firstly, unlike the bare-bones MGM DVD from 2001, it maintain the 1.66:1 aspect ratio in their 1080P transfer. Secondly the film textures are well maintained on the Blu-ray. Grain is thick and even on the dual-layered hi-def rendering. Contrast is a paramount improvement with Criterion both showing more details and the overly bright and dark sequences of the SD are now more apparent. We can presume that the 1.33:1 MGM DVD is 'open matte' and it shows more information on the top and bottom, but slightly less on the side edges. The Criterion, with over 5 times the bitrate of the SD, looks extremely impressive in-motion. I am confident that this is the best we are ever likely to see Kubrick's noir cycle films (both The Killing and Killer's Kiss) look for your home theater approval. Magnificent...

Criterion have stayed faithful with a linear PCM mono track that is unremarkable but clean and clear - the lossless transfer is more consistent than the DVD (not that it was notably flawed.) Gerald Fried's score shows a bit of crispness and perceived depth. The Blu-ray also provides optional English subtitles on the region 'A"-locked disc.

Probably the most significant supplement (of the year?) is the inclusion of a restored high-definition digital transfer of Stanley Kubrick’s 1955 noir feature Killer’s Kiss in 1080P. We hope to do a full comparison with the previous MGM DVD but have added a few comparative caps at the bottom of this webpage to give you an idea of the quality. Part of this extra is a new video appreciation of Killer’s Kiss featuring film critic Geoffrey O’Brien (also in 1080P) where he discusses the film's charms and points out key elements that would appear in Stanley Kubrick's subsequent work - including The Killing. There is a new (2010) 21-minute video interview with producer James B. Harris who discusses his collaboration with director Stanley Kubrick as well as the filming and release of The Killing. There are about 25-minutes of excerpted interviews with actor Sterling Hayden from the 1984 French television series Cinéma cinémas (1080i - directed by Philippe Garnier) where he recalls his history in Hollywood, his experience as an actor during the McCarthy era, and his work with director Stanley Kubrick. Included is an 18-minute video piece with with poet and author Robert Polito (Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson) about celebrated crime novelist Jim Thompson and his work with Kubrick, his problematic relationship with Hollywood and his ongoing cinema legacy. There are HD trailers for both The Killing and Killer's Kiss and the package contains a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film historian Haden Guest and a reprinted interview with actress Marie Windsor.

Another stupendous package from Criterion - it was so amazing to see both Kubrick films in the glory of 1080P and the extras offer significant value. Fans shouldn't hesitate for a moment. This is one Blu-ray  to keep in your home safe in a Mylar bag... 

Gary Tooze

***

ON THE DVD: The Killing is one of Kubrick's best early films and this older release from MGM sports a very acceptable transfer. It has good sharpness and contrast while exhibiting some fine film grain. Audio is fairly clean but its obviously not wildly dynamic. I'm sure this classic Kubrick title will be re-issued at some point, but for now this DVD offers a very good audio/video presentation at a very reasonable price.  out of  

 - Mark Balson

Kubrick on DVD (NTSC) - CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information

Stanley Kubrick Boxset Eyes Wide Shut Full Metal Jacket The Shining Barry Lyndon A Clockwork Orange 2001: A Space Odyssey

Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned To Stop Worry and Love the Bomb

Lolita

Spartacus

Paths of Glory

The Killing

Killer's Kiss

 





Menus

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 

 

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures


Subtitle Sample

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


 

Killer's Kiss

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

Criterion Collection, spine #575 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 



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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...