Friday, November 27, 2015

Kansas City Confidential (1952)


“That was a sucker move, burning down your boss. You had him all wrong. He never crossed you.”

            Heist films I find can either be typical or very different. Some heist films throw in good twists and have interesting characters and some can be drawn out and boring. Kansas City Confidential is a heist told in the Film Noir style so of course it is going to be the different kind.
            A man looks out the window of an apartment through binoculars at a bank across the street. He takes note when the armed guards go to the bank to exchange the money and how long it takes them enter and exit the building. He next calls a gambler named Pete Harris to meet at a certain place. The man has Peter call him Mr. Big and he has a mask over his face. Mr. Big blackmails Peter into doing the job with him. He does the same thing to two other men- Tony Romano and Boyd Kane. Only he is to know what everyone looks like so none of the other men can rat each other out if they are caught.
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            The four crooks rob the bank disguised as workers for the florist who is usually at the building next to the bank almost every day at the same time the guards are. As they are running out of the bank after the heist a cop is shot and killed. Mr. Big and the other men drive the florist van into a larger truck and get away out of town. The police pull over a florist truck from the same company that is being driven by Joe Rolfe. They thoroughly believe Joe is part of the gang who robbed the bank especially because he had been in jail for a while on a gambling charge. One detective is so convinced Joe was a part of the robbery that over a period of days he roughs Joe up to get a confession. Finally, Joe is released when another detective cannot find anything connecting him to robbery.
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            While sitting in a bar run by a friend a man comes in with some news on the real robbers. The man tells Joe that they are all in Mexico and that is where Joe heads.

            In a way a Kansas City Confidential is a different type of heist film but it is still a typical Film Noir where an innocent man must prove his innocence by finding the real criminals. Kansas City Confidential is a very good Film Noir. The cast was very good (I loved how the one guy was named Tony Romano, that was uncle’s name. Romano is basically the Italian Smith it is so common) especially Preston Foster who I always love seeing in films. The direction was great. There was one scene at the beginning that focused on Peter Harris that had my full attention because of the direction. My only complaint about Kansas City Confidential is the addition of a female character, there was almost no need for her character. Other than the female character Kansas City Confidential is a Film Noir worth seeing and can be viewed in full on YouTube
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