Friday, May 25, 2012

KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL (1952) -
Phil Karson


The crooks in Reservoir Dogs might have deconstructed Madonna songs and had nifty color-coded pseudonyms to obscure their identities, but did they ever once think to hide their appearance beneath masks? Masks this form-fitting and cool?!

Dogs' similarities to this classic heist-gone-bad caper don't just end there. There's also a lot of tough talk, close quarters gunplay, a cop in hiding somewhere among the robbery gang. I'm not one to spoil a movie 60 years old so I won't say exactly who. All I will say is that K.C. Confidential is one of the best heist flicks of all time, up there with other early black and white favorites like The Asphalt Jungle and Rififi. Also, it features a young Jack Elam, for once not playing an old bugged-eye codger. Here, he plays a young bug-eyed goon.

Note Bene: For those seeking a cinematic intro to the City of Fountains, I hate to burst your bubble...most of Kansas City Confidential takes place in Mexico.

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