KILLER'S KISS - PART ONE

Killer's Kiss

Go to Table of Contents of the analysis (which has also a statement on purpose and manner of analysis and a disclaimer as to caveat emptor and my knowing anything authoritatively, which I do not, but I do try to not know earnestly, with some discretion, and considerable thought).

The most important thing which must be kept in mind with Kubrick's films is there is the surface or principle story and then the internal or sub-story. In many of his films, if we're really paying attention, set elements pretty much immediately destroy the surface naturalism. One may not notice this destruction the first, second or third time one watches the film. Through constructive disorientation and disconnectedness, and sleight of hand as to where our eye focuses, Kubrick, the magician, intentionally obfuscates these elements that destroy the overt and naturalistic story line. The surface story lines are the principle ones, and this is maintained and supported by the intentional obfuscation of the deconstructive elements which keep them sub rosa. At the same time, these deconstructive elements are plainly there, alongside his tremendous effort to make things look real and believable, and once we bypass the disorientation and his purposeful refocusing they become a puzzle, annihilating the sense of reality. This destruction of the film's naturalistic story line is difficult enough to conceive of and accept that most people stop at this point and decide these puzzling aspects of Kubrick's films are errors when they are not. They are part of the art of a director cleverly designing the overt story line to be unimpeded by an internal story that tears it apart. Indeed, the sub rosa elements of the internal story may be discreet but they are enough in evidence to complicate the surface story with an aura of attractive, indefinable mystery, which is one of the reasons viewers return to Kubrick again and again. To work with the "reason" and "why of the internal story line is to try to settle into Kubrick's sensibility, examining how these internal stories form a dialogue in his oeuvre with repeating themes and ideas, elaborated upon from film to film. The internal stories haven't a "plot"; they aren't that kind of story. Instead, you have to be willing to deal with comprehending the themes and ideas represented in them as instead ultimately forming a different terrain for the setting of the surface story, guiding and interacting with the overt story and giving it a new form.


PART ONE

A NOTE BEFORE BEGINNING

When I first saw it, I'd little use for Killer's Kiss, however much I was appreciative of its essential relationship to Kubrick's later work. The music was (still is) mostly intolerable, the acting by the two leads was problematic and the melodrama stood a firm third in the negative line that obscured vision of the positive waving at me from the background, "See me, like me?" So I was surprised, as I went through the film shot by shot, how my attitude about it began to shift. Killer's Kiss still speaks more to what Kubrick learned not to do in a film, just as with Fear and Desire, but I warmed up to Davey, the down-and-out boxer, his plight, the emotional rationale of his falling for Gloria, and even their stiffness, as long as I looked upon them as being kind-of-awkward Gloria and Davey who found each other in the big city which has something for everyone--and as long as I did my best to ignore the music score, exempting the wonderful warehouse and city streets sound scapes toward the end.

That I learned to not squirm over such things as Gloria's clumsy run through Penn Station into Davey's arms, instead interpreting her lack of grace as a primary component of her character, makes me wonder if there's not an element of Stockholm Syndrome at work and that due my captive immersion while seeing this project through I've become fond of eccentricities, and a lack of aesthetic agility, that should, in fact, be irritating.

But maybe that's the point, that Gloria is inescapably a confusing lack of any and every quality which even indie films determine make leading women attractive, just as Shelley Duvall's Wendy in The Shining irritates so many. Star quality causes the the planets to gravitate in happy, hypnotic unison, and reveals Warhol's supposed improvisations at The Factory for the Hollywood bastardizations they were, the camera captivated by beautiful people rather than lonely asteroids. This isn't casting aspersions on the actors Jamie Smith or Irene Kane (Irene Greengard, Helen Kane, Chris Kane, Chris Chase) and pronouncing either as being cognate with the characters they played and that they weren't actually acting. Instead, the characters they gave us may very well have been what Kubrick wanted, or believed that he did, whether for a moment or the duration. No matter what the ads for Killer's Kiss said, falling in line with and feeding the expectations of the 50s, Gloria isn't meant to be a sultry, confident femme fatale or else she wouldn't cling so pathetically to her childhood doll, and Davey is no suave, charismatic Hollywood leading man magnetically wooing the female audience into his cinematic arms. Just as with Lolita, only when the advertising is comprehended as an intentionally false front, a mask, and only when we wholly abandon what Hollywood has trained us to expect, can the characters find their rightful place. Even if we understand film artistically and scorn Hollywood, Kubrick's place in big cinema, and his advertising history, as well as the remarks he made to the media on his films, can deceptively lead one to expect something other of his characters than what one gets, and is a cause for cognitive dissonance.

Unhappy Gloria descends steps, on her way to work, with a meandering lassitude that testifies less to unwillingness than a reluctance to critically review what she's doing and where she's going. Insecure and haunted Gloria walks with bowed shoulders, her purse clutched to her chest. Timid Gloria reacts with fearful but curious uncertainty when her boss begins to beat up a soldier dancing with her. A teasing Gloria not so very intelligently goads her sadistic boss' jealousy over her new paramour when she goes to his office to pick up her check. A not-very-bright Gloria returns to get that check after being threatened and thrown out of the office. Aimless Gloria, walking in the shadow of her talented family, is bereft of any purpose. Orphaned Gloria, her affection for her father unrequited, sleepwalks as one imprisoned by her familial nightmare and unconscious of the dream.

What we see may very well be what we were supposed to get, characters that played to type in advertisements but grated against those types on celluloid. Always, with the character and supporting actors, there is never any dissonance, they are what they are, what the audience expects from their assigned roles, but not so with the leads. We had much the same disaffection of the public with Ryan O'Neal in Barry Lyndon, Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut, and even, to some extent, Keir Dullea in 2001, these films occupying prominent spaces in film history not only despite this but perhaps even because of certain perceived weaknesses of some actors in their roles being, rather than a deficit, a planned disconnect which opened up for the audience intimate perspectives which wouldn't have been had otherwise. Dullea had nothing of the heroic leading man charging the screen with chiselled jaw, connect-the-dots emotion and never-say-die bravado, and yet his largely blank face is the perfect counterpart to HAL and enables the audience to occupy his ride. Shelley was not the standard heroic, sexy leading woman, but her bewilderment and lack of assurance are strategic and key points of empathetic access to the film. Tom Cruise as well goes against the leading man type, his introverted wandering of the set's streets of New York recalling Gloria.

Of course I could be talking a lot of BS, I'm just reflecting on how the films were received when they first came out and on different leads who were initially deemed as weak.

Despite my druthers, examining the film shot by shot, I have been ultimately won over by Gloria and Davey. As I've said, I have no idea if this is Stockholm Syndrome.

CREDITS AND INTRO AT THE TRAIN STATION

1 Black screen with the sound of the train. Fade in to "A Minotaur Production" over a LS scene at Penn Station. (00:27)

Killer's Kiss

A man passes right carrying an acoustic bass. Though we don't know who he is yet, Davey, the male protagonist, stands centrally near a bag on the ground. He paces back and forth.

The credits quickly fade in and out.

KILLER'S KISS

Starring FRANK SILVERA

Station Announcer (voice-over): The Silver Arrow, for (?) and Chicago...

With JAMIE SMITH and IRENE KANE

Station Announcer (voice-over): Leaving at one o'clock...

JERRY JARRET, MIDE DANA, FELICE ORLANDI, SHAUN O'BRIEN, BARBARA BRAND

Station Announcer (voice-over): ...track two...

Davey lights a cigarette.

Station Announcer (voice-over): ...for Philadelphia...Pittsburgh...

DAVID VAUGHAN, ALEC RUBIN, RALPH ROBERTS, PHIL STEVENSON, ARTHUR FELDMAN, BILL FUNARO, SKIPPY ADELMAN

Production Manager: Ira Marvin. Camera Operators: Jesse Paley and Max Glenn. Chief Electrician: Dave Golden. Sound Recordists: Walter Ruckersberg, Clifford Van Praag. Assistant Editors: Pat Jaffe and Anthony Bezich. Assistant Director: Ernest Nukanen. All characters in this picture are fictitious etc. Sound by Titra Sound Sudio.

Love Theme from the Song "ONCE" by NORMAN GIMBEL and ARDEN CLAR

A bell begins clanging. It will ring about 20 or 21 times through the following credits.

Ballet Sequence Danced by RUTH SOBOTKA. Choreography by DAVID VAUGHAN

In the screen's right, the bass player we had earlier seen reappears in the distance, beginning his trek back.

Davey drops and crushes out his cigarette with his foot.

Story by STANLEY KUBRICK

Music Composed and Conducted by GERALD FRIED

The bell that had begun ringing earlier has faded out then is drowned out by the sound of the train engine chugging.

Produced by STANLEY KUTRICK AND MORRIS BOUSEL

A sweeper has entered on the right, coordinated with his appearing at about the same distance now as the man with the bass, but the man with the bass outpaces him as he heads toward forefront screen left to exit.

Killer's Kiss

The bass player exits left as the following credit appears.

Edited, Photographed and Directed by STANLEY KUBRICK

The sweeper exits left as well. Davey has lit another cigarette. Just before shot 2, a man has crossed to screen right in the medium background and looks toward Davey or the camera, his face in deep shadow.

Killer's Kiss

2 MS Davey. (1:50)

Killer's Kiss

DAVEY (voice-over): It's crazy how you can get yourself in a mess sometimes and not even be able to think about it with any sense. And yet not be able to think about anything else.

The camera pans with Davey as he walks so we briefly see the station's clock and that it reads about 2:40.

DAVEY (voice-over): You get so you're not good for anything or anybody. Maybe it begins by taking life too serious. Anyway, I think that's the way it began for me. Just before my fight with Rodriguez, three days ago.

The screen begins to blur as we transition to shot 3.

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3 Blur Transition to image of Davey. (2:20)

Music begins.

Killer's Kiss

Shots 1-3, Things to Notice

The Double Bass, The Sweep and The Faceless Man

The bass player is the most Kubrickian element of this section. Here's a scene that by all rights should just be a milling crowd. Kubrick saddles a man with a bass which makes him stand out just enough, but as he's also at the far right of the screen you don't notice him because the focus is on Davey, but (yes, another but) if one's attention is acute one will realize the bass player reappearing, retraversing the stage fully and exiting left. This is scripted and with no obvious reason. It's a recycling and Kubrick is fond of circularities, or rather spirals of action. He began and ended Fear and Desire with what seem exact same shots but the tonality is different. He will do the same with Lolita, begin and end with Humbert at Quilty's mansion but they aren't the same take, there are subtle differences. The bass player seems another expression of this. The sweeper is timed to coordinate with him and then at the end of the scene we have the man who has crossed to the right in the background and looks toward Davey and/or the camera, his face in such dark shadow that he almost appears masked, as if he has no face. With that addition it becomes a foreboding montage of individuals that seems to look back at us from violin-case-toting, fedora-and-mask-wearing Sterling Hayden's future in Kubrick's next film, The Killing, Hayden's cash loot spread all over the airport tarmac ready for a sweeping. But we've also a connection with the opening of The Killing and Marvin Unger walking the expansive set of the race track clubhouse, a man sweeping up tickets and other trash in the background.

That Double Bass

The double bass, which we are supposed to eventually notice, may actually refer to Kubrick's interest in doublings evidenced in this visual pun.

The Train

In all of Kubrick's later work, when you see anything referencing a train, Kubrick overtly includes deja vu references. In A Clockwork Orange, a comic book has the story of a photographer marvelling over his witness of a train running into a phantom buggy, an event which occurred decades past but somehow he was able to see and relive it. Accompanying text reads, "What amazing power did it have which allowed it to photograph the long dead past? Find out in 'The Strange Old Camera!'" In Eyes Wide Shut, Bill's "Lucky to be Alive" newspaper has in it a story of a hostage situation on the train which recalls a hostage situation on the train on an earlier year, almost to the day, and makes mention of the trauma of reliving events again and again. This is Kubrick's first use of the train and we will later hear train whistles when Gloria is being held hostage. In my other analyses I associate this thematic use of the train with Kubrick's possible interest in ZKR.

The Minotaur

I've received a lot of flack for suggesting that The Shining has within it a minotaur theme to accompany the maze, even though the ancient minotaur's home was the labyrinth built especially to contain the half-man, half-bull, even though a labyrinth was only metaphorically mentioned once in King's book, even though the maze was a distinctly Kubrickian addition, even though Jack descends into an animalistic state of incoherence over the course of the movie and Danny defeats Jack through his entrapment in the maze. Which speaks directly to the Minotaur's inability to transcend the twists and turns of his prison.

Modern bullfighting isn't associated with the ancient labyrinth story, but has come to be, and the car Scatman drove in The Shining was a Matador.

Kubrick left behind a quote that links a certain type of storytelling with bullfighting.

"In a crime film, it is almost like a bullfight; it has a ritual and a pattern which lays down that the criminal is not going to make it, so that, while you can suspend your knowledge of this for a while, sitting way back in your mind this little awareness knows and prepares you for the fact that he is not going to succeed. That type of ending is easier to accept."

A convenient crime film template is not the all-in-all of Kubrick's use of the minotaur myth, for his stories are played out in labyrinths and mazes in nearly every one of his films, done so in a carefully scripted fashion supplying a fundamental organization of labrys mirrorings that are confounding to those viewers who become aware they are, with the characters, walking avenues, sometimes not even barely disguised, down which they've already traveled. All of this for more easily accepted finales makes for a specious purpose when the audience is rarely cognizant of the labyrinth in the first place, and when they do become aware of the maze (such as in Eyes Wide Shut) can often only think to explain away the ritual and pattern of the maze as a lazy reluctance to change a few neon lights and a goof to list on IMDB.

I would say the labyrinth in A Killer's Kiss will later be the empty, dead-end streets of the city, but the labrys is at work from the beginning.

THE BOXER AND THE DANCER AND THEIR MIRRORED LIVES

Killer's Kiss

4 Poster of Davey. (2:23)

The poster reads "A Slugging Welterweight Natural. City Arena - Fri. Oct. 25. 10 Round Main Event. Davey GORDON, Kid RODRIGUEZ. Other Great Bout. Admission $1;50. Reserved 3:00.

The music which I'll call "Davey's theme" plays. Aggressive, strident, plodding, horns.

5 Same poster of Davey in a pool of water on the ground. A man passes before us stepping on it. (2:26)

6 Same poster of Davey tacked on a pole, bending with the wind. (2:29)

7 Same poster of Davey in the window of Hollywood 867 Barber Shop. (2:31)

Beside it is a small sign reading "Storage for Davy Carraci".

8 Closer view of same poster of Davey. (2:33)

Begin crossfade to shot 9 of Davey looking at himself in a mirror, so that we briefly have Davey in the poster staring over his own shoulder.

Shot 4

Shot 5

Shot 6

Shot 7

Shot 8

Shot 8a

9 MS Davey in a mirror in his apartment. (2:36)

He examines his face, rubbing his right hand above his right eye, pressing up and down on his brow as he purses it.

10 CU of a photo of a large building in the country, perhaps a barn. (2:45)

11 CU of a photo of a woman standing by a porch, and two customer laundry tickets. (2:47)

The tickets are 04360 and 04359 for WASHLAND, half hour laundry service, 659 9th Avenue NYC.

12 CU of a photo of 2 cows. (2:49)

13 CU of a photo of a man anda black and white dog. (2:52)

14 MS of Davey before his mirror. (2:54)

He runs his finger down his nose. Then he stops and knots his fingers together, scowling into the mirror, belying perhaps the confidence of his poster.

This is a shot that Kubrick has duplicated from his first film Day of A Fight, just as several poster views are taken from Day of the Fight.

dof_7

dof_19

In Day of the Fight, the boxer, Walter, had a twin named Vincent.

Shot 9

Shot 10

Shot 11

Shot 12

Shot 13

Shot 14

Kubrick often has photos in his films but rarely if ever again will he focus in on these incidentals as he does here. In later films they form the fabric of the background.

Killer's Kiss

Davey turns and walks to screen right to a sink, above which is another mirror. He takes a cup from a counter, runs water in it, drinks it, replaces the cup. He now goes again to screen right, the camera traveling with him, to stand before his table and wipe his hands on a towel. We get our first glimpse of his neighbor in the apartment across through the window.

Killer's Kiss

Davey then turns right again and walks over to his goldfish bowl, Kubrick having taken us in a 270 degree circuit of the room.

Killer's Kiss

15 CU of Davey's face through the goldfish bowl. (3:53)

16 MLS of Davey turning, going back to the window and glancing out it at his neighbor. (3:59)

He swivels and checks out his hair in the mirror again, then goes to his bed and lies down.

17 CU of the bedside clock which reads 6:50. (4:21)

Again, Kubrick is showing close-ups of details that he rarely ever does again in his films.

18 MS from beyond the 4th wall of Davey lying down on his bed. (4:23)

The phone rings and he answers it. There is no music during this period.

DAVEY: Hello.

19 MS Davey's manager at the gym. (4:27)

ALBERT: Hello, Davey.

DAVEY: What's keepin' ya...

ALBERT: How are ya?

DAVEY: ...I hate to wait around like this. It makes me nervous.

ALBERT: You better hop a cab. I had some trouble with the car and it's still tied up at the shop. I'll meet ya over at the arena.

DAVEY: Okay.

ALBERT: Right.


He hangs up the phone and turns to the rear, and it's one of the stranger shots in film history. The difference between the foreground and background in lighting and perspective suggests this is a blue screen he's stood before. As he hangs up the phone the camera pans right to show the wall. Then he turns to walk to the rear and it seems for a moment as if, no, it must not be a blue screen. One examines it and thinks maybe where the white wall at the right ends shows us where the blue screen begins?

It is actually not a blue screen as we shall see in a later shot. But Kubrick certainly staged this to make it look like a blue screen effect.

Shot 15

Shot 16

Shot 17

Shot 18

Shot 19

Shot 19a

20 MS of Gloria in her apartment. (4:45)

The manager having turned his back, Kubrick now cuts to Gloria with her back to the camera.

For music we have what I'll call "Gloria's theme", which is syrupy strings.

Killer's Kiss

The music changes from strident and noir to sentimental.

Gloria advances to her table and takes a sip from a coffee cup. We see her clock reads 6:50. She turns, advances to her window and looks out it across the way.

Killer's Kiss

21 MCU of Gloria from outside her window, she staring over at the boxer. (4:54)

22 LS the boxer through Gloria's window. (4:56)

23 MCU of Gloria from outside her window, she staring over at the boxer. (4:59)

24 LS the boxer through Gloria's window. (5:13)

25 MCU of Gloria from outside her window, she staring over at the boxer. (5:14)

26 MLS of Gloria inside her apartment, finishing her coffee. (5:17)

She gets her coat from her closet.

With 21 through 25 we have our first real dialogue sequence of shots.

Shot 21

Shot 22

Shot 23

Shot 24

Shot 25

Shot 26

Below is from shot 26, as Gloria moves to get her purse, having taken her coat from the closet.

Killer's Kiss

27 MLS of Davey exiting from screen left out his apartment. (5:35)

Just as Kubrick had cut from the Manager's turned back to Gloria's, now, with Gloria having moved from screen left to screen right, Kubrick continues the right moving energy here so we almost expect to see instead Gloria exiting her apartment even though we've seen the door to Nancy's apartment behind her, but she has reached out for her purse in such a way that Davey's exiting the door with his hand on the knob is a sensible continuation.

28 MS of Gloria. Taking her purse she goes to the door of her apartment and cuts off the light. The screen goes black. He goes down a flight of stairs. (5:40)

29 MLS of Davey on a landing, emerging from a dark shadow. (5:44)

30 MLS of Gloria on a landing, turning and continuing down a twin flight of stairs. (5:54)

31 MS of Davey on a landing, turning and going down the stairs. (6:06)

32 MLS of Gloria going down a flight of stairs. (6:11)

Shot 27

Shot 28

Shot 29

Shot 30

Shot 31

Shot 32

33 MS of a row of mailboxes in the apt hallway. (6:14)

Davey opens one with a key and takes a letter from it, closes it then turns and continues toward the camera.

34 LS of the exterior of the apartment building. (6:22)

Gloria languidly emerges from her door opposite as Davey emerges from his. They glance at each other, nod, and continue screen right.

35 LS of Gloria's boss waiting for her in his car. (6:32)

Gloria and Davey emerge from the apartment building at the same time, walking away from the camera. Gloria's boss gets out of the car to round it and open the door for her.

36 MS of Vincent Rapallo rounding the car. (6:41)

He looks at Davey as he passes right.

37 MS of Davey entering the 8th Ave Concourse. Downtown to Fulton St., Brooklyn, Queens. (6:44)

Davey glances back as he goes down the stairs.

38 LS of Gloria seated in the car and Vincent rounding to the driver's side. (6:50)

39 MCU of Vincent from Gloria's right. (6:56)

VINCENT (climbing in the car and closing the door): You're doing all right for yourself.

GLORIA: What do you mean?


Vincent nods in the direction of the subway entrance.

GLORIA: Oh, he just lives in the building.

VINCENT: Oh. Used to be a pretty good fighter.

GLORIA: Fighter?

VINCENT (starting the car): Sure. He's fighting tonight as a matter of fact. We can watch him on the TV.

40 LS of the car pulling away from the curb and turning left. (7:13)

Shot 33

Shot 34

Shot 35

Shot 36

Shot 37

Shot 38

Shot 39

Shot 40

Shots 4 - 40, Things to Notice

Blur Transitions

If you like the blue transitions, enjoy them here because I don't recollect Kubrick ever using them again. He instead later used crossfades.

Focus Upon the Details

Kubrick shows us a lot of details in this films. He didn't in Fear and Desire because that was a film in a natural setting, a forest. Kubrick's type of filmmaking depends strongly on the set for communicating story information, symbolism and metaphors, and for that reason, after Fear and Desire Kubrick never did again film with a forest as primary set. Plus, it's damn hard to get interesting cinematography in a forest for the duration of a film. One needs quite a different storytelling technique from Kubrick's.

What's interesting is that Kubrick, now that he's working in the city as opposed to the forest, labors to show the audience the details in the background. This is something he will never do again. He learned from Fear and Desire to keep the details background, which doesn't mean one isn't supposed to notice them. One is. But Kubrick leaves it up to the audience to stay alert to them as a background component of the storytelling, rather than handing them on a silver plate to the audience.

Day of the Fight and Twinship/Doubling

Kubrick's Day of The Fight was a documenatry of a boxer, Walter Cartier, who had a twin, Vincent, who was also a boxer, but was by then a lawyer and seemed to have largely given up boxing except to help Walter with his training.

Kubrick will borrow imagery several times from Day of the Fight. But what about the twin, who functioned as Walter's alter ego? That twinship is here but less overt. Kubrick begins by making reference to it with the storage sign for a Davy Carraci in the barber shop window.

The fight poster, simply by virtue of the usual layout of these signs, takes the names of two individuals and presents them in such a way that we almost read them as one individual, such as Davey Gordon and Kid Rodriguez transforming into Gordon Rodriguez.

The layout of the two apartments functions as twins, a labrys or double-headed axe where one side mirrors the other, and literally does so here with the mirrors of Davey and Gloria facing one another through the windows, which also implants Gloria in Davey's apartment and Davey in Gloria's apartment. Though they've only known each other for two days, according to the movie, by virtue of these mirrorings they are intrinsiclly bound together and one could even hazard they are complementary male/female halves of a Platonic whole.

The apartments mirror each other but are different in their details. When the characters step into the hallway those personal details vanish and we find that Davey's and Gloria's doors and hallways are exact duplicates, probably because Kubrick used the same hall and door for them. But that isn't for simple convenience. Shots 29 through 32 and 299 through 303 are explicit in showing us that those halls and doors are exactly the same. Which, if you think about it, should not be. As Gloria and Davey have apartments facing each other, their halls and doors should be mirror images, as their rooms are mirror images, rather than the same. I'll gladly accept the hall/stairwell being the same for both apartments as a matter of finances, but one also has the feeling of Kubrick making intentional use of this, especially so in shots 300 to 303.

Davey and Gloria leaving the building, Vincent enters the picture, Gloria's boss, the name reminding us of Vincent as twin to the boxer, Walter, in Day of the Fight. This Vincent will turn out to have more to do with Gloria's father but as this film borrows from Day of the Fight in other ways then the fact that we have a Vincent in both films should perhaps not be ignored.

Davey's Mirror

Davey's mirror serves to collect photographs of likely his rural relatives in Washington state. Great picture of cows. There are two tickets on it for Washland, a half hour launderette at 639 9th Ave. in NY, seems to read between 44th and 45th street. If you look up 639 9th Ave. now you get also 400 West 45th Street as a seeming dual address for housing up above. An old listing I found for 639 9th Ave. was for Cheryl TV Corporation in the 1955 Bilboard. They were handling 3 features, "Battles of Chief Pontiac, "Run for the Hills", and "Hannah Lee". (Another address for Cheryl TV was in Hollywood.) A 1930 issue of "Film Daily" has at 639 9th Ave. the Film Delivery Association. Anyway, it's perhaps of interest that on the mirror are these two tickets for Washland, one punched, and in the apartment opposite is Gloria who dances at Pleasureland.

The Fish Bowl

Can't let the fish bowl go without mention, because out of this section that is obviously the shot that Kubrick expected everyone to talk about. In that respect, it's the eye candy, and would make everyone think of Gloria and Davey living as in an urban fishbowl in their small rooms looking directly on each other. We should also compare the fish in the bowl to the later television screen on which Vincent watches Davey lose his fight.

What About That Bright Shiny Triangle on the Wall By Davey's Window?

It's the Illuminati Goodhousekeeping Stamp of Approval. I don't know. Your guess is as good as mine.

And What About That Great Big Knife Hanging By the Door Over What Looks Like a Packaged Ramen Level Kitchenette Area!?

You mean that overzealous butcher knife that's longer than the counter is wide? It's kind of deliberately scarey, that's what it is.

If you consult Part 4 of the analysis you'll see it's likely an homage to "The Girl Ballet" in The Band Wagon, the fight in the mannequin factory supposedly having taken inspiration from the brief mannequin scene in the Astaire film. Prominently displayed in the mannequin section of that film, we observe a butcher knife standing high on its blade, the tip stuck into a counter between the unconnected head and body of a mannequin.

LOCATION!!

Found it!! The apartment building that Davey and Gloria live in? It’s still standing. The building is the Perry Arms, at 3156 Perry Ave. in the Bronx, cornering 205th. Not only is the 1925 building still standing but it even has the little vases out front. And the rooftop is clearly the one Davey runs around on from his side of the building to Gloria's.

Google screenshots below. We see the entrance where Vincent picks up Gloria and the subway entrance Davey uses.

Killer's Kiss

Killer's Kiss

THE LETTER

41 MS of Davey on the subway. (7:16)

Davey takes out the letter he'd received and removes it from the envelope.

Music plays that is supposed to remind us of the comforts of country home.

42 MS of the letter. (7:24)

GEORGE (voice-over): Dear Davey, still haven't heard from you yet this...

43 MCU of Davey in profile. (7:29)

GEORGE (voice-over): ...month and we wondered if everything was still all right with you. Out here everything's about...

44 MS of the letter. (7:35)

GEORGE (voice-over): ...the same.

45 MCU of Davey from below. (7:37)

GEORGE (voice-over): I still get into Seattle every week and the ranch has prospered nicely. Last week I finally bought Mr. Henderson's chestnut Arabian stallion. Your aunt...

46 MS of Davey from the front. (7:47)

GEORGE (voice-over): ...Grace's arthritis is much better. She can even take short rides on Jumper now and then. Well, I guess that's all now except that we miss you alot, Davey. Write soon. Love, Uncle George and Aunt Grace.

As Davey finishes reading, he smiles and looks encouraged.

The letter we see on screen reads slightly differently.

Dear Davey. We all hope you have been well. We try and follow your career best we can out here. Good luck on your fight against (word covered by Davey's thumb). If you get the (partially covered) late congratulations. Remember any time you want to have your car fixed you come and see us. Love, Uncle George, Aunt Gracie.

Shot 41

Shot 42

Shot 43

Shot 44

Shot 45

Shot 46

Shots 41-46, Things to Notice

There's not much to remark on other than the filmed letter giving completely different information than the spoken one. The audience is given a chance to warm up to Davey as a congenial human rather than just a burly, animal boxer. Kubrick gave the audience something like this in Day of the Fight with Walter being portrayed as relaxing with his dog. But it wasn't his. It was brought in to add that warm human interest. We get to see Davey smile and be happy over contact with his relations "back home".

In The Killing, Kubrik's film immediately after this one, Kubrick twice shows close-ups of a message written on the back of a ticket and a race track schedule. In both instances the close-ups do not match. With something like this, I almost wonder if Kubrick was testing the limits of what the audience would notice and applying this to other aspects of his film-making.

THE DURESS OF THE BOXER IN HIS RING AND THE HIRED DANCER COMPARED AND FOUND EQUIVALENT

47 LS of the ring. (8:06)

Killer's Kiss

48 MLS Davey with his manager, having his wrists taped. (8:12)

There is no music. Instead, we hear the roar of the crowd. When we move to the street scenes, city sounds will be the music.

49 MCU Davey from the front and below, his left wrist and hand being taped. (8:15)

Shot 48

Shot 49

50 LS Busy New York street. (8:33)

Killer's Kiss

51 MCU of an automated Santa doll in a shop window with candied apples and Milk Chocolate Brazils. (8:37)

52 MS of sausages and buns. (8:41)

53 MS Plastic sundaes on a revolving pedestal with a pineapple in the background. (8:44)

54 Photos through a neon Photos sign. (8:46)

Reflected in the window is a sign from across the street with lights flashing on and off in a circular pattern.

55 A toy doll in a bowl of water swims in circles. (8:48)

56 A sign advertising dancing hostesses at a dance hall. (8:53)

We begin to hear music from inside the club. It's Gloria's theme but jazzier. Once in the dance hall, the music will be loud and the piece to which the couples are dancing.

57 A sign advertising dancing partners. (8:56)

58 Another such sign. (8:58)

Shot 51

Shot 52

Shot 53

Shot 54

Shot 55

Shot 56

Shot 57

Shot 58

59 MS Man in ticket booth. (9:00)

60 Vinyl spinning on platter. (9:03)

61 Dancers inside the dance hall. (9:05)

62 A dressing table with cup, shoes, hair brush, snips, and various beauty tools and cosmetics. (9:47)

Shot 59

Shot 60

Shot 61

Shot 62

63 MS of Gloria slipping off her top, reflected in a mirror. (9:49)

Killer's Kiss

64 MCU Davey's head being rubbed down by his trainer, from rear of Davey. (9:59)

There is no music throughout the boxer portion.

65 MCU Davey's head being rubbed down by his trainer, priofile. Then his neck and chest. (10:04)

66 MCU Davey's manager looking on. (10:14)

67 MCU Davey now in left profile, his manager again rubbing down his chest, shoulders, arms, back and face. (10:14)

68 LS The ring with one man down on the ropes. He rises before the countdown ends. (10:35)

69 MS Davey warming up with his manager, from Davey's left. (10:44)

70 MS Davey warming up with his manager, from Davey's right. (10:48)

Crossfade to Vincent's office, Davey seeming to give him an uppercut.

Shot 64

Shot 65

Shot 66

Shot 67

Shot 68

Shot 69

Shot 70

Shot 70a

71 MS Vincent in his office. The crossfade ends about 10:54. (10:54)

Killer's Kiss

He has advanced to look out his window, drinking. Turning from the window as he finishes his drink, he cuts off the light in his room, lit only by the television which he turns up.

SPORTS ANNOUNCER (voice-over): ...brings together two very game boys. The youngster, undefeated in twenty-two professional encounters, Kid Rodriguez, and the veteran, Davey Gordon, who's emerged victorious in (covered by voice announcing Davey Gordon's entrance into the ring) while losing 9 and drawing 2.

72 MS of the television showing the boxing event. (11:22)

SPORTS ANNOUNCER (voice-over): Gordon's long career, he's now 29, has been one long promise without fulfillment, at least thus far. As hard a puncher as they come, a clever boxer, he's been plagued by a weak chin...

73 MS of Vincent. (11:35)

SPORTS ANNOUNCER (voice-over): ...and the unlucky knack of being at his worst for the big one. And tonight is a big one...

74 MS of the television showing the boxing event. (11:38)

SPORTS ANNOUNCER (voice-over): ...with a title...in the offing for the winner. And now let's take time out for a friendly word from our sponsor.

75 MS of Vincent. (11:46)

SPORTS ANNOUNCER (voice-over): How many times have you come home in the evening and wanted to feel the love...

Getting an idea, Vincent puts down his drink and starts for the door.

Shot 72

Shot 73

Shot 74

Shot 75

76 MS of dance floor. (11:49)

Killer's Kiss

Vincent finds Gloria on the dance floor with a soldier. He interrupts (in order to take her back up to the office to watch the fight) and the soldier objects, they begin pushing each other.

77 MLS Two of Vincent's bouncers notice the fight. (12:06)

78 MS Gloria draws away. (12:08)

79 MLS Vincent's bouncers decide to get involved. (12:10)

80 MLS Vincent and the soldier arguing. (12:12)

Vincent pushes the soldier away and the two bouncers grab him and begin to drag him out.

81 LS The referee in the ring. (12:17)

He calls the two boxers in.

82 MLS Vincent hurriedly escorting Gloria off the dance floor. (12:23)

Shot 77

Shot 78

Shot 79

Shot 80

Shot 81

Shot 82

83 MS of the television showing the boxing event. (12:32)

We hear the door open and close as Vincent and Gloria enter off-screen.

84 MLS The office. (12:37)

Vincent guides Gloria in by the elbow.

85 MS Davey's mouthguard being put in. (12:41)

86 LS of Kid Rodriguez from across the ring, shot through Davey's legs. (12:45)

He rises. The bell rings and the two men begin the fight.

87 MS of Kid and Davey. (13:00)

They circle around and around, delivering punches.

88 MCU Of Kid and Davey. (13:14)

Davey gets it on the jaw.

89 MCU Of Kid and Davey. (13:15)

This time Kid gets it.

90 MCU Davey getting socked in the right ear. (13:15)

91 MS Another punch sends Davey down. (13:16)

The referee begins the count down. Davey struggles to stand and manages to do so at the count of 8.

92 As the referee takes Davey's hand and leads him back into the ring, cut to MLS of Vincent hugging Gloria closely as they watch the fight. (13:30)

Shot 83

Shot 84

Shot 85

Shot 86

Shot 87

Shot 88

Shot 89

Shot 90

Shot 91

Shot 92

93 MS of Davey and Kid. (13:32)

Davey rallies then grabs Kid and pushes him back against the ropes.

94 MS of Davey and Kid. (13:37)

Davey and Kid are still grappling. The referee separates them. Kid lands a good punch on him.

95 MLS of Kid and Davey. (13:45)

Kid lands punches on Davey time and time again.

96 MLS of Davey falling into the ropes from behind. (13:48)

He falls outside the ropes.

97 MLS The referee pulls Davey back into the ring. (13:53)

He and Kid go at it again.

98 MS Davey and Kid. (13:57)

Kid launches into Davey good.

99 MLS Davey and Kid. (14:04)

They circle and punch.

100 MCU Davey and Kid. (14:12)

The camera is in tight enough so that we see only arms swinging then Kid landing a punch on Davey.

101 MS Kid and Davey. (14:13)

The camera is in tight enough so that we see only arms swinging then Kid landing a punch on Davey.

102 MS Kid and Davey. (14:13)

Cut from 101 to 102 clips out some action so that suddenly Davey and Kid are reversed with the referee in the same position behind them. They circle a couple of times more then Kid presses Davey against the ropes and rains punches on him.

103 MS from below of Davey and Kid. (14:27)

Cut from 101 to 102 clips out some action so that suddenly Davey and Kid are reversed with the referee in the same position behind them. They circle a couple of times more then Kid presses Davey against the ropes and rains punches on him.

104 MS Davey from behind. (14:30)

They circle. He throws a punch and misses Kid. Kid strives Davey.

105 MLS Kid from behind. (14:34)

Kid misses Davey and pursues him.

106 MS Davey. (14:38)

107 MS Kid and Davey. (14:42)

108 MS Davey from below. (14:44)

109 CU Davey from below. (14:46)

110 MCU Kid from the right. (14:47)

111 CU Davey. (14:48)

112 CU Kid being hit. (14:49)

He dodges back and comes in to strike.

113 MS Davey from behind Kid's boxing gloves. (14:52)

114 MCU Kid. (14:52)

Shot 93

Shot 94

Shot 95

Shot 96

Shot 97

Shot 98

Shot 99

Shot 100

Shot 101

Shot 102

Shot 103

Shot 104

Shot 105

Shot 106

Shot 107

Shot 108

Shot 109

Shot 110

Shot 111

Shot 112

Shot 113

Shot 114

As far as trying to get an accurate shot count, this is the first shot that's been trouble, as the glove almost fully eclipses the camera lens, then it does seem we have one shot as the camera chaotically tilts up, simulating Davey going down, the light above jumping around before it stabalizes on the referee counting down.

Killer's Kiss

REFEREE: One, two...

115 CU Davey struggling to stand. (14:58)

REFEREE: ...three, four...

116 CU Davey Davey from below, having stood. (15:00)

REFEREE: ...five, six...

117 Davey's POV of Kid across the ring. (15:02)

REFEREE: ...seven, eight...

118 MCU Davey rising fully to his feet. (15:04)

119 MLS Davey on his feet. He and Kid face each other again. (15:07)

120 MS Kid launches into Davey. (15:09)

121 MS Gloria and Vincent in his office, watching the fight. (15:13)

122 MLS Davey and Kid. (15:14)

123 CU Davey, he gets hit again in the chin. They grapple. (15:24)

124 MCU Kid. (15:27)

125 MLS Davey wings and misses and is hit by Kid. (15:28)

126 MCU Kid. (15:30)

127 MCU Davey. The moment of defeat. (15:32)

128 MLS Davey goes down. (15:33)

129 MLS Davey's down. The bell rings. His manager and trainer come out and pull him up. (15:35)

130 MLS Davey is seated in his corner. Revived, he leaves the ring. (15:55)

HECKLER: ...go on home...you're a flop...you're all through...

131 Vincent and Gloria grappling. (16:22)

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, we may very well have seen ring history in the making in the form of the sensational, young, welterweight Rodriguez and his impressive KO over the experienced campaigner Gordon. But, for Gordon, tonight must come as a bitter pill indeed. This was the fight for him to prove his glass chin had been made into sterner stuff, but, unfortunately for him, tonight, again, it was as fragile as ever. It's a well known ring adage that too much education...

Fade out.

Shot 115

Shot 116

Shot 117

Shot 118

Shot 119

Shot 120

Shot 121

Shot 122

Shot 123

Shot 124

Shot 125

Shot 126

Shot 127

Shot 128

Shot 129

Shot 130

131 Vincent holding Gloria. (16:22)

Her attention is torn between Vincent and the fight. Then she seemingly willingly kisses Vincent.

Another musical theme has entered, one which I'll call Vincent's.

Killer's Kiss

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, we may very well have seen ring history in the making in the form of the sensational, young, welterweight Rodriguez and his impressive KO over the experienced campaigner Gordon. But, for Gordon, tonight must come as a bitter pill indeed. This was the fight for him to prove his glass chin had been made into sterner stuff, but, unfortunately for him, tonight, again, it was as fragile as ever. It's a well known ring adage that too much education...

Fade out.

Shots 47-131, Things to Notice

Santa and the Swimming Baby

Just as with the goldfish bowl, the shots prior the boxing bout Kubrick expected to stand out and be conversation pieces were the Santa and the swimming baby. And they do stand out even after all these years. Those three shots--the goldfish, the Santa and the swimming baby--are the WTH shots that easily yank this film out of film noire crime genre and place it on a shelf of its own. They're strategic but as far as I can tell they have little to do, as people purport, with Kubrick's training as a photographer and appreciation for the peculiarities over which most eyes pass. If you examine his work as a photographer, at least that which was published, images such as these are not to be found. Though he pictured the quirky (certainly including what was culturally accepted as the norm but becomes the macabre with an outsider's eye), his photography was largely people oriented, just as in his later films his shots are almost always concerned with leading characters.

It's shots of this type, isolating and focusing on details apart from characters, that Kubrick eliminated in his later films.

Christmas

The Festival of Lights finds its way into a number of Kubrick's films. Though it's October, we have a Santa in a shop window. In The Killing it is also September/October but one shot deliberately shows Christmas decorations up and down the street, though in the 1950s these decorations would not have been on display until Thanksgiving. The timeline of events in The Shining places final events happening around the time of the holiday season. Eyes Wide Shut occurs during the holiday season.

83 plus 7 Equals What?

Looking back at shot 59, as far as I'm aware, 83 cents (the price of admission to the dance hall) plus 7 cents tax equals 90 cents, not one dollar. But what do I know?

Trouble in Pleasure Land

Victor's party in Eyes Wide Shut, though top tier, has always strongly reminded me of the Pleasure Land dance hall of Killer's Kiss.

In section two of the analysis, after Iris' dance, I write a little of the culture of taxi dancers. This dance hall was based on a real one, what was once The Parisian in New York, and shots of the advertisements of the hostessss were taken outside the establishment, but I'm unclear if the dance floor was filmed at the Parisian or elsewhere. I read Vincent's office was filmed at the apartment of a friend.

Vincent's Office

I don't know about all of them, but several of the posters on Vincent's wall are from old theatrical productions, two being from melodramas by Joseph Arthur.

Killer's Kiss

Killer's Kiss

The below is from Wikipedia on the plot of the play "Blue Jeans".

Perry Bascom returns home to Rising Sun, Indiana to make a run for Congress, and marry Sue Eudaly. Sue's ex, Ben Boone, is nonplussed at this turn of events, and successfully runs for office against Bascom. Bascom later sours on Sue, and divorces her to marry June. After various twists, Boone corners June and Bascom at Bascom's sawmill. After knocking Bascom out, Boone places him on a board approaching a huge buzz saw. June, locked in an office, escapes just in time to save Bascom from certain death.

This is a review of The Cherry Pickers.

"THE CHERRY PICKERS"

Military Melodrama with Qorgeous East Indian Trappings

The patrons of Morosco's Burbank theater are again furnished with a bill of fare that pleases their taste, In the staging of Joseph Arthur's four-act military melodrama entitled "The Cherry Pickers." The scene Is laid In upper India during the Afghan- English war of 1878-79, a fact which Is only important in that it enables the dramatist to Impart some gorgeous oriental coloring to the theatrical display. A number of the gentlemen and some of the ladles have to Impart a coffee-hued tinge to their complexions and even the leading man la obliged to assume the appearance of a young Othello. As for the story, it is the familiar one of love and jealousy, with a very deep-dyed villain thrown In, and enlivened by some comic scenes, the dialogue of which Is more amusing than usual. Mr. Spencer as the half-caste soldier In the British army who insults his superior officer—the villain — and who gets sentenced to be shot in consequence, goes through a variety of thrilling adventures, not the least exciting of which is his escape from being blown to pieces by a huge revolving cannon mounted in the center of the stage. He is luckily saved by the heroine in the nick of time, and though the cannon Is discharged with much noise and smoke the dusky hero is unhurt and is united in the end to the fascinating Miss Kenible, who goes prettily through many troubles and persecutions for his sake. Mr. Oberle Is In his element as the bad man of the play and never fails to emphasize the objectionable features of the character he assumes. He succeeded so well in this last night that he was honored by being soundly hissed on the recall of the characters at the fall of the curtain. Frank MaeVlcars had a character bit as the Afghan spy which was made up and played with his customary skill and thorough attention to detail. Phosa McAllister in the comedy character of an Irish widow received perhaps the largest share of attention and applause, which was well deserved, her rich brogue and racy style being Inimitable. Elsie Esmond, who has had too little to do during this engagement, played an ingenue part with much grace and vivacity. Miss Esmond is a clever little actress with a face that reminds one of Maud Adams and with an Interpretative ability that is all her own. There is a large cast of characters in "The Cherry Pickers," which title, by the way, Is supposed to be taken from the cognomen of a regiment In her majesty's service. The support is good and the efforts of the soldiers to struggle with the dialect peculiar to the British Tommy Atkins deserve much praise, even though in some instances the dialect is a misfit almost as bad as Lieutenant York's scarlet trousers. The play has not been given here before, and it seems likely to duplicate the success It made In the east. O. A. D.

Arthur was a hack who was able to produce what the audience wanted and do so spectacularly. What the audience liked was their men fighting over a woman and big-time weaponry threatening the hero. On stage. Live. It had to look like the hero might really be endangered by the saw and the cannon. There had to be that illusory element of risk, then tense withheld breath relieved by the good guys planting a perfect landing on the righteous balance side of justice for a 10 point score and rousing applause.

Film made the threat of danger even more realistic to the audience, but removed the thrill aspect of the circus tightrope walker entertaining without a safety net.

The posters have in them plot elements we find in Killer's Kiss, a woman who is wanted by two men, and a dramatic fight scene deciding the victor.

The Fight

A comparison is being made between the dance hall and the arena, Gloria's preparations with Davey's, both rings occupied by sparring couples.

The fight is an amazing simulation. There is nothing about it which doesn't communicate as brutally real, and I used to believe that the film was not much more than a vehicle for it. I no longer think this, but the fight is Kubrick's declaration of independence from the still camera and his telegraph to the motion picture industry of what he's able to do and that he's there to stay.

Who is the Audience

What's missing from the simulation of the fight is the audience. We see them in shot 68 from a previous fight. We see them in the televised shots. We hear them. But never, during the fight of Kid and Davey, do we have shots of the audience. They fight in a black box. The audience are the souls in the movie theater and Gloria and Vincent. We get our cue from Gloria an Vincent of the effect of the fight on the observers, which is a mixture of curiosity, of horror, of excitement, and finally an erotic charge. At least so it seems for Vincent and Gloria. I wouldn't personally know. I don't like boxing. I don't like football. I don't find head injuries sexually exciting. But Vincent, who had seen Gloria with Davey, appears to be excited by the fight and displaying Davey's defeat to her, and Gloria is presented as being captivated by the train wreck and then excited as well.

How many times have you come home in the evening and wanted to feel the love...

It's with this television advertisement that Vincent remembers to run down and get Gloria to watch the fight with him. The signal is sent out that Vincent, despite his cruelties, thinks of himself as being in love with Gloria.

It's a well known ring adage that too much education...

This is one of the more peculiar signals to us broadcast by the announcer, that Davey is not doing as well in the ring as he might because of a cultivation of brain getting in the way of brawn, at least as represented by Kubrick and the scriptwriter. We're given no other background on this and there is nothing in Davey's apartment that alludes to Davey's education and what it might concern.

Shot 114

The heart of this section is the fight, and the heart of the fight turns out to be shot 114.

Much is made of Kubrick's use of CRM-114, from Dr. Strangelove, in other films, and I've written a good deal in other analyses on my belief on Kubrick's use of this. To my surprise, a variation on it may possibly be seen in Lolita. And it surprised me as well that shot 114 is the one where Davey is essentially defeated. He's actually done for before he's even entered the ring, but shot 114 is the one where the theater audience and the camera have Davey's point of view as Kid's glove strikes, obscures the lens, the screen goes chaotic with our having the POV of Davey falling flat on his back, his eyes focusing on the light and the referee as he counts all the way to eight. Davey manages to get back up on his feet, but it takes five shots for him to do so. For all intents and purposes the fight is over.

If one is imagining this 114 is coincidence, it's not, as this shot is referred back to later in the film and is connected with the number 11-4. In the warehouse, the Ace of Spades, which can be an 11 or a 1, and 4 of Spades are specifically used between the two gangsters to signal intent to take out Davey, and then those cards are thrown at Davey, disorienting him, leading to him being KO'd. Kubrick several times shows us the ace of spades together with the four of spades, so he really wants us to pay attention to the combinaton, and certainly links their meaning back to shot 114. But as to whether 11-4/114 has the same meaning in this film as in his later works isn't clear. I discuss this a little more at the end of section four. I really didn't want to get preoccupied with the 114 at this point in the analysis--nor in this film. I'd prefer if it didn't make an appearance.

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