A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.
A down-on-his-luck ex-G.I. finds himself framed for an armored car robbery. When he's finally released for lack of evidence, after having been beaten up and tortured by the police, he sets out to discover who set him up, and why. The trail leads him into Mexico and a web of hired killers and corrupt cops.Written by
The Anderson Tapes (1971) had similar masks as those worn by the crew in a heist of a high-class apartment block building, as those worn by the crew in a heist of an armored car in Kansas City Confidential (1952). See more »
When Joe is leaving his room after the card game, the camera is pulling back following him, when it audibly and visibly brushes against a palm frond on the right. See more »
[Showing off the earings she wants him to buy as 'souvenirs']
Tony, you're not even looking at how pretty they are and only 11 American dollars!
[Looking at her knowingly]
Everything around here's 11 bucks!
Tony, you like?
Charge it with the rest.
See ya later!
See more »
Opening credits prologue: In the police annals of Kansas City are written lurid chapters concerning the exploits of criminals apprehended and brought to punishment.
But it is the purpose of this picture to expose the amazing operations of a man who conceived and executed a "perfect crime", the true solution of which is NOT entered in ANY case history, and could well be entitled "Kansas City Confidential".
John Payne stars in "Kansas City Confidential," a 1952 noir also starring Preston Foster, Colleen Gray, Jack Elam, Neville Brand and Lee Van Cleef. Payne is Joe Rolfe, a WW II vet who delivers flowers for a living. He finds himself accused of a spectacular robbery of $1.2 million because the thieves used a truck like his as their escape vehicle. With the help of a buddy, he finds out that a criminal has split town suddenly for Mexico, and he goes there to locate the man and hopefully clear his own name. What he doesn't realize is that there were four thieves, and all of them wore masks to shield their identities from one another. When the man he's tracking is killed, Joe assumes his identity and goes to the place where the other thieves are supposed to await further instructions from their boss.
Phil Karlson directed this good noir, which has an excellent cast that includes a favorite actress of mine, the lovely Coleen Gray as an ex-cop's daughter. She shows up at the locale to surprise her dad (Preston Foster), who is actually the mastermind of the heist.
Like any actor who worked for 20th Century Fox, John Payne had to be versatile, and he was. Here he plays a rough-around-the-edges war hero who has to survive among thieves by being tougher than they are. The the man known as "The Singing Tyrone Power" at Fox pulls it off. A handsome leading man, here Payne steps into John Garfield territory with ease. Elam, van Cleef and Brand are as mean and low-down as you can get, and the film gets quite violent at times.
The print I saw was very grainy; this wasn't a studio B movie but one made on the cheap, though the film was distributed by UA. However, it stands up very well next to other noirs of that era.
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