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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Kill Me, Kill Me')

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/kubrick.htm
USA 1955

 

Stanley Kubrick's second feature film, Killer's Kiss was made on a budget of $40,000 - an initial budget was covered by Morris Bousel, a Bronx pharmacist who was rewarded with a co-producer credit. The black-and-white drama was shot principally at night in a variety of seedy Manhattan locations. The plot, told in an extended flashback, covers two days in the life of boxer Davy Gordon (Jamie Smith) -- he meets nightclub dancer Gloria Price (Irene Kane); the two fall in love, and decide to make their futures somewhere other than New York City. But Gloria is lusted after by her ex-employer, Vince Rapallo (Frank Silvera), who not only won't take "no" for an answer but has no intention of losing her to a two-bit boxer. His machinations lead to murder, a police manhunt, and revenge in the best film noir fashion -- the very best, in fact, as Kubrick's use of real New York settings (and very ominous and sleazy New York settings at that) gives the action here a startling verisimilitude, as though we're watching a documentary, or the unfolding of actual events. The violence escalates as Davy and Rapallo find themselves going one-on-one, to the death if need be, with a climax in a warehouse filled with department store mannequins and their various component parts. Director-writer-photographer-editor Kubrick wasn't pleased with the studio-imposed ending added by its distributor (United Artists), but that compromise was a lot more logical and satisfying than the filmmaker's intended denouement. Irene Kane, who played the female lead, subsequently achieved success as TV commentator and journalist Chris Chase; also appearing in the film is Kubrick's then-wife Ruth Sobotka.

Excerpt from Tribute.ca located HERE

***

Stanley Kubrick fans will adore the masterful composition of "Killer's Kiss" - an inexpensive Film-Noir gem made for a night out at the Drive-in theatre. Davy Gordon (Jamie Smith) is a boxer who is past his prime. His sexy neighbor Gloria Price (Irene Kane) is a for-hire-by-lonely-men dancer (how 'Noir' can you get?) After a recent tough loss in the ring, Davy decides to move to his uncle's farm in Seattle, and put his hand to horses. Voyeuristically peering through his apartment window he spies Gloria in a bind. Stepping in is imperative and it becomes the story of the film. If the film is atypical of many common Noir's it is the lack of character development, but a fine and enjoyable viewing experience to see an early attempt by an eventual giant of a director.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 21st, 1955

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Review: Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:06:56.625         
Video

1.37:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 47,143,996,650 bytes

Feature: 44,863,986,432 bytes

Video Bitrate: 76.49 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

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

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1813 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1813 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1889 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1889 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.37:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 47,143,996,650 bytes

Feature: 44,863,986,432 bytes

Video Bitrate: 76.49 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Imogen Sara Smith
Theatrical Trailer


4K Ultra HD Release Date:
June 28th, 2022
Black 4K Ultra HD Case inside slipcase

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Kino 4K UHD (June 202): Kino have released Stanley Kubrick's "Killer's Kiss" on 4K UHD. While Kino have produced a few 4K transfer without HDR (For a Few Dollars More, A Fistful of Dollars, The Apartment, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and there are others like Koch Media's Neon Demon) this has a Dolby Vision pass. Unlike most 4K UHD packages, this has NO second disc Blu-ray. Both Criterion and Arrow included 1080P transfers of "Killer's Kiss" as bonuses on their Blu-ray packages of Kubrick's The Killing - compared HERE with the exact same in appearance and audio on both. We've compared frame matches of a couple of the 1080P below along with MGMs 2001 DVD (reviewed HERE.)

Kino's 4K UHD is cited as a "Brand New Dolby Vision HDR Master From 4K Scan of the Original Camera Negative" and this takes this image to another level with over double the bitrate. The 2160P has pristine, rich, contrast (darker black levels, brighter whites) and extensive, consistent grain textures. It is spotlessly clean and looks gorgeous on my system as I hope the screen captures below can attest. It's stunning film-like appearance. As always, systems and equipment will vary.   

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 88 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages to date: Out of Sight (software uniformly simulated HDR), Raging Bull (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shaft (1971),  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Double Indemnity (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Untouchables (software uniformly simulated HDR),  For a Few Dollars More (no HDR), Saboteur (software uniformly simulated HDR), Marnie (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shadow of a Doubt (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Fistful of Dollars (no HDR), In the Heat of the Night (no HDR), Jack Reacher (software uniformly simulated HDR), Death Wish II (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Apartment (no HDR), The Proposition (software uniformly simulated HDR), Nightmare Alley (2021) (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Godfather (software uniformly simulated HDR), Le Crecle Rouge (software uniformly simulated HDR), An American Werewolf in London (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Hard Day's Night (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Piano (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Great Escape (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Red Shoes (software uniformly simulated HDR), Citizen Kane (software uniformly simulated HDR), Unbreakable (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mulholland Dr. (software uniformly simulated HDR), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Hills Have Eyes (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Servant (software uniformly simulated HDR), Anatomy of a Murder (software uniformly simulated HDR), Taxi Driver  (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Wolf Man (1941) (software uniformly simulated HDR), Frankenstein (1931) (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Deep Red (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Misery (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Silence of the Lambs (software uniformly simulated HDR), John Carpenter's "The Thing" (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Cat' o'Nine Tails (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (software uniformly simulated HDR), Perdita Durango (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Django (software uniformly simulated HDR) Fanny Lye Deliver'd (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, (NO HDR applied to disc),  Rollerball (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Chernobyl  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Daughters of Darkness (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vigilante (software uniformly simulated HDR), Tremors (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cinema Paradiso (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bourne Legacy (software uniformly simulated HDR), Full Metal Jacket (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Psycho (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Birds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Rear Window (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vertigo (software uniformly simulated HDR) Spartacus (software uniformly simulated HDR), Jaws (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Invisible Man, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucio Fulci's 1979 Zombie  (software uniformly simulated HDR),, 2004's Van Helsing (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Shallows (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bridge on the River Kwai (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Deer Hunter (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Elephant Man (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Quiet Place (software uniformly simulated HDR), Easy Rider (software uniformly simulated HDR), Suspiria (software uniformly simulated HDR), Pan's Labyrinth (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Wizard of Oz, (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Shining, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Batman Returns (software uniformly simulated HDR), Don't Look Now (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Killed Killed and then The Bigfoot  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bram Stoker's Dracula (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucy (software uniformly simulated HDR), They Live (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shutter Island (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Matrix (software uniformly simulated HDR), Alien (software uniformly simulated HDR), Toy Story (software uniformly simulated HDR),  A Few Good Men (software uniformly simulated HDR),  2001: A Space Odyssey (HDR caps udated), Schindler's List (simulated HDR), The Neon Demon (No HDR), Dawn of the Dead (No HDR), Saving Private Ryan (simulated HDR and 'raw' captures), Suspiria (No HDR), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (No HDR), The Big Lebowski, and I Am Legend (simulated and 'raw' HDR captures).

On their 4K UHD, Kino use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. "Killer's Kiss" was post-DUB'ed with a meager budget but there are aggressive moments (boxing) that come through with a modicum of depth and a slight authentic tinny-ness. The score by Gerald Fried (A Killer in the Family, The Baby, and Kubrick's films Fear and Desire, The Killing and Paths of Glory as well as venturing later into work in TV - Star Trek - and also the notable Joseph H. Lewis' western Terror in a Texas Town.) The director's aficionados will note the repetitive percussive Latin number, Love Theme from the Song "Once" (lyrics do not actually appear in the final version) and Oh, Susanna performed by one of the conventioneers on a harmonica. The offers optional English subtitles - and is, like all 4K UHD, region FREE, playable worldwide

Aside from three Kubrick trailers - including one for Killer's Kiss - this 4K UHD has only a new, expert, commentary (also presented in lossless audio) by Imogen Sara Smith. She discusses how this, Kubrick's second film, was like his 1953 debut feature, Fear and Desire, as it was independently produced on a shoestring. It exists at the intersection of 'B' Noir and new wave bravado and arthouse. Both a formulaic Pulp crime flic with flashback structure - a story driven by sex and violence as well as art film following odd quirks and stylistic experiments. The quality of the cinematography and New York locations including Penn station that existed in New York City between 1910 and 1963. She identifies the frequent mirror shots, how Kubrick accepted post dubbing as the sound equipment distorted the lighting. Imogen states that Kubrick makes his central points through editing and how this is a strong example of how creativity is buoyed by a lack of resources. She states that Kubrick's strengths including getting people to serve this vision for little or no money, to put up with bad conditions and to obtain the equipment he required... most was done without permits (concealed cameras in a truck) and without attracting attention. If police showed up, he simply bribed them with $20. She references comparable guerilla filmmaking noirs like Little Fugitive, 1950's Guilty Bystander, The Glass Wall and Blast of Silence. Her analysis of the fight scene with the mannequins is particularly revealing. I won't spoil it for you. It is one of my favorite commentaries of this year to date.

Kino's
4K UHD release of Stanley Kubrick's "Killer's Kiss" is a must-own for both the dramatically naturalistic film-like image and essential Imogen Sara Smith commentary. Scenes of Manhattan's downtown eastside loft district, garish, dilapidated Broadway, depressed tenements, Times Square and, briefly, the subway, as well as dark alleys and cold brick-and-stone buildings are paramount to the visual storytelling. It's a dour genre, pulpy, mix with the character's dialogue secondary to Kubrick's burgeoning style - simply using a film noir plot about a boxer, a gangster and a dance hall girl. The commentary advanced my appreciation immensely. I am thrilled with this 4K UHD release. Our highest recommendation!

NOTE: The Kino 4K UHD appears unavailable at Amazon, at present, but can be bought from Kino's own website HERE.

Gary Tooze

 



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Distribution Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD


 


 

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