Kansas City Confidential
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What's it About
Corrupt ex-cop Timothy Foster (Foster) recruits three heavies for an armored-car robbery that goes off without a hitch. The authorities mistakenly nab ex-con Joe Rolfe (Payne), however, since his delivery truck is identical to the one used in the job. Joe’s not too happy about the confusion, and goes looking for the perpetrators down in Mexico.
Why we love it
Made with limited resources, this tightly plotted caper film is gripping and memorable for introducing an ingenious trick into the world of noir: Foster has his men hide their faces with masks so none of them can identify each other. (Decades later, Tarantino adapted this plot point for "Reservoir Dogs.") Under Karlson's direction, Payne is solid and Coleen Gray alluring as his gal, but it's the mean, malevolent turns by Foster, Lee Van Cleef, Neville Brand, and Jack Elam that make "Confidential" so diabolically good.