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Kansas City Confidential Details


Kansas City Confidential, Phil Karlson's low (low) budget, B-grade film noir, opens on a Kansas City armored-car robbery perpetrated by cynical, corrupt ex-policeman Timothy Foster (Preston S. Foster). Foster devises an outrageous scheme: he will recruit three of the most vicious and unrelenting criminals he can find (screen heavies Lee Van Cleef, Jack Elam and Neville Brand) to undertake a robbery, blackmailing them into the heist with incriminating evidence from other "jobs." As an eccentric and clever conceit, Foster forces each of the perpetrators to wear masks, thus concealing their identities from one another and preventing the old pitfall of the men squealing and backstabbing. The heist comes off without a scratch, but a complication arises when the ignorant cops pick up an unrelated fellow, Joe Rolfe (John Payne) for his ownership of a van similar to the one used in the caper. In time, Rolfe is cleared, but he grows irate over the accusations and sets off to find Foster and co. and teach them a lesson. He finally happens upon one of the perpetrators in Mexico, beats him nearly to death, and assumes the victim's identity - and that's when things really get complicated. Though produced under the Hays Code censorship regulations, Kansas City Confidential constituted one of the most brutal and violent crime pictures made up through that time; as such, it retains historical significance. It also claims a strong cult following. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

  • Release date:November 28, 1952


John Payne
as Joe Rolfe
Coleen Gray
as Helen
Lee Van Cleef
as Tony
Neville Brand
as Kane
Jack Elam
as Harris
Howard Negley
as Andrews
Mario Siletti
as Timaso
Dona Drake
as Teresa
Helen Kleeb
as Mrs. Crane
Vivi Janiss
as Mrs. Rogers
Don Orlando
as Diaz
Charles Cane
as Detective Mullins
Brick Sullivan
as Police
Kay Wiley
as Woman
Jack Shea
as Police
Archie Twitchell
as Police
George Dockstader
as Police
Mike Lally
as Shooter
Phil Tead
as Collins
Charles Sullivan
as Player
Lee Phelps
as Jailer
William Haade
as Detective Barney
Carleton Young
as Assistant District Atty. Martin
Paul Fierro
as Police
Paul Dubov
as Eddie
Barry Brooks
as Player
Orlando Beltran
as Porter
Charles Sherlock
as Stickman
Frank Scannell
as Stickman
Al Hill
as Shooter
Carlos Rivero
Harry Hines
as News Vendor


Phil Karlson
Edward Small
George Bruce
Harry J. Essex
Paul Sawtell
Composer (Music Score)
Edward Ilou
Art Director