Kubrick's Noir Classic The Killing Released on Disk: Damaged Goons Botch Bay Meadows Heist

A psychotic assassin with his jaws wired shut. A whining weasel who virtually begs his wife to love him. A drunken career criminal. A crooked cop. And the racetrack bartender, whose wife is seriously ill. These are not the highly trained devil-may-care specialists of Ocean's Eleven, nor are they the tight knit, deadly serious professionals of Heat.

This troubled group of desperadoes has been pulled together by ex-con Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) to rob a racetrack in Stanley Kubrick's The Killing, out this week on DVD and Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection. Our readers will recognize the track as Bay Meadows, where Kubrick shot many of the film's exteriors.

Having just returned from five years in stir, Johnny Clay has promised his bride-to-be (Coleen Gray) that the racetrack job is their ticket to a long and comfortable life together. As Clay, Hayden's delivery is stiff and clipped. Clay is focused, precise, and organized. Beyond that, Clay is a cipher as a character, but The Killing isn't really about him.

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