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''The Killing'' is a 1956 {{Film Noir}} directed by Creator/StanleyKubrick

It follows the last heist of career criminal Johnny Clay (Creator/SterlingHayden). With 2 million dollars at stake in the racetrack counting room Clay sets up an elaborate plan to get the money and get everyone involved their share. At the time of the heist the film splits off to show the perspective of every character involved in the heist.

"The Killing" has become a CultClassic and is considered to be Kubrick's first masterpiece.

The 1996 collaboration between musicians Music/JohnZorn and Music/EugeneChadbourne, "In Memory of Nikki Arane" (1996), is a reference to a character from ''The Killing'' and also featured on the cover.

!!'''Provides examples of:'''
* AlasPoorVillain: Johnny at the end, when his entire scheme is blown and he finds himself being confronted by two undercover policemen. His girlfriend urges him to run, but Johnny shamefacedly gives it up right there.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Marvin proposes to Johnny that they run off with the money together in a manner that has romantic undertones. Johnny's decline to the offer was followed by Marvin appearing at the horse track noticeably [[DrowningMySorrows drunk and upset]].
* AntiHero: Johnny Clay. He's a thief, after all, but he isn't mean about it, and he comes off as sympathetic.
%%* AssholeVictim: Randy Kennan, Sherry, Val, and Val's gunman.
%%* TheBartender: Mike O'Reilly.
* BerserkButton: [[spoiler:George gets two of these: When Sherry is implying to him that Johnny raped her, and when Sherry's lover, Val, tries to stick the criminals up, demanding to know where the money is as well as George the "jerk." George angrily responds, "The jerk's right here!" and guns down Val and his lackey.]]
* BriefcaseFullOfMoney: Bursts open at the worst possible time.
* TheCaper: The robbing of a racetrack counting room.
* ChekhovsGun:
** Sebastian the poodle.
** The attendant's horseshoe.
* {{Chiaroscuro}}: Especially prominent in scenes with George.
* DeadpanSnarker: Sherry fits this trope to a T, especially in her first scene.
* DirtyCop: Officer Randy Kennan is part of the crew.
%%* FilmNoir: [[Creator/StanleyKubrick Stanley Kubrick's]] take.
* TheFilmOfTheBook: Based on the novel ''Clean Break'' by Lionel White.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Sherry's first appearance in the film has her complaining about nonexistent stomach pains. [[spoiler:She dies via gunshot wound to the stomach]].
* GeniusBruiser: Maurice Oboukhoff, played by professional wrestler Kola Kwariani, spends his time playing chess when he isn't holding his own against 6 or so mooks. Kwariani was himself an avid chess player.
* GrievousBottleyHarm: Maurice gets a beer bottle cracked over his head during the fight. He doesn't even seem to notice.
* HenpeckedHusband: George is constantly nagged and humiliated and even cuckolded by his shrewish wife Sherry. Eventually he takes a terrible revenge.
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: Elisha Cook, Jr. at his most Ineffectually Sympathetically Villainous.
* IronicEcho: "Just one big joke without a punchline..."
* KillEmAll: Only [[spoiler:Johnny and Fay]] survive to the end of the movie, but [[spoiler:Johnny]] is presumably captured by the police to pay the price for his crime. Maurice also lives, but not without a beating from about ''eight'' cops that he ''almost'' wins.
* LaserGuidedKarma: In order to get to his sniping position, Nikki befriends and bribes a black parking lot attendant. Grateful for what he presumed to be an act of genuine kindness, the attendant repeatedly bothers Nikki and offers him a horseshoe for good luck on his horse race betting. Nikki resorts to call him a nigger to get rid of him, prompting the angered attendant to throw the horseshoe to the ground. [[spoiler:The horseshoe ends up being Nikki's undoing; it pops his tire as he tried to flee from security, leading to his death.]]
* LoanShark: Policeman Randy Kennan's reason for joining the caper.
* MalevolentMaskedMen: Johnny Clay wears a clown mask and hat at the climax of the caper.
* ManipulativeBitch: Sherry, who had poor George wrapped around her finger the entire time.
* {{Narrator}}: Done in a very serious ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' style, with some unnecessary detail, like telling the audience that a character arrived at the bus station at exactly 11:19.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: [[spoiler:George the HenpeckedHusband ends up with the highest body count in the movie, killing Val and his gunman, and even after being badly wounded, manages to reach his apartment and kill Sherry before dying.]]
* ObfuscatingDisability: Nikki pretends to be crippled and to need crutches to walk in order to persuade the parking lot attendant to allow him to park in the position he needs to shoot the horse.
* OhCrap: Johnny's expression when [[spoiler:he sees all his money fly away]] tells the whole story.
* PlotSensitiveLatch: The suitcase containing the money [[spoiler:bursts open when it falls off the baggage cart when the cart swerves to avoid a dog]].
* [[PunchClockVillain Punch Clock Villains]]: Everyone involved in the caper except Johnny Clay.
-->"None of these men are criminals in the usual sense. They've all got jobs, they all live seemingly normal, decent lives. But they've got their problems and they've all got a little larceny in them." - Johnny Clay.
* SenselessViolins: Johnny gets a gun into a motel room by hiding it in a guitar case.
* SexyDiscretionShot: We're introduced to Johnny and Fay this way, and later the obligatory fade out when Sherry meets with Val.
* ShooTheDog: Nikki befriends the black parking lot attendant a little too well, causing the attendant to keep showing up to chat when Nikki is getting ready to take his shot. Nikki eventually has to call him a nigger to get rid of him.
* SimultaneousArcs: During the heist. The film keeps jumping back and forth between different sets of characters as everyone executes their part in the intricate heist.
%%* TheStoic: Johnny.
* WrestlerInAllOfUs: Maurice, played by the pro wrestler Kola Kwariani, quickly gets his shirt ripped off and starts throwing down classic pro wrestling moves on the security guards.
* YourCheatingHeart: Sherry is cheating on George. It's not at all clear why she married him in the first place.