Kansas City Confidential (1952)

Kansas City Confidential, Phil Karlson. It’s the 1950s noir film that set the standard for all that came after, from LA Confidential to Reservoir Dogs: the tense dialogue, the brutal violence, the dog-like male competition, the obvious sets, the chiseled character actors, and the staginess of the directing all somehow add up to an adrenaline shot that leaves you reeling. The denouement is disappointing and the optimism of the happy ending feels tacked on, but before the final minutes you’ll experience post-war American noir at its atmospheric finest.


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