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      Kansas City Confidential

      Released Nov 28, 1952 1h 38m Crime Drama List
      80% Tomatometer 15 Reviews 76% Audience Score 500+ Ratings A mysterious fellow (Preston Foster) contacts a trio of criminals (Jack Elam, Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef) to help with a bank heist. The four wear masks and remain strangers to each other, planning to reunite in Mexico to divvy up the loot. Joe Rolfe (John Payne), the man they framed to take the heat, gets his charges dropped, and the police offer him a reward if he can help recover the cash. He agrees, and when one of the thieves meets his end, Rolfe assumes his identity to catch the crooks. Read More Read Less

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      Critics Reviews

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      Sean Howe Slant Magazine Falls into that rarefied early-'50s cycle of noir, which benefited from B directors who had learned how to quickly dispense with the genre conventions and deliver brutal action and lurid innuendos. Rated: 3.5/4 Jul 23, 2007 Full Review Eric Henderson Slant Magazine Phil Karlson's rote heist-revenge flick aims to be stone cold, but can't seem to get any frost to grow around its warm, mushy heart. May 1, 2006 Full Review Francois Truffaut Cahiers du Cinéma In this film, cinema is unimportant. Everything happens to the right, the left, or below the screen, and always out of our line of vision. Apr 4, 2022 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy A down and dirty film noir with all the requisite blood, sweat and double-crosses. Rated: 3.5/4 Feb 19, 2021 Full Review Manny Farber The Nation It tells a story without gimmicks or short cuts, and all the people involved -- director Karleson, actors Elam, Van Cleef, Brand -- were not only concerned with the best way to express the material on hand but obviously enjoying themselves. Nov 25, 2020 Full Review Nicholas Bell IONCINEMA.com While George Bruce and Harry Essex's screenplay busts into a rushed showdown followed by a pat resolution, this cascade of meaty characters waiting for a reckoning on Mexican resort plays like the sober version of John Huston's Key Largo. Rated: 3/5 Oct 13, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      SICKS6SIX a good film which has many horrible people being horrible to each other, gangsters don't have any mates, the cops are just as bad as the hoods, I'm watching the colourized version and it plays like a modern period film, well worth watching, better that many but not great, In saying that its the best film Ive watched for a few days, i watch 20 a day, the colouring used for this film does not detract from the 1950s feel, in fact it adds to it, It makes it seem more real somehow. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 06/14/22 Full Review Audience Member Passable Film Noire. The love interest is de rigueur for the genre but it's poorly developed and contrived. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review Audience Member They had me at "Kansas City" but kept me with the total hilarity, and weird impersonations, and vacation village romances that ensued. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review Ken R Independent producer Edward Small (The Count of Monte Cristo '34) has brought together an interesting team to come up with an above-average crime caper - with more than its fair share of suspense and intrigue. John Payne acquits himself perfectly as the innocent bystander accused of being complicit in a daring well-executed, dangerous heist. It's a well-written story with various, nicely defined characters. Lovely Colleen Grey is perfect as the law student in the middle of a complex mystery who just happens to be holidaying in the right place at the wrong (or maybe right) time. Director Phil Karlson (Walking Tall '73) keeps the action and character development building to its rather surprising conclusion, and while the budget may have been smallish, it's always convincing. Rowland Brown's story gets a neat screenplay adaption and the supporting cast (Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef, Jack Elam, and Preston Forster) are just right for their specialist involvements. While it's been said that MGM/WB Archive has the best print quality for their DVD release, the HD transfer from Film Chest's restored print is also a vast improvement on many other cheapies. Film Chest is offering this movie in both Bluray and DVD versions - with the DVD offering the best ‘white-highlights' of the two. Recommended for crime/mellor enthusiasts. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/30/21 Full Review paul d Kansas City Confidential is good movie that could have been great. It is memorable as a film noir crime thriller, but somewhat mediocre in some aspects of the moviemaking, notably lots of predictable moments and weak transitions that lose the tension between scenes, some of which are very good. It has a complex and clever story and three exceptional character actors - Neville Brand, Jack Elam and Lee Van Cleef - as the tough guys. It also has a convincing John Payne in the lead role, and a radiant Colleen Gray as his love interest, and this duo makes sure that justice gets done in the end. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member A Stylish and Smart movie! An unknown gem! Cool characters! Old school cool is Always cool! Very enjoyable performances! Especially by Coleen Gray and John Payne. Why have whe not heard more about them and this movie? Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/07/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Kansas City Confidential

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis A mysterious fellow (Preston Foster) contacts a trio of criminals (Jack Elam, Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef) to help with a bank heist. The four wear masks and remain strangers to each other, planning to reunite in Mexico to divvy up the loot. Joe Rolfe (John Payne), the man they framed to take the heat, gets his charges dropped, and the police offer him a reward if he can help recover the cash. He agrees, and when one of the thieves meets his end, Rolfe assumes his identity to catch the crooks.
      Director
      Phil Karlson
      Producer
      Edward Small
      Screenwriter
      Rowland Brown, George Bruce, Harry Essex, Harold Greene
      Distributor
      Reel Media International [us], United Artists, Republic Pictures
      Production Co
      Associated Players & Producers
      Genre
      Crime, Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Nov 28, 1952, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Aug 11, 2016
      Runtime
      1h 38m
      Sound Mix
      Mono
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