1. Peter Menard

    I think this is an awesome movie & highly recommend it. I remember the first time I watched it & the impact it had on me. This was filmed in 1947! Love to see someone like Quentin Tarantino attempt a remake.
    “You can’t just go around killing people whenever the notion strikes you. It just ain’t feasible.”

  2. mark s.

    Just watched this the other night and was floored by the homicidal rage boiling throughout the film. And two fatales for the price of one — male and female. Plus Esther Howard as the elderly dipsomaniac out to avenge her friend’s murder!! Top-notch noir.

  3. Robert Wise’s work in noir was no doubt forged by his fruitful associations with Val Lewton and Orson Welles, with whom he developed the visual trademark that defined the RKO output of the 1940?s – moody, Gothic expressionism. BORN TO KILL is a brutal melodrama with a pronounced sexual underpinning, and a level of depravity and amorality singular in the noir cycle. Lawrence Tierney portrays one of the most heinous characters in all of cinema, a definition example of a sociopath, and the film poses the questions, ‘what happens when two sociopaths meet?’ and ‘what happens when you play ball with the devil?’ The film’s most extraordinary performance however is by Claire Trevor – her best performance in the cinema, in fact – despite her fame in KEY LARGO – and her kitchen kiss scene is stomach churning, as the battle within herself does eventually yield to her giving in to her darker nature. The always-reliable Elisha Cook Jr. again delivers the goods as the murderous Marty, and there’s a grim-laden tapestry, courtesy of the noted cinematographer Robert de Grasse, that enhances one of the darkest thematic considerations of the genre – darker even than Lang’s SCARLET STREET, where the human psyche is explored with unrelenting ferocity, exposing the worst traits humanity can ever expose. As far as Wise’s otput, this film does come within a hair of ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW and THE SET-UP, which are probably the director’s masterpieces aside from his musical triumphs, or in addition to. In any case I much appreciate the approach you took here in examining this work, and of the astute observation of Chabrol going for this, as this would certainly have been right up his alley. And yes, David Lynch and John Waters would have a good go at it as well.

    Gunn’s novel is most intriguing.

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