The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL (1952) ** ½

A masked criminal gathers together a group of hoods (Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef, and Jack Elam) to pull off an armored car robbery. He makes them all wear masks so they can’t identify each other. They pin the crime on an innocent delivery man (John Payne) and make off with over a million dollars in cash. After being questioned and roughed up by the cops, he then sets out to find the real crooks and get revenge.

Directed by Phil (Kid Galahad) Karlson, Kansas City Confidential is a tough as nails drama that has a good hook and a great robbery scene. (Tarantino is probably a fan.) Once Payne infiltrates the gang and they go to divvy up the money, the tension sort of dwindles. And the ending is wrapped up a bit too neatly as well. But since the opening scenes are so good, it’s sort of easy to forgive the film for its lapses as it comes down the homestretch.

Whenever the pacing begins to meander, Kansas City Confidential still remains watchable thanks to a great cast of perennial tough guy actors. Brand, Van Cleef, and Elam are all great in their roles, and the film is worth watching just to see them all in one movie. And Payne is also quite good as the innocent man wrongly accused.

Co-screenwriter Harry Essex later went on to pen The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

AKA: The Secret Four.

Tags: drama, k
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