Killer's + Killing + Kubrick --- Part One
Turns out Stanley Kubrick was one of us for time (lots) he spent hunkered in theatres watching pics old and new from childhood on. Killer's Kiss reveals as much. Bad man Frank Silvera has his office decorated with posters from the silent era, and I've got to believe those set decorations were from Kubrick's private stash. Were there Manhattan shops peddling one-sheets from the 1917 melodrama, Blue Jeans (Viola Dana and a buzz saw), or Goldwyn's The Winning Of Barbara Worth? --- and if so, how much would a penny-wise collector have had to pay for them? Both these adorn Killer's Kiss walls, and I wonder if they, like Rosebud, survived among Kubrick effects after his 1999 death.
|Chicago Was Still Photographer Kubrick's Kind of Town, What With Plentiful Noir On Screens and Out In The Streets.|
|Kubrick Himself Was a Major Selling Point for Killer's Kiss|
Killer's Kiss, recently out with The Killing on Criterion Blu-Ray, is a film-hound's dream tour of Broadway in 1953's fourth quarter. Marquees are lit with dynamite bills, including November's two-theatre open of How To Marry A Millionaire. There's even a glimpse of the
|Kubrick As I Prefer Him: Making Fast, Cheap Thrillers On Borrowed Money|
Killer's Kiss may not amount to much story or acting-wise, but what Kubrick captured of sidewalks, store windows, and rooftops is priceless. This is the city at its naked-est. I kept expecting J.J. Hunsecker to step up and hail a cab. An inspired pairing would be Killer's Kiss with same year's The Bandwagon. Kubrick's
Stanley Kubrick made Killer's Kiss with $40,000 of borrowed money. He handled every task but brewing coffee. United Artists was impressed enough to pay $75K for the negative. The distrib's execs want Stanley Kubrick to align with UA and the way to nab him was to buy out Kiss, observed Variety. The same trade's review (9-21-55) figured UA's purchase best suited for lower half of the duals wherever it could eke out some bookings. Advertising leaned on the lurid, stills the distributor issued being coarse as you'd expect for an ultra-low-budget pick-up. Samples I dug out of
|A Killer's Kiss Still Out of Liberty storage with Appropriate Rips and Dings --- I'd Not Want It Any Other Way.|
|UA Makes Publicity Hay With Kubrick's Maverick Shooting Ways|
|A Sampling of UA's Sin-Smeared Campaign for Killer's Kiss|
Still and all, Killer's Kiss brought $130,285 in domestic rentals and $143,993 foreign. From $75 K United Artists paid Kubrick, plus cost of prints/advertising, they probably came out even, if not better. As for the distributor's back-end deal with their producer/director, Variety would add, it's understood he'll cut in on the "Kiss" revenue after UA recoups its investment, which leaves me wondering if SK ever saw a dime beyond that initial check they'd cut him. Killer's Kiss would certainly have gone into profit with television sales plus non-theatrical (tube runs underway by 1958). Since Kubrick regarded K'sK, in hindsight, as an amateur's effort, perhaps he also left UA alone with regard divvying these further receipts.