Kansas City Confidential


When ex-con Joe Rolfe (John Payne) realizes that he’s been used as a patsy by a gang of criminals that robbed an armored car in Kansas City, he goes after them for revenge. A low-budget thriller that inspired Quentin Tarantino during the making of Reservoir Dogs (1992), it was the first of several collaborations between Phil Karlson and Payne. The latter’s good as the former criminal who goes to Tijuana and takes on the identity of one of the masked robbers who have never seen each other’s faces. The details of the script may not hold up to scrutiny, but it’s a clever story and Karlson makes sure the noir thrills are solid.

1952-U.S. 98 min. B/W. Produced by Edward Small. Directed by Phil Karlson. Screenplay: George Bruce, Harry Essex. Cast: John Payne (Joe Rolfe), Coleen Gray (Helen Foster), Preston Foster (Tim Foster), Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef, Jack Elam.

Trivia: Small went on to make several other films with the word ”Confidential” in the title, but they are not related to this one.



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