Sofia Corrales

Written by Sofia Corrales

Modified & Updated: 05 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Killer’s Kiss is a classic film that holds a special place in the history of cinema. Released in 1955, this crime thriller directed by Stanley Kubrick is an early example of his genius and showcases his unique storytelling style. The film follows the story of a down-on-his-luck boxer who becomes involved with a femme fatale and her abusive boyfriend, leading to a deadly chain of events.

With its gritty portrayal of New York City and its mesmerizing cinematography, Killer’s Kiss stands out as a remarkable achievement in the film noir genre. From the gripping performances to the atmospheric music, this movie captivates audiences even after all these years. In this article, we will delve into 40 fascinating facts about Killer’s Kiss, shedding light on the making of the film, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and the impact it had on Kubrick’s career.

Key Takeaways:

  • Stanley Kubrick’s early film “Killer’s Kiss” is a gritty noir thriller shot on a shoestring budget, exploring themes of obsession and betrayal in the seedy underbelly of New York City.
  • Despite initial mixed reviews and limited commercial success, “Killer’s Kiss” has gained a cult following, showcasing Kubrick’s early experimentation and signature visual style in a compact 67-minute film.
Table of Contents

Killer’s Kiss was directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Killer’s Kiss, released in 1955, marked one of Stanley Kubrick’s early ventures into filmmaking.

The film was shot on a low budget.

Due to budget constraints, Killer’s Kiss was produced on a shoestring budget, forcing Kubrick to get creative in his approach.

Killer’s Kiss was a film noir thriller.

The movie falls under the genre of film noir, characterized by its dark and atmospheric visuals and its focus on crime and suspense.

The story revolves around a struggling boxer.

Killer’s Kiss tells the story of a down-on-his-luck boxer named Davey Gordon, who becomes entangled in a dangerous affair.

The film takes place in New York City.

New York City serves as the backdrop for the film, adding to its gritty and urban atmosphere.

Killer’s Kiss was shot in black and white.

Kubrick intentionally chose to shoot the film in black and white to enhance its noir aesthetic.

The movie features a stylized fight sequence.

One of the standout scenes in Killer’s Kiss is a stylized fight sequence staged in a mannequin factory, showcasing Kubrick’s innovative directing techniques.

Killer’s Kiss was Kubrick’s second feature-length film.

Following the success of his debut film, Fear and Desire, Kubrick ventured into the realm of film noir with Killer’s Kiss.

The film explores themes of obsession and betrayal.

Killer’s Kiss delves into the dark psychological depths of its characters, exploring themes of obsession, deceit, and betrayal.

Killer’s Kiss received mixed reviews upon its release.

While the film had its share of admirers, it received a mixed response from critics upon its initial release.

The movie was not a commercial success.

Despite its artistic merits, Killer’s Kiss did not achieve significant commercial success at the box office.

The film was re-released in the 1980s.

Killer’s Kiss gained renewed interest in the 1980s when it was re-released and gained recognition as part of Kubrick’s filmography.

The lead actors in the film were relatively unknown.

The cast of Killer’s Kiss consisted of relatively unknown actors, which added to the authenticity and rawness of their performances.

The movie showcases Kubrick’s skill in cinematography.

Kubrick’s keen eye for visuals is evident throughout Killer’s Kiss, with carefully framed shots and innovative camera techniques.

The film has a runtime of approximately 67 minutes.

Killer’s Kiss is relatively short in length, with a runtime of around 67 minutes.

The screenplay was written by Stanley Kubrick.

In addition to directing, Kubrick also wrote the screenplay for Killer’s Kiss, showcasing his multifaceted talents.

The film was shot on location in New York City.

Kubrick wanted to capture the authentic feel of the city, so he opted to shoot on location in various spots around New York City.

Killer’s Kiss features a memorable jazz soundtrack.

The film incorporates a captivating jazz score, perfectly complementing the film’s atmospheric tone.

The movie was made on a tight shooting schedule.

Due to budget constraints, Kubrick had to work within a tight shooting schedule, further highlighting his directorial prowess.

Killer’s Kiss showcases Kubrick’s attention to detail.

Kubrick’s meticulous attention to detail is evident in every frame of Killer’s Kiss, a trait that would become synonymous with his later works.

The film was inspired by Kubrick’s personal experiences.

Kubrick drew inspiration from his own experiences working as a photographer in New York City, which he incorporated into the film’s narrative.

The movie explores the seedy underbelly of the city.

Killer’s Kiss delves into the dark underbelly of New York City, depicting the gritty and often dangerous aspects of urban life.

The film’s original title was “Kiss Me, Kill Me.”

Before settling on the final title, the film was originally titled “Kiss Me, Kill Me,” emphasizing the intertwined themes of romance and violence.

Killer’s Kiss showcases Kubrick’s signature visual style.

Even in his early years as a filmmaker, Kubrick’s distinct visual style is present in Killer’s Kiss, setting the foundation for his later works.

The film was shot in a documentary-like style.

Killer’s Kiss incorporates elements of documentary-style filmmaking, blurring the line between reality and fiction.

The movie highlights the struggle of pursuing dreams.

Through the character of Davey Gordon, Killer’s Kiss explores the challenges and sacrifices one faces in pursuit of their dreams.

Killer’s Kiss was independently produced.

Kubrick financed and produced the film independently, giving him creative control over every aspect of the production.

The film was released during the era of McCarthyism.

Killer’s Kiss was released during a period in America known as McCarthyism, which had a significant influence on the cultural climate and censorship in the film industry.

Killer’s Kiss features a memorable rooftop chase scene.

One of the standout sequences in the film is a thrilling rooftop chase, showcasing Kubrick’s flair for suspense and action.

The movie explores the darker side of human nature.

Killer’s Kiss delves into the complexities of human nature, showcasing the inherent darkness that exists within individuals.

The film is a testament to Kubrick’s early experimentation.

Killer’s Kiss serves as a testament to Kubrick’s willingness to take risks and experiment with different storytelling techniques.

The movie utilizes minimal dialogue.

Kubrick employs minimal dialogue in Killer’s Kiss, relying more on visual storytelling to convey the narrative.

The film received a digital restoration in 2005.

As part of preserving its cinematic legacy, Killer’s Kiss underwent a digital restoration process in 2005.

Killer’s Kiss showcases Kubrick’s ability to evoke mood and atmosphere.

Through its carefully crafted visuals and the use of lighting and shadows, Killer’s Kiss immerses viewers in its atmospheric world.

The movie was made on a tight budget and schedule.

Killer’s Kiss was produced on a limited budget and had to be completed within a tight shooting schedule, showcasing Kubrick’s resourcefulness as a filmmaker.

The film was influenced by the French New Wave movement.

Kubrick drew inspiration from the French New Wave movement, incorporating its innovative storytelling techniques into Killer’s Kiss.

The movie features a memorable dance sequence.

Killer’s Kiss includes a memorable dance sequence, providing a momentary respite from the tension and suspense of the narrative.

The film was not widely seen upon its initial release.

Despite its subsequent recognition, Killer’s Kiss did not receive significant attention or distribution upon its initial release.

Killer’s Kiss was Kubrick’s first film to receive a limited theatrical release.

Prior to Killer’s Kiss, Kubrick’s films were primarily shown in art house cinemas or as part of film festivals.

The movie has gained a cult following over the years.

Despite its initial lack of commercial success, Killer’s Kiss has garnered a dedicated following of cinephiles and Kubrick enthusiasts.


In conclusion, “Killer’s Kiss” is a captivating film that showcases the brilliance of legendary director Stanley Kubrick. With its noir elements, stunning cinematography, and compelling storyline, this movie keeps audiences on the edge of their seats from start to finish. The performances by the cast, particularly Jamie Smith as the protagonist, add an extra layer of depth to the film. “Killer’s Kiss” demonstrates Kubrick’s early talent and foreshadows the unique style he would later become known for. Whether you’re a fan of Kubrick’s work or simply a lover of classic cinema, this movie is a must-watch.


1. Who directed “Killer’s Kiss”?

“Killer’s Kiss” was directed by the legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick.

2. When was “Killer’s Kiss” released?

The film was released in 1955.

3. What genre does “Killer’s Kiss” belong to?

“Killer’s Kiss” is a film noir, known for its dark and atmospheric storytelling.

4. Who are the main actors in “Killer’s Kiss”?

The film features Jamie Smith, Irene Kane, and Frank Silvera in the main roles.

5. What is the plot of “Killer’s Kiss”?

The movie follows a washed-up boxer who becomes entangled with a mobster after falling in love with a woman who lives in the same apartment complex.

6. Is “Killer’s Kiss” a critically acclaimed film?

While not as widely known as some of Kubrick’s later works, “Killer’s Kiss” has garnered positive reviews over the years and is considered an important milestone in his career.

7. Where was “Killer’s Kiss” filmed?

The movie was primarily filmed on location in New York City, capturing the gritty atmosphere of the city.

8. Does “Killer’s Kiss” showcase Stanley Kubrick’s signature style?

Yes, even in his early works, Kubrick’s attention to detail and unique visual style can be seen in “Killer’s Kiss,” setting the foundation for his later masterpieces.

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