KILLER'S KISS (1955) B/W widescreen 67m dir: Stanley Kubrick
w/Frank Silvera, Jamie Smith, Irene Kane, Jerry Jarret, Mike Dana, Felice Orlandi, Ralph Roberts, Phil Stevenson, Julius Adelman, David Vaughn
From The Movie Guide: "The second film directed by future master filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, KILLER'S KISS is no one's idea of a great film but it displays much evidence of future brilliance. The story is nothing more than B-movie film noir fodder, but some of the images and set pieces are indelible.
"Davy Gordon (Smith) is a second-rate prizefighter who gets romantically involved with Gloria Price (Kane), a young dancer who lives across the courtyard in his apartment building. Returning home one night after another lost fight, he sees Price fending off a rapist. The assailant is Vincent Rapallo (Silvera), Price's boss at the nightclub where she dances. Gordon rescues her and they decide to flee the city. But Rapallo plans a murderous revenge ....
"This modest thriller was financed for $75,000 by various friends and relatives of the neophyte filmmaker. He served not only as director, writer and producer but also filmed and edited the project. Though the screenplay is undistinguished (and gives no hint of Kubrick's future ability as a writer), he makes some interesting choices as a director.
"The vivid flashbacks and surrealistic nightmare sequences are memorable. The nightmares are represented on negative film stock, an interesting and effective choice. Other idiosyncratic touches include the disorienting contrast created by showing a bloody boxing match on a television screen while an equally violent near-rape and struggle occurs between the nominal viewers, and the surreal effect of using the dismembered limbs of female mannequins as weapons during a brutal fight sequence in a factory.
"All in all, it's hardly Kubrick's best work, but is a revealing early look at a visual style that soon ripened to maturity to produce such film classics as PATHS OF GLORY, SPARTACUS, DR. STRANGELOVE, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. This film was also the inspiration for Matthew Chapman's film, STRANGER'S KISS."