Born to Kill

Born to Kill

DVD - 2005
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Helen Brent knows Sam Wild is more than a social climber who married her wealthy foster sister. He's a remorseless killer. And yet she finds his brash confidence, square-shouldered good looks and constant aura of menace completely irresistible.
A classic film noir featuring a cold-hearted killer named Sam Wild who kills two innocent people and actively pursues the woman who finds the bodies, all while being married to the woman's half-sister.

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garycornell
Jan 20, 2015

A suspense thriller without any big named stars. Don't let this hold you back from some of the best script writing and photography. The back drop for "Born to Kill" is San Francisco, which offers that mysterious fog. You won't believe how great this originally "B" movie truly is until you see it for yourself. As usual, stay away from reading the DVD box or the contents on the KCLS web site. They only give away plot details that you should enjoy for yourself.

a
AQUILEA777
May 29, 2013

Motivation senseless and unconvincing but also unpredictable; thus entertaining though pointless.

m
Monolith
Dec 20, 2012

It may be considered a "B" noir, perhaps, but I really enjoyed it regardless of anyone's classifications. Hardass Lawrence Tierney's mug and manner of speaking was really familiar to me, until I realized he was the older balder hardass in Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs". He and 'pug-ugly' Elisha Cook Jr. made unlikely partners in crime, but then again, the big gorillas must like having a sniveling sidekick to do the dirty work. 'Turnips'. Peter Lorre was in the same category. Claire Trevor, who found reporting a double homicide 'bothersome', definitely outshined the rest. I did rather enjoy beer-swilling, cockeyed and cackling Esther Howard as Mrs. Kraft, too, though.

Froster Jun 26, 2012

It is not necessary that a film be a "B" movie for it to be a great noir, but that's what today's cineastes would have us all believe, as they excavate the secondary and go even lower to find an obscurity they can claim. This film is certainly worth a look, but unfortunately it's another ordinary noir that's been overpraised. The "legendary" Lawrence Tierney turns out to be as wooden as a cigar store Indian, reminding one of a poor man's George Raft (another dark horse whose sex appeal has to be taken on faith). Claire Trevor is marvelous to watch (as always), and this rather lah-di-dah dame with perverse instincts is right up her street. Another interesting sidebar is Tierney's rather bizarre gay-tinged relationship with our favorite "gunsel", Elisha Cook Jr. (The only angle left strangely unexplored on the commentary provided by some noir devotee and author they have on the special features track). Good supporting cast, some nice camerawork, and a chance to appreciate an underrated B leading lady: if you're a noir fan, this is a very pleasant diversion. But it is not essential viewing.

j
Janice21383
Aug 09, 2011

Between them, Lawrence Tierney and Claire Trevor commit all the seven deadly sins: Gluttony, Lust, Greed, Anger, Sloth, Envy, and Pride; plus a couple more: Smoking and Hats. Tierney is the most brutal gorilla who ever sucker-punched a sap or boffed a sleazy dame. Commenter Eddie Muller finds him a bit TOO exciting, if you want my opinion.

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m
Monolith
Dec 20, 2012

Helen Brent (to Sam Wild, approvingly): "You're not a turnip, are you?"

m
Monolith
Dec 20, 2012

Helen: "...Fred is peace, and security." Sam: "It's his money, then." Helen: "Yes, partly. All my life I've lived on other people's money. Now I want some of my own. But, there's another kind of security that Fred can give me. Without him, I'm afraid of the things I'll do... Afraid of what I might become... Fred is goodness, and safety..." Sam: "And what am I?" Helen: "You? You're strength... excitement, and depravity. There's a kind of corruptness inside of you, Sam." Sam: "That'd drive most women off if they understood like you do." Helen: "Yes!" Sam: "But not you -- you have guts. Georgia told me how you found those two in Reno. You had guts then. You didn't yell, or faint." Helen: "No." Sam: "And it wasn't only finding them dead... It was the way they were dead! The kid jammed in the doorway... and the Palmer dame lyin' under the sink!" Helen: "Blood on her hair!" Sam: "Blood all over the place, and you didn't yell." Helen: "No, I didn't!" Sam: "...Helen!" (smooch)

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