Best Movies by Farr
Kansas City Confidential Poster
Released Runtime Category
1952 99 Film Noir, Mystery/Thrillers
Director Language
Phil Karlson English
John Payne, Preston Foster, Coleen Gray

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.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"