Go to TOC for this film ( (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).


TOC and Supplemental Posts | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Films Home


Saturday 2:15 PM, Jeffrey's Luggage, Shot 281
Saturday 2:15 PM: Things to Note. Maternity and Christmas (relationship to the yellow VW). Those sevens.
Saturday About 4:20 PM, Shots 282 through 320
Saturday About 4:20 PM: Things to Note. Primary differences between the movie and book. Shots 319 and 320. On Danny Freed.
Saturday, About 7:15 PM, Marvin Unger's, Shots 321 through 339
Saturday About 7:15 PM, Things to Note. Before and after the shooting (the relationship of the flip of the targets to the shooting).
Saturday 6:25 PM, The Motel, Shots 340 through 342
Saturday 6:25 PM: Things to Note
Saturday 7:29 PM, 504 W. Olive, Shot 343
Saturday 7:29 PM: Things to Note. Sudden Fear. The timeline.
Saturday 7:39 PM, Money to Loan Pawn Shop, Shot 344 through 352
Saturday 7:39 PM, Pawn Shop to RR: Things to Note. Pawn shop luggage and the missed chess move. Lenny Bruce at the Gayety or Gaiety? The Relationship with Killer's Kiss. The keys at the RR crossing. The production code and the play within a play. The horse shoe/omega. Sevens. That big bad case.
Not Fair! Not Fair!, Shots 353 through 367
Not Fair! Things to Note. Major departure from the book. The caged bird. Relationship to Lolita.
Saturday, Approaching 9:00 PM, The Airport, Shots 368 through 400
Saturday, Approaching 9:00 PM, The Airport: Things to Note. How different from the book? The woman and her dog (a relationship to Kubrick's LOOK photos). Flight 465 or 40. The dog in The Shining.
Wrap-it-up Thoughts

Let's see if I can reconstruct what I'd written about this. Had a data drive corrupt and this was the one section I'd not uploaded or backed up. Thought I had. But no!


281 Shot of Jeffrey's Luggage sign pan down to Johnny exiting the shop. (1:02:38)

NARRATOR: At 2:15 that afternoon, Johnny Clay was still in the city. He knew exactly how long it would take him to drive to the track, park his car and walk to the grandstand. He planned to arrive just before the start of the seventh race.

Crossfade to shot 282.

Shot 281

Shot 281a

Return to the top of the page


Maternity and Christmas

The child/parent theme continues, begun when George told Sherry the story about seeing the couple who called each other momma and poppa. Johnny picks up a briefcase from Jeffrey's Luggage ( gives this as being at 6427 Hollywood Boulevard). Though the race should be either in the first week of October or the first week of November (see commentary on shots 11-28) we see Christmas decorations outside, a decorative tree hanging on poles on either side of the street. Kubrick tends toward the evergreens when his characters are entering the underworld.

The Killing

In The Shining there is a joke of how in the lobby of the Overlook is a great mound of luggage, belonging to Jack and Wendy and Danny, that couldn't have possibly fit into their tiny VW. I have written about this in the post The Relationship of The Yellow VW in The Shining to the Traumnovelle Novel. In Traumnovelle, Albertine has a dream in which a yellow bag expands so that it will hold whatever is put in it. Fridolin runs around acquiring for her all the jewels and fine clothing that he can, putting it all in this magical bag that expands and expands to hold it all. He's trying to win her love and she mocks him for it in the dream. That dream didn't make it into the Eyes Wide Shut film but I think it is never-the-less represented in Eyes Wide Shut and several other Kubrick films.

In The Shining, Jack is sitting reading a Playgirl magazine while in the background we have all that luggage, too much for a little VW to carry. This ties back to shot 281 in The Killing. Johnny, preparing for the heist, exits Jeffrey's Luggage store. Beside it is a maternity shop. Across the street is a store called Playmates. In the background is a Coca-Cola sign. Christmas tree decoarations line the street though it is too early for them. The salient ingredients here are the luggage store, the maternity shop, the briefcase Johnny is carrying and the Playmates store. What's in Johnny's case? We won't find this out until he's in the locker room, but in the case is his clown mask and a duffel bag. You see, no one can carry out two million dollars in a small brief case. There's no room for that amount of money in a small brief case. That slim little brief case is hiding in it something which expands, the duffel bag. It's to be compared with a pregnant woman whose womb expands in pregnancy. The slim briefcase is just to hide the duffel bag that will be filled with money and tossed out the window for Keenan to pick up.

The Playgirl is a New Year's January edition. The Shining opens with "Dies Irae" accompanying Johnny as he drives up the mountain to his interview. "Dies Irae" is associated with the great judgment following the resurrection of the dead, the Day of Wrath when Gabriel's horn sounds. It's also associated with the yearly day of judgment, Rosh Hashannah, the shofar sounded on Yom Teruah. I have earlier written of how the Buraq is also associated with the archangel Gabriel.

After blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah we say hayom harat olam. The word harat is connected to pregnancy and birth. Herayon means pregnancy in modern Hebrew, and horeh is the name for a parent. The medieval commentator Rashbam, on Genesis 49:26, further connects the word to har meaning mountains - parents and ancestors being the ancient mountains from which we are hewn.

Following these associations, English machzorim tend to render our phrase as "Today is the birthday of the world", which may conjure up images of a big cake with 5771 candles.

Rabbi Matis Weinberg, however, translates it : "today is the conception of the universe". In his striking phrase, Rosh Hashanah is the "womb of the year". On these days, all of the possibilities of the coming year exist in embryo. "The developing foetus is exquisitely vulnerable to minute changes in the uterine environment... in the same way, the nascent year is sensitive to small variations in Rosh Hashanah the womb, which defines the year's potential."

Most prayer books translate the words hayom harat olam as “Today the world is born.” But a closer look at the Hebrew reveals other possibilities. The most straightforward word, hayom, simply means “today.” Olam can mean “world,” a word that’s become quite familiar from the phrase tikkun olam, “repairing the world.” But olam can also mean “forever” or “eternal,” as in the phrase l’olam va’ed. And harat, which we usually see translated as “born,” comes from the Hebrew word for pregnancy, herayon.

So when we put all that together, the phrase Hayom harat olam could also translate as “Today is pregnant with the eternal possibilities of Creation.”


Always, and always. Forever and ever and ever. These are always troubling words in Kubrick's films, treated with fear and anxiety. When the two girls, in Danny's vision, ask him to come play with them forever and ever and ever, he's not very enthused.

As we see, pregnancy is associated with Rosh Hashanah, it's the womb of the year, the conception of the universe. Parenthood, the idea of children, these things are repeated several times in The Killing, beginning with George telling Sherry the story of his hearing a couple calling each other momma and poppa and how he wished they were like that. She scoffs at this, saying she would kill him if he called her momma. The conversation continues into her talking about her wish for more money, and he tells her about how they will soon be rich. Of course it doesn't work out for them.

Those Sevens

The vehicle is parked in a loading zone but the camera is framed to show only the Z as a 7, and the O beside it may remind of the U in the 7 UP sign that was flipped behind Randy when he came out of the drug store to phone in the call that his radio was dead.

Return to the top of the page


282 Track loudspeakers. (1:02:50)

ANNOUNCER: Your attention...

283 The Horses being led out to the track. (1:02:53)

ANNOUNCER: ...ladies and gentlemen. The horses are now on the track for the...

Shot 2 in the opening is the same as shot 201 and 254 and 283.

284 MS An officer inside the cashier area. (1:02:56)

Johnny enters.

ANNOUNCER: ...seventh race, for the seventh race, the $100,000-added Lansdowne Stakes at one mile.

Johnny passes by George in his cage, who stares at him, and then passes the NO ADMITTANCE door, Unger leaning drunkly by the poster enclosure next to it. He stops and looks at him and Unger stumbles away. He goes to the bar where Maurice is already leaning against it. Johnny goes back to stand by the NO ADMITTANCE door.

Crossfade to shot 285.

The Killing

The Killing

The Killing

285 Track loudspeakers. (1:04:11)

ANNOUNCER: The horses are approaching the starting gate...

286 The draft horses pull the gate in place. (1:04:14)

ANNOUNCER: ...for the...

Shot 5 in the opening is the same as shot 206 and 258 and 286.

287 MLS Maurice at the bar, Johnny beyond. (1:04:15)

ANNOUNCER: ...seventh race.

Maurice turns and faces the bar.

MAURICE: Hey! How about some service, you stupid-looking Irish pig?

Crossfade to shot 288.

Shot 282

Shot 283

Shot 284

Shot 285

Shot 286

Shot 287

288 The track money room. (1:04:26)

An officer answers the ringing phone.

CARTER: Money room. Carter. Yes sir, right away. (He hangs up and alerts the 2nd guard.) There's a riot downstairs. Come on.

They exit.

289 The officers coming down spiral stairs. (1:04:43)

290 The officers exit. (1:04:50)

291 LS George going to open the door and letting Johnny in. (1:04:56)

Johnny climbing the stairs, the camera moves in for a MS of George at the bottom of the stairs, looking up.

ANNOUNCER: They're off and running! At the start it is Red Lightning breaking on top...

292 Johnny enters the hall leading to the money room and the employee dressing room. (1:05:13)

ANNOUNCER: Early Streak is second, I'm Hoping is third, White Fire is fourth, Little Arnie is next...

293 MS Johnny enters the Employee Locker Room. (1:05:19)

ANNOUNCER: ...Seymour's Darling and Best Seller. Moving down the back stretch it's Red Lighting by a length and a quarter. I'm Hoping is second by three quarters of a length. Little Arnie is third by a length and a quarter and Seymour's Darling. Passing the half-mile post it is Red Lighting by a length and a quarter. I'm Hoping is second by half a length, Seymour's Darling is third, and Little Arnie moving fast on the outside. Into the far turn it is Red Lightning in front by a length and a quarter. Little Arnie is second by half a length, I'm Hoping is third, and a horse is down!

Johnny has just removed the ribbon off the florist box, having removed it from Mike's locker and stowing his briefcase in it (from which he'd taken a large cloth bag).

ANNOUNCER: It is Red Lightning! At the head of the stretch it is I'm Hoping taking the lead by half a length, Little Arnie driving on the outside is second by three quarters, Seymour's Darling is third and Early Streak. It is Little Arnie and Seymour's Darling. It's Little Arnie in front. Down to the wire it is Little Arnie going steadily, holding it, and winning it by three quarters of a length. I'm Hoping is second by three quarters of a length, Seymour's Darling is third by a head and White Fire finished fourth. Your attention, ladies and gentlemen. Be sure to hold all tickets. The stewards are conducting an inquiry into the running of the seventh race and will view the motion pictures.

Johnny has taken out the gun from under the flowers, put the box back in the locker, and slipped on his clown mask. He puts on his gloves and now passes back behind the lockers to the door.

294 MS Johnny exiting the locker room. (1:06:50) He knocks on the money room door.

295 MLS Employee opening the money room door. (1:06:58)

Johnny bursts in.

JOHNNY: All right. Get your hands up, all of you.

296 MLS The employees in a huddle. (1:07:01)

JOHNNY (off screen): Now! One move out of any one of you and I'm gonna start firing.

297 MS Johnny. (1:07:05)

JOHNNY: You. Fill that bag up just as fast as you know how.

298 Man begins filling bag. (1:07:09)

299 MS Johnny. (1:07:11)

JOHNNY: You. Take that gun out of the holster. Be awful, awful careful how you do it.

300 An employee removes the gun from the holster of the man next him. (1:07:17)

JOHNNY (off screen): Now drop it.

301 MS Johnny. (1:07:11)

JOHNNY: Kick it over here. All right, turn around and face the wall.

302 The employees face the wall in a line, one behind the other. (1:07:31)

303 MS Johnny. (1:07:40)

JOHNNY: All right, now the money in the safe.

304 MS The employee at the open safe empties money from it into the bag. (1:07:47)

ANNOUNCER: Your attention, ladies and gentlemen. We have received no exact information concerning the spill of Red Lightning in the seventh race.

305 MS Johnny. (1:07:55)

ANNOUNCER: However, jockey Danny Freed appears to be unhurt.

306 MLS The employee at the open safe emptying money from it into the bag. (1:07:59)

ANNOUNCER: Your attention, lacies and gentlemen. We have receive no exact information...

JOHNNY: Fill it up!

ANNOUNCER: ...concerning the spill of Red Lightning in the seventh race. However, jockey Danny Freed appears to be unhurt.

307 MCU Johnny. (1:08:22)

308 MLS The employee at the open safe emptying money from it into the bag. (1:08:25)

309 MCU Johnny. (1:08:32)

310 MLS The employees lined up. (1:08:34)

311 MLS The employee at the open safe emptying money from it into the bag. (1:08:36)

JOHNNY: All right, all right. That's enough. Now put the bag here in the middle of the floor.

312 MS Johnny. (1:08:45)

JOHNNY: Get back over there. Now, I'm going to open this door. I want you to go through it and go into the locker room, and close the door after you. I'm going to start firing through that door...

313 MLS The employees lined up. (1:08:55)

JOHNNY (off screen): ...15 seconds after you close the door.

314 MS Johnny. (1:08:58)

JOHNNY (opening the door): Let's go.

They file through the doors.

315 MS The men filing throught the door and Johnny beyond. (1:09:07)

316 MLS From the money room, the last of the men filing in the locker room, beyond Johnny. (1:09:10)

JOHNNY: Now close it!

He takes off his gloves, mask, hat, jacket and shirt and puts them in the money bag, he wearing another shirt and tie beneath. He puts the gun in and without looking below he throws the bag out the window. He casually walks out.

317 MS from hall of Johnny walking out, slipping on sunglasses. (1:09:40)

318 Johnny comes down the spiral stairs. (1:09:44)

Shot 288

Shot 289

Shot 290

Shot 291

Shot 292

Shot 293

Shot 294

Shot 295

Shot 296

Shot 297

Shot 298

Shot 299

Shot 300

Shot 301

Shot 302

Shot 303

Shot 304

Shot 305

Shot 306

Shot 307

Shot 308

Shot 309

Shot 310

Shot 311

Shot 312

Shot 313

Shot 314

Shot 315

Shot 316

Shot 317

Shot 318

319 Security officer running past the cashier cages. (1:09:49)

He comes upon Johnny exiting the NO ADMITTANCE door.

OFFICER: Just a minute. What are you doing? Just stay right there!

He pushes Johnny against the wall and begins to pull a gun on him. Marvin has entered the screen from the right and, feigning drunknenness, bumps into the officer, throwing him against Johnny.

The Killing

Johnny knocks him out.

The Killing

Johnny reaches for Marvin.

The Killing

Right there we have a cut and foreground people disappear.

320 MLS Johnny with his arms outreached around Marvin. (1:10:01)

The Killing

Johnny pushes Marvin to the side.

The Killing

Amidst the commotion, Johnny walks out of the building. Crossfade to shot 321.

Return to the top of the page


Primary Differences Between the Movie and Book

In the book, Johnny wears a handkerchief over his face during the robbery rather than a clown mask. When Johnny exits the door, after the robbery, Maurice (the Maurice in the book, rather than the film's Maurice, who corresponds more to Tex in the book) slugs the person who accosts Johnny, which is the job for which he was hired. Here instead Marvin takes the role of creating a diversion so that Johnny slugs the man and escapes. Maurice was instead given, by Kubrick, the job of creating a diversion before the robbery, and was in police custody already.

Shot 319 and 320

A peculiar thing happens in shots 319 and 320. In 319, when Marvin bumps into the officer and Johnny strikes him, there is a woman with a pompom cap standing between the camera and the action. Then, as Johnny reaches for Marvin she disappears from the frame. We have a precedent for this in Killer's Kiss.

Shot 225 begins with Gloria seated at the table facing away from us. She rises, telling Davey, "She was sorry for making a mess of everything between us." At this point Gloria is walking to screen right, the camera panning slightly to follow her. She is in the middle of the frame, in front of Davey. And, suddenly, rather than finishing with her walking off screen to the right, Gloria vanishes and there's a cut to shot 226 of Davey looking at Gloria who is now off screen right and telling him, "A few days later I was in the city attending to some legal things and I happened to pass the dance hall." The music continues right on over this.

This is a significant hole and reminds of some other better plotted and barely noticed holes that occur periodically in Kubrick's films. I had, as explained above, originally taken this to be intentional. Then I reconsidered and thought it was perhaps to do with some bad frames being removed. But when I finished my analysis I realized that it was indeed likely intentional. With this cut, which appears to make one shot into two, the film is 494 shots long. That it is 494 shots long is significant relevant the dialogue of the station announcer in the final section. In shot 489 as Davey walks off, believing Gloria is not going to appear, the station announcer is giving information on the cars designated "494, 493, 492, 491 and 490" on the Pathfinder train for Seattle. Then, in shot 490 Gloria pulls up to the station in her cab, she reunites with Davey and the film ends on shot 494.

If we don't take the cut in shot 225 as being intentional then we don't have the extra shot and the film ends on shot 493. It's due my analysis of a number of other of Kubrick's films that I am inclined to believe the film was intended to end on shot 494 and this cut was intentional.

Also, when going through this film shot by shot I had forgotten that Kubrick employees the same kind of a cut in The Killing which makes up shots 319/320. I was only reminded when I did a shot by shot analysis of The Killing after Killer's Kiss and came across the cut which had caught my attention when I first saw the film. So I've no doubt it is intentional here.

Here is my subpar capture on my iPhone of the cut in question in Killer's Kiss. (My son mocks me for the low quality output but, seriously, do I need to leap through hoops for these couple of seconds?)

Here is an even worse capture on my iPhone of the cut in question in The Killing.

There's a certain poetic sensibility to shot 225 being linked up to the end of the film, as in shot 225 Gloria vanishes, and in shot 489 we have Davey giving up waiting for Gloria, she having disappeared while he was still at the police station, then her reappearing in shot 490, arriving in a taxi.

The cut in shot 225, having Gloria vanish and creating an extra shot, also has, I believe, a relationship with shot 451.

This woman with the pompom tam o'shanter hat also appears in Maurice's timeline, shot 204; as he arrives and progresses to the bar she can be seen at cashier's window 202. She is also briefly viewed in shot 20 the first Saturday at the track, going to one of the farther windows. From what I can tell, without examining it too much, at least a few of the extras in that first Saturday scene also make up the crowd the second Saturday. Probably more than I've casually noticed.

I'm inclined to pay attention to what Gloria says before she is cut out of the frame in Killer's Kiss. She has just told Davey the story of her ballerina sister who had a very deep attachment to their father. Iris is idealized, everything Gloria is not. By marrying a man she doesn't love, and leaving behind her dreams of being a ballerina, with that income she eases her father's life preceding his death. After the father dies, Gloria accuses Iris of not having loved him as she shows no emotion. Iris commits suicide, but leaves behind this note that she's sorry for "making a mess of everything between us". Because the father in some ways resembles Vincent, one wonders how healthy that relationship was between the father and daughter, especially as Iris, as she grew into adulthood, resembled her deceased mother and was the father's favorite over Gloria. The unhealthy relationship needn't have necessarily transgressed into the taboo. Isn't it enough that Iris gave up her hopes and dreams and married a wealthy man she didn't love in order to take care of the family? But the question is raised. We sense her conflict and bitterness, and I think that she later plays a part symbolically in the slaying of Vincent, which i take as an also an act of revenge on the father for whom she gave up so much.

One could compare Iris' situation to Marvin's speech to Johnny. Iris marries a wealthy man and is unhappy. Marvin tells Johnny, "'ll be a new man. A rich man. And that can make a lot of difference. You got a lot of life ahead of you, a lot of people to meet, people of quality and substance. Wouldn't it be great if we could just go away, the two of us, and let the old world take a couple of turns and have a chance to take stock of things? It can be pretty serious and terrible, particularly if it's not the right person. Getting married, I mean."

After Gloria tells Davey her story, after she is cut out of shot 225 then reappears again, she describes how she became a taxi dancer. She's the antithesis of Iris, working in a seedy dance hall, but doesn't seem to really comprehend Iris' dark side, her burdens. She doesn't seem to see how she is acting out the problematic relationships in the family by taking the job as the taxi-dancer where she is eventually raped by her boss, Vincent.

So there was this mess between Gloria and Iris. As I was saying, Vincent looks a little like the father. When Vincent kidnaps Gloria and she promises to go away with him, in an effort to save her life (and perhaps Davey's), Vincent chides her with her own former words as to how he is an old man, smelly, unattractive to her etc. One feels that this mess is cleansed with the defeat/killing of the controlling mobster, Vincent. Iris' justice has been had.

On one of the movie marquees in Killer's Kiss we see The Man Between. It is a 1953 film staring James Mason. The plot from Wikipedia:

Ivo Kern (James Mason) is a former lawyer who has participated in Nazi atrocities and is now selling his expertise to East Germans to kidnap and transport certain West Germans to the eastern bloc. Although Kern desires to relocate to the West, he is hampered by West German suspicions and his criminal past. Nevertheless, he agrees to a final kidnapping venture that fails, forcing his employer to take over and abduct Briton Susanne Mallison (Claire Bloom) by mistake. Kern had earlier feigned a romance with Mallison as a means to seize his kidnapping target.

The abduction of Mallison presents Kern with an opportunity to both return the unfortunate victim to the West and impress western authorities with his atonement. Despite Kern's selfish and dark facade, Mallison falls in love with him. She tells him that she can see humanity deep inside a man who had once wished to defend the innocent and the 'rights of man'. This glimpse also appears to a young East Berlin boy who assists Kern and Mallison in their attempt to escape, as he follows Kern everywhere and the boy is treated with kindness. Kern almost admits his affection for Mallison on one occasion but he directs the conversation back to his sordid past and the escape attempt.

Ultimately, as Kern and Mallison are only a few feet from the Berlin gate while hidden in the back of a truck, their escape goes awry. Kern distracts the border guards as he runs from the vehicle, shouting at Mallison to hurry into the West. As her truck crosses the neutral zone and she reaches back for Kern, he is gunned down by the guards, and in doing so he gives his life to save hers.

The man between. Caught on the Cold War divide between East and West Germany. A person of a dual nature, his ultimate atonement is his distracting the guards and then being shot when he attempts to catch up and escape with Susanne Mallison.

The duality, the division between east and west and what unifies them is also found with the character of Bettina, Susanne's German sister-in-law, turning out to be married to two men. She is married to Susanne's brother, Martin, but has just recently learned her first husband, who had been missing for five years and presumed dead, is still alive. That person is Ivo (Mason). Susanne hasn't yet learned this when Ivo follows them to a cafe as Bettina shows Susanne a little of East Berlin (people could still cross back and forth). He talks about how Bettina and he don't see eye to eye on East and West Germany, the division of their country, the fate of the world. But, he says, she is still a Berliner, even if no longer in name. Bettina replies she supposes so but it's a subject she doesn't think about very much. Ivo then asks her, "How is your husband?" The audience and Susanne don't yet know Ivo is her first husband, is still her husband. Not only will Ivo represent the inbetween person, so does Bettina, inhabiting both worlds, trapped between them.

In fact, Bettina lives right at the dividing line between East and West Germany, she and her husband, Martin, residing in her family's old home. Around them is devastation, the house for some reason still standing. When she first shows Susanne into the home, Bettina remarks to not look at things too closely, that some things are old, others are just bought. Again, a foreshadowing of her dual marriage and her fear of this being revealed.

Carol Reed pictures the duality early on at a nightclub, in a scene in which Susanne gets the idea something is up with Bettina, but she doesn't know what. The first shot of the scene is a startling one, a freeze on a clown's face dramatically consuming the screen, grotesque, sinister, then the clown begins to move, music begins, and that which was sinister switches to clowning gaiety. The clown plays two clarinets, one out of each side of his mouth. Bettina, her West Berlin husband and Susanne are seated at a table before a mirror. Bettina, when not viewed in the mirror by Susanne, seems happy enough. But when Susanne watches her in the mirror she sees that Bettina is disconcerted, anxious. As if to underscore this split, outside the mirror, to screen left, we see the clown playing the two clarinets, though we would also have perhaps a reference to the double flute associated with Dionysus.

The Killing

The Killing

As I've discussed at the end of section two, Killer's Kiss is an Orpheus tale, and has some shots in it that I think refer to Cocteau's Orphee and The Man Between. In each of these films we have a kidnapped woman taken into the realm of the underworld. Cocteau mixes the plot up by having Orpheus fall in love with Death, but Death sends him back to the world of the living with Eurydice, represented by time backing up and Orpheus and Eurydice seeming oblivious to everything that has happened. Reed's kink in the story is that Ivo, who plans and assists Susanne in her escape, belongs to the land of the dead (East Berlin) and can't cross completely into West Berlin.

Cocteau's story of Orpheus and Eurydice has Orpheus ignoring Eurydice, which is one cause of her being kidnapped into the land of the dead. A prevalent theme in The Man Between is that Bettina is being ignored by Martin, who works too hard. When she first meets Susanne she even mentions she has a new hairdo but Martin hasn't noticed it yet, which would seem a stereotypical and trite "husband has become blind to his wife" scenario, but I think means more, just as it means more than this in Eyes Wide Shut when Alice asks Bill how she looks, he says wonderful, and she complains he hasn't even looked at her. Bill loses Alice and his trip through the underworld ends in eventually reuniting him with her.

Back to shots 319 and 320 in this film, and shots 225 and 226 in Killer's Kiss. With Killer's Kiss, in that analysis I make a case for a link being had with shot 451.

Danny Freed

Danny Freed is the name of the jockey thrown from Red Lightning. I'm amused that in The Shining Danny is eventually freed from his father.

Return to the top of the page


321 Street scene. (1:10:14)

322 Randy sitting in Marvin's apartment. (1:10:19)

RADIO ANNOUNCER: We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a special news bulletin. In one of the most daring and methodically executed holdups in criminal history a lone bandit wearing a rubber mask today took an estimated $2 million stuffed into a large duffel bag from the offices of the Lansdowne Ractrack. The robbery occurred during the running of the seventh race and was apparently timed to coincide with the shotting of Red Lightning, just as the horse, valued at a quarter of a million dollars, was leading the pack at the far turn. The jockey, Danny Freed, escaped with minor injuries. A man identified as Nikki Arano, who allegedly shot the prize thoroughbred, was himself fatally wounded by track police as he attempted to shoot his way out of the track parking lot. At this time, the most baffling mystery that still plagues the authorities, is just how the bandit managed to successfully get away from the track with the bulky duffel bag containing the money. A painstaking search of the track grounds is being conducted on the theory that the money may still be hidden there. And now we take you back to our regularly scheduled program.

The camera has followed George from Randy, to Maurice, to Mike.

MIKE: No one saw the duffel bag come out of the window.

323 Duffel bag flying out of the window and landing on the ground by the police car where Randy picks it up. (1:11:15)

324 MCU Mike. (1:11:20)

RANDY (off screen): Nah, that part of it worked okay. Landed right at my feet. (The camera now on Mike.) I reported my radio out of order before I went out to the track. But the captain ain't buying it. He's convinced I was holed up somewhere drunk. And if the captain's convinced, there ain't nobody that can unconvince him. Besides, no one's gonna think anything of seeing a cop at the racetrack. I mean, they won't get any funny ideas about it and tie it in with the robbery. Anyway, if they do, it won't cut any ice. Captain knows I was drunk, and he ain't a man you can argue with. So, I guess I'll just have to break down, admit it...

325 MCU Mike. (1:12:00)

RANDY (off screen): ...and take my punishment.

MIKE: Yeah. That would be terrible, wouldn't it, Randy? A 30 day suspension.

326 MCU George (who has been pacing, his body passsing as a shadow continually between the camera and scene. (1:12:06)

GEORGE: It's 7:15.

327 MLS Randy beyond George's right. (1:12:09)

RANDY: Don't worry. He'll get here. He had to pick up the dough at the motel where I dropped it. There was a funny little guy name of Joe Piano there. He runs the place, I guees. Sure hope Johnny knows how to pick...

328 MCU George. (1:12:20)

RANDY (off screen): ...his friends.

GEORGE: I need another drink. Why ain't he here? Everything else runs on a timetable till it comes to paying us our shares. Then the timetable breaks down. He's supposed to be here at 7:00.

George goes to the kitchen.

329 Randy, Mike and Marvin viewed from the front room. (1:12:37) A buzzer sounds.

MARVIN (rising): I think I hear the elevator.

MIKE (rising): That'll be Johnny.


The three men go into the front room.

330 MS The three men going to the door, Marvin opening it. Guns drawn, Val and Tiny burst through. (1:12:49)

VAL: All right, everybody up.

MARVIN: What is this?

VAL: It'll be a massacre if you don't keep those mitts up. Now, where's Johnny? What time's he due?

331 Val and Tiny from the side. Tiny frisks the others. (1:12:56)

VAL (off screen): Look, I been sitting on that car since 4:00 listening to that radio and I heard some pretty interesting things. Grandpa, tell me what time's Johnny getting here?

Tiny takes Randy's gun and goes back to stand next to Val.

332 MLS Randy, Mike and Marvin. (1:13:04)

RANDY: Somebody gave you a bum steer, buddy.

333 MS Val and Tiny. (1:13:07)

VAL (to Tiny): Look around.

Tiny walks offscreen right.

VAL: Can't believe you were tipped, huh? Well, if I had a certain little lady here--hey, where's the jerk? Where's George?

334 MS George emerging from the 2nd middle room next the kitchen, gun drawn. (1:13:15)

GEORGE: The jerk's right here.

As he fires a shot.

335 MS Val being struck by a bullet, his gun going off. (1:13:16)

He drops his gun and falls as George fires three more shots.

336 MS George. (1:13:19)

He fires two more shots.

337 MLS Val grabbing a lamp stand as he falls to the ground. (1:13:21)

338 MCU George, bullet-ridden. (1:13:22)

339 The bodies of Marvin, Mike and Randy from George's POV. (1:13:25)

He looks at Tiny's body, then Val's. He reaches to open the door.

Shot 321

Shot 322

Shot 323

Shot 324

Shot 325

Shot 326

Shot 327

Shot 328

Shot 329

Shot 330

Shot 331

Shot 332

Shot 333

Shot 334

Shot 335

Shot 336

Shot 337

Shot 338

Shot 339

Return to the top of the page


Is George responsible for the massacre, having leaked information to his Sherry? Or is Johnny responsible for the outcome, for not knowing how to choose his "friends", and not abandoning the enterprise when Sherry was found eavesdropping?

That's quite a spray of bullets that takes out nearly everyone at once, except for George who will live long enough to return home and kill Sherry. This is not how it happens in the book.

Before and After the Shooting

Before the shooting, Randy, Mike and Maurice are lined up before the interior window between the first and second rooms in the apartment.

The Killing

The shooting manages to blast all three of these large men through that window. I mean, it looks like it picks these guys up and catapults them over

The Killing

What these two images bring back for me are the before and after of the three targets. We first view them backed by farmland as Nikki fires on them. They are facing the audience and Nikki and Johnny.

The Killing

Then Kubrick flips the targets so we are are still facing them but they are now facing away from Nikki and Johnny.

The Killing

These are the targets that in close-up clearly gave the impression of Kubrick wanting us to see 504/405, 504 being the address of Marvin's place.

The Killing

Just as in Pagliacci and The Tempest we have a confusion of real life and illusory (the staged), it seems to me that we have an example of moving from imaginary to "real life" with this. At Nikki's he is shooting at targets (labeled 504/405). This advances out of the imaginary into "real life" (for our characters) at Marvin's (504 address) when they are all shot.

In the Kabbalah there are esoteric parallels, but to keep things simple I'll go with Wikipedia's hermetic description of "as above, so below".

The actual text of that maxim, as translated by Dennis W. Hauck from The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, is: "That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing."[38] Thus, whatever happens on any level of reality (physical, emotional, or mental) also happens on every other level.

This principle, however, is more often used in the sense of the microcosm and the macrocosm. The microcosm is oneself, and the macrocosm is the universe. The macrocosm is as the microcosm and vice versa; within each lies the other, and through understanding one (usually the microcosm) a man may understand the other. Source

This is illustrated at Wikipedia with the Tarot card of The Magician in which the individual has one arm pointing up, the other pointing down, and the infinity symbol above the head. The section on the macrocosm and microcosm gives as an illustration, two images of Tycho Brahe's intended to depict the relationship. In one, a man seated with head to the left and feet to the right, is looking down. This is, "By looking down, I see up." The other image is of a flipped version of this, a man seated with head to the right and feet to the left, looking up. "By looking up, I see down." Kubrick's works are filled with these flips/reversals/mirrorings, but he also pays attention to the idea of "between". In The Shining this is most easily viewed in the world maze viewed by the giant Jack looking down on Danny and Wendy at its center, in the between area, around this the world maze extending eternally, one side the mirror over the other. In 2001 the monolith becomes the "between" into which Dave enters, such as at the end of the film.

Return to the top of the page


340 Johnny pulling up to the motel. (1:13:48)

NARRATOR: Forty minutes before, at 6:25, Johnny reached the motel. Dut to heavy traffic around the track, he was 15 minutes behind schedule.

341 Johnny approaches a cabin door, key out. ( 1:13:58)

MAN FROM WITHIN: Yeah? Who is it?

JOHNNY (realizing he has the wrong door): Oh, it's uh, it's just a mistake. I'm sorry.

He goes to the next cabin.

342 Johnny entering the cabin, from inside. (1:14:12)

He puts on the jacket he'd left hanging there earlier, grabs the duffel that's on the bed, and the guitar case, and leaves. Crossfade to 343.

Shot 340

Shot 341

Shot 342

Return to the top of the page


I've already discussed in the other sections on this motel the changes made to screen doors (present or not).

The Killing

I have also discussed elsewhere possible allusions here are to the theme of eavesdropping, as well as the significance of Ariel.

I will write more on this in the next note.

Return to the top of the page


343 View from inside Johnny's car as he pulls up before the apartment building. (1:14:31)

NARRATOR: Johnny arrived at the meeting place at 7:29, still 15 minutes late.

The camera pans right as bullet-ridden George stumbles out the door. He blindly falls against the hood of Johnny's car.

The Killing

He continues on to his car.

NARRATOR: It had been prearranged and agreed to by all that in the event of an emergency before the split, the money was to be saved by whoever had possession of it at that time, without any consideration of the fate of the others, the money to be divided in safety at a later date. After what he had seen, and not knowing the cause or the circumstances of the others, Johnny had no choice but to save himself and the money.

George pulls away and continues to his car which is parked across the Street. Johnny continues straight down the hill as police car 223, siren wailing, pulls up.

Return to the top of the page


Sudden Fear?

504 W. 2nd Street, where this was filmed, was the site of the Mission Apartments on Bunker Hill and Bunker Hill was practically crawling with film noire crews. Two movies I've seen identified as having shots filmed at these apartments were Shockproof as well as Joan Crawford's 1952 Sudden Fear, which starred Jack Palance as her double-crossing, murderous, scheming husband, and Gloria Grahame as the husband's girlfriend.

The site Reelsf has a very informative blog post on Sudden Fear that shows where Palance strikes Gloria with his car, in front of the apartments and what that area looks like today (so sad, it's unrecognizable). The below image is borrowed from Reelsf.

Both Reelsf and a page on Jim Dawson's Los Angeles's Bunker Hill give 504 W 2nd as the location. And both have other great photos.

Anyway, why does Palance run over Gloria Grahame in front of the Mission Apartments? A case of mistaken identity. He's out to kill Joan, his wife. I've not seen the movie, but Joan is wearing a dark coat and a white scarf. Palance is chasing her in car and on foot around this area of town. Palance gets back in his car and believes he sees Joan walking in front of the Mission apartment building. He runs her down and then crashes his car just across the block. Only he hasn't run down Joan at all. The woman in the dark coat and white scarf was instead Gloria! Case of mistaken identity. Murderous, scheming husband has run down his murderous, scheming girlfriend. Joan walks away alive.

With The Man Between, we have more mistaken identity with Susanne (Ivo's love interest) being confused with Bettina (Ivo's first wife), kidnapped and taken to West Berlin when Bettina was the intended target. It seems an easy solution would be for Susanne, the sister of a military officer, to simply be released, but instead it's determined that if she can't be used efficaciously then perhaps it is best to make her just disappear for good.

I have covered under the section on the cabin motel in section three the connection of of the error motif to Fear and Desire and The Tempest, but it was curious to me that the mistake had been expressed at the cabin motel as Johnny's confusing one door with another. This plays into Kubrick's doublings, and will also have to do with chess and HAL's error.

The confusion between the two doors may remind of The Shining, when Danny tries the door of room 237, which is a locked double door, and doesn't notice the door that has opened across the hall.

The two cabins and their doors are alike enough, but there are differences, such as the eave that extends out over the door that's tried in error. There's the problem of the screen doors--this cabin did have a screen door but it then disappeared, and Johnny's cabin appears to have a screen door but it is treated like a regular door as Johnny is always shown using his key on it.

Kubrick duplicates this case of mistaken doors in Eyes Wide Shut when Bill returns to Domino's and, once inside her apartment building, hesitates between the two doors, not recollecting at first which door belongs to her apartment. This means the mistake, as expressed with the doors in The Killing, was important enough to again use, if in a different way. In The Killing, Johnny attempts to open the wrong door and is yelled at. Bill instead unintentionally eavesdrops, hearing children in apartment 2, and thus knows that isn't Domino's apartment and doesn't knock on the wrong door.

There has been a confusion of doublings throughout Eyes Wide Shut. For instance, in a previous scene, Bill had called the home of Marian who had declared her love for him. Carl, who is effectively his double, had answered the phone. The identity of the woman who rescues him at the party in the countryside is eventually given as Mandy, but the audience often questions whether or not this was Mandy, and whether or not it was Domino.

In this scene in The Killing, was Kubrick referencing the confusion of identities in Sudden Fear when George blindly stumbles against Johnny's car? I think it's very possible. Immediately prior this, at the motel, there is the mistake of the confusion of doors, Johnny accidentally going to the one out of which we'd originally seen a man and woman exit. Wrong key because it's the wrong door. Now he goes to the apartment building. He may not hit George with the car, but George, exiting the apartment building, walks right into and briefly collapses on its hood, then continues on, not having recognized it was Johnny's car he'd bumped into. This, to me, seems to be an allusion to Jack Palance ramming into Gloria near this spot, who he has mistaken for Joan. Also to be taken into consideration is that Marvin, Mike and Randy had so readily opened the door of the apartment through a matter of mistaken identity, believing that Johnny was at the door, and then instead finding Val and Tiny.

In the book? In the book, when Johnny is on his way to Marvin's he ends in being preceded by a police car that stops before the building. That is why he doesn't stop. He drives on, knowing that something has happened. He doesn't even notice George--he sees a figure staggering up a sidewalk but barely glances at him.

So, at 6:25 Johnny accidentally goes to the wrong door at the motel. Then at 7:15, at Marvin's, Johnny is anticipated, he should be opening the door there, but instead it is Val and Tiny. Johnny was 15 minutes behind schedule at the motel. He arrives at Marvin's 15 minutes after the shooting. Had Johnny been on schedule, he would be there in time to meet Val and Tiny, and who knows what would have happened.

The Timeline

The timeline errors continue. Johnny is given as 15 minutes late, arriving at Marvin's at 7:29. As he was supposed to arrive at 7:00, he is instead 29 minutes late.

We are never told why Johnny was late but to me it seems likely to stem from Johnny being in two places at once at 7:00 a.m. Though this may sound odd, let's imagine that if we make a rectification based on Johnny's being late here, we might have Johnny at the airport instead at about 7:29 a.m.

Return to the top of the page


344 Pawn shop (address 831, MA. 8431). (1:15:13)

NARRATOR: Ten minutes later he bought the largest suitcase he could find.

The Killing

345 RR crossing in the country. (1:15:29)

Johnny pulls across a road and down a dirt road behind some bushes.

346 LS Johnny amongst some garbage, transferring the money from the duffel to the suitcase. (1:15:37)

He stuffs the money down in the flimsy, old case.

347 MCU Johnny ripping the keys from the string tied to the handle. (1:16:03)

He tries locking the case.

348 MCU Johnny. (1:16:08)

349 MCU Johnny trying to lock the case with the keys. (1:16:11)

Both keys fail to work with either lock.

350 MCU Johnny. (1:16:16)

351 MCU Johnny trying to lock the case with the keys. (1:16:17)

352 MCU Johnny. (1:16:24)

He tosses the keys in the bushes.

Shot 345

Shot 346

Shot 347

Shot 348

Shot 349

Shot 350

Shot 351

Shot 352

Return to the top of the page

Saturday 7:39, Pawn Shop to RR: Things to Note

Pawn Shop Luggage and the Missed Chess Move, in a post on the 1961 movie The Exiles (exceptional film on American Indians living in the city), identifies Eddie's loans as being on 3rd Street in Bunker Hill, so in real life this was shot only a few short blocks from the Mission Hill apartments. Beaudry at the also identifies this as 831 W 3rd Street for, the Lux Theater two doors down having been formerly the Rex Theater as identified by

With all that cash, what does Johnny do but purchase a derelict of a suitcase to hold two million dollars.

Oh, Johnny, Johnny.

I have this idea that the choice of a "pawn" shop may play into Kubrick's chess interests. If we return to the chess club Maurice is advising, "Oh, you patsan. You missed a move. Knight to knight five, pawn takes knight, rook takes rook, queen to rook four, check. King to bishop." But then again it may not. By the way, etymologically the two words are not related.

At first glance, the Gayety burlesque poster on the front of the movie theater might remind of Marvin, gay, in love with Johnny, being told to go to the movies. Maybe that is there, but there is more.

Lenny Bruce at the Gayety or Gaiety? The Relationship with Killer's Kiss

Was the Lenny Bruce/Burlesque poster already there or did Kubrick plaster it up? Lenny is given as being at a Gayety Club in Hollywood. Thus far I've been unable to find anything on a Gayety Club in Hollywood. Thus far I find there were Gayety clubs in Miami and Baltimore. Instead, I find that his mother for a time ran Duffy's Gaiety on Cahuenga "near Santa Monica Boulevard" and that he was on the bill there with his wife, Honey, from the onset of 1955 to June 1956. The Killing, having been released in 1956 is in the right time frame. Lenny is also given as having been entertainment director there. But Gaiety is not Gayety. Terry Southern, with whom Kubrick would later work on Dr. Strangelove was friends with Lenny Bruce, and I've read that Kubrick worked with Bruce for a while on a screenplay concept. Was he already aware of him at this time, before Bruce's troubles that rocketed him to fame?

Continuing with doubles, what may be happening here is something we've already seen Kubrick do in Day of the Fight. In that film, the boxer twins were doubles. Kubrick seems to also express inexact doubling in other ways. The Bonafield production (with the intro) opened with a marquee that showed TONITE BOXING, then the 2nd shot was of a man approaching a ticket window above which was BOXING TONIGHT. With these 2 opening shots we have already doubles that are slightly different. Different phrasing.

Cahuenga and Santa Monica are right in Hollywood so it seems this must have been Duffy's Gaiety, and yet we have the Gayety poster. What's going on? There may have been a Gayety in Hollywood that I've not come across, but I wonder if Kubrick isn't doing a doubling with this poster that refers back to Killer's Kiss. In that film, we have two places that represent Pleasure Land, the dance hall where Gloria works. Exterior paintings for the Parisian Dance Hall were used in the film for the Pleasure Land. But the sidewalk street-facing shots for the Pleasure Land were done in front of the Victoria Theater at 1547 Broadway, which was where The Man Between was playing. The Victoria opened as the Gaiety Theater and was such until 1942, renamed the Victoria in 1943. You can probably see where I'm going with this, that Kubrick is pulling in The Man Between and the Pleasure Land in through the doubled Gaiety/Gayety, but there's something more. The poster shows the Gayety as being in Hollywood. The Parisian Dance Hall was at 1568 Broadway and Kubrick went through pains to make an association with a Hollywood Barber Shop that was once located to it at 1570 Broadway. By the time of Killer's Kiss, the barber shop seems to have relocated to another address with a street number of 867, but Kubrick took an image of it from that address and incorporated it into the Times Square area near the Parisian. With this Gayety Hollywood burlesque and comedy poster, Kubrick refers us back to all this, importing it into this film..Though I think the important thing is The Man Between, burlesque comes from a word meaning to mock, to joke, and became a grotesque ridicule. In front of the Pleasure Land is where Davey was confronted with two Shriners who behaved as clowns, stealing his scarf and actually saving his life by leading him on a chase. Here we have Johnny who is, in a sense, still trapped in the clown mask he'd earlier worn, it has become his face, and he's acting out a comic tragedy now with his purchasing luggage that won't work. And he from now on keeps making big, bad mistakes.

The Keys at the RR Crossing/The Production Code and the Play Within a Play

The key had failed Johnny at the motel because he was at the wrong door. Mistaken identity. This time, the first key fails in the first lock of the suitcase, and the second and first keys fail in the second lock. In Killer's Kiss Kubrick had pointedly displayed two keys, as if doubles, when Davey packed up and out of his apartment, only to go across to Gloria's and find she wasn't waiting for him, she was gone (she had been kidnaped).

The next shot will be of Sherry packing two very nice bags on her bed, just the kind of bags that would have come in handy for Johnny. Though she packs them, she won't get to use them.

In later films, Kubrick uses railroads to signify repeating events, deja vu.

Back at the chess club, Maurice had warned Johnny, " have to be like everyone else. The perfect mediocrity...I often thought that the gangster and the artist are the same in the eyes of the masses. They're admired and hero-worshipped, but there is always present underlying wish to see them destroyed at the peak of their glory..."

The Production Code ensures, from the film's outset, that Johnny will not win, which is why he gets handed the bad luggage, accepts it without testing it, uses it when it is proved to be defective, and doesn't give up on the flying to Boston idea. At this point, Johnny's still flying under the radar, there's no reason for the police to connect anything at all with him. At the airport, he could have just left when things went wrong, purchased a car and made his way to Mexico. But he can't win. The production code won't let him.

The production code read:

I. No picture should lower the moral standards of those who see it. This is done:

(a) When evil is made to appear attractive, and good is made to appear unattractive. (b) When the sympathy of the audience is thrown on the side of crime, wrong-doing, evil, sin. The same thing is true of a film that would throw sympathy against goodness, honor, innocence, purity, honesty.

Note: Sympathy with a person who sins, is not the same as sympathy with the sin or crime of which he is guilty. We may feel sorry for the plight of the murderer or even understand the circumstances which led him to his crime; we may not feel sympathy with the wrong which he has done.


In accordance with the general principles laid down:

1) No plot or theme should definitely side with evil and against good.
2) Comedies and farces should not make fun of good, innocence, morality or justice.
3) No plot should be constructed as to leave the question of right or wrong in doubt or fogged.
4) No plot should by its treatment throw the sympathy of the audience with sin, crime, wrong-doing or evil.
5) No plot should present evil alluringly.

Serious Film Drama

I. As stated in the general principles, sin and evil enter into the story of human beings, and hence in themselves are dramatic material.

II. In the use of this material, it must be distinguished between sin which by its very nature repels, and sin which by its very nature attracts.
(a) In the first class comes murder, most theft, most legal crimes, lying, hypocrisy, cruelty, etc.
(b) In the second class come sex sins, sins and crimes of apparent heroism, such as banditry, daring thefts, leadership in evil, organized crime, revenge, etc.

A) The first class needs little care in handling, as sins and crimes of this class naturally are unattractive. The audience instinctively condemns and is repelled. Hence the one objective must be to avoid the hardening of the audiences, especially of those who are young and impressionable, to the thought and the fact of crime. People can be accustomed even to murder, cruelty, brutality and repellent crimes. Source

Johnny had to fail. Crime could not pay. Most everyone, you know, was in that theater rooting for Johnny. They were rooting for Mike to get the money to maybe make Ruthie well. They were rooting for Marvin. They had been rooting for the ordinary men who had a little bit of larceny in their hearts. Now that the others were dead, and no one left to tell tales (you know Maurice would tell no tales) what was there standing in Johnny's way of winning except for the production code? The story has given the audience nothing to really not like about Johnny. He has killed no one. He's taken money from the race track, yes, but a lot of people were going to be looking at the race track as being shadier than Johnny in all the gambling money it pulled in. Especially if they were gamblers; that was their money he had in that bag, the money they had never won, the money from all their losses, and they wanted him to make it. They wanted him to beat the system.

But he can't. Johnny's character is fundamentally flawed in his unwillingness to accept what Maurice has told him and understand that he has no way of beating the fate that has already been doled out him by the Production Code. He's limited by it in the same way that Davey's manager, in Killer's Kiss was unable to escape the alley into the theatrical audience that he could hear through the wall, and pounded and pounded on it for attention, to be rescued from his film death, but to no avail.

And I think, when we go back and take a look at the story of Pagliacci, of the play within the play, the action that becomes real and breaks off the stage into the audience...I think that is what we are dealing here with the story of Johnny that has been defeated by the real world production code.

Lenny Bruce would be dead in 10 years, hounded to destruction for stepping out of the bounds of obscenity laws, though in reality it was the context in which those few obscene words were set, what he had to say that won him fierce reprobation.

In ten years, the fictional character of Johnny was going to be sitting in prison because he would be there for life.

The Horse Shoe/Omega

The horse shoe shape makes another appearance in this scene, in the trash in the background. Refer to the end of the third section for more on the horseshoe.

The Killing


The number seven has appeared multiple times in the film, and of course we have the seventh race. The three most interesting sevens to me are below.

The Killing

When Randy exits the diner we see the 7 Up sign reversed. Scarcely noticed. Reads as coincidental.

The Killing

When Johnny exits Jeffrey's Luggage we see the ZONE sign on the ground (loading zone) but it is framed so we see the Z as a 7. Scarcely noticed. Reads as coincidental.

The Killing

When Johnny exits the pawn shop we see the 7 Up sign on the diner next to it. Scarcely noticed. Reads as coincidental. What edges it away from the coincidental for me is all three of these scenes have to do with the baggage for carrying the loot. Randy, exiting the diner before the robbery, was the bag man who would carry the duffel to the motel. Then we see Johnny purchasing the brief case that will hold the duffel. Then on the other side of the robbery, Johnny hastily purchases a defective case.

Another point of unity is that we could even possibly read the ZONE sigh as a 7U, linking the two 7 Up signs, and ultimately connecting to the lucky horse shoe that wasn't so lucky after all.

Seven is a strong mystical number in Judaism, as in other religious/spiritual systems, but the reason for its significance is interpreted in various ways so I would be hesitant to consider the how/why of Kubrick's use. Wikipedia succinctly states seven is, "...the general symbol for all association with God; the favorite religious number of Judaism, typifying the covenant of holiness and sanctification, and also all that was holy and sanctifying in purpose." A 1906 Jewish encyclopedia reads, "Seven: The most sacred number. The origin of its sacredness is found by some in its factors three and four; by others, in its correspondence to the number of the planets; while others assert that it arose from a sacred six by the addition of one. In Judaism its sacredness was enhanced by the institution of the Sabbath. The number occurs in the seven days of Creation, the institution of the seventh year of release, the forty-nine years between the jubilees, the seven altars, the seven lamps, the sprinkling of the blood seven times, etc." Satisfaction and oaths are linguistically associated with the Hebrew seven.

That Big Bad Case

In the novel, Johnny purchases two perfectly good cases and fills them with the money. But in the novel Johnny is killed before getting to the check-in counter at the airport.

Return to the top of the page


353 MLS from behind of Sherry packing. (1:16:27)

A door opens and closes. Footsteps.

SHERRY: I'm back here, Val, darling. How'd it go, dear?

354 MS George lurches into the doorway. (1:16:35)

355 MLS Sherry. (1:16:40)

PARROT: Watch out there! Watch out!

SHERRY: What happened?

356 MCU George. (1:16:42)

GEORGE: Sherry, why? Why did you do it?

357 MLS Sherry. (1:16:47)

SHERRY: Do? Do what, dearest? I don't know what you're talking about. I was just getting some clothes ready to go to the cleaners. you had to be stupid. You couldn't even play it smart with a gun pointed at you. Well, you better get smart fast and get outta here while you can still walk.

358 MCU George. (1:17:05)

But your friend, Val? Is that his name?

359 MLS Sherry. (1:17:10)

SHERRY: Yes, and you'd better get out of here before he gets here.

360 MCU George. (1:17:13)

GEORGE: I'm sick, Sherry. Call an ambulance.

361 MLS Sherry. (1:17:19)

SHERRY: The door's behind you. Take a cab.

362 MCU George. (1:17:13)

GEORGE: I love you, Sherry.

363 MLS Sherry. (1:17:29)

SHERRY: George, you better go on and go! You look terrible!

364 MCU George. (1:17:32)

George shoots Sherry once.

365 MLS Sherry. (1:17:35)

SHERRY (clutching her side): It isn't fair. I never had anybody but you. Not a real husband. Not even a man. Just a bad joke without a punch line.

366 MCU George. (1:17:37)

As he topples over...

367 MCU George on the floor. (1:18:01)

PARROT: Ain't fair. Ain't fair.

The camera pans over to show the parrot.

Shot 353

Shot 354

Shot 355

Shot 356

Shot 357

Shot 358

Shot 359

Shot 360

Shot 361

Shot 362

Shot 363

Shot 364

Shot 365

Shot 366

Shot 367

Shot 367a

Return to the top of the page

Not Fair! Things to Note

Major Departure from Book/The Caged Bird

In the novel, George doesn't kill Sherry. Sherry is instead tortured (possibly also raped) by Val and his buddies in their seeking information on the heist. Last we know of her, she's unconscious but alive and being dropped off prior Val going to Marvin's. George instead heads out to the airport and kills Johnny as soon as Johnny arrives and reunites with Fay. In his shot-up delirium, George also seems to believe that it's Sherry who is with Johnny rather than Fay, but he doesn't kill her. Fay is left lying on the ground sobbing.

In the film, George fulfills his Pagliacci parallel and murders his wife.

Pagliacci is a Pierrot. When Sherry showed up at Marvin's, Randy exclaimed, "Say, now, what in the name of Pete would a babe be doing outside that door?" Pierrot is Peter in French. Parrot comes from perrot, again diminutive of the male given name Pierre or Peter.

We have the bars of the parrot's (pierrot's) cage shadowing George's face in his death showing he too is in a form of cage. Columbine/Nedda, in the opera, wishing to escape her husband with her lover, at one point reflects on the freedom of the birds. She is caged.

The caged bird idea is also in Lolita, which I discuss in this post. Nabakov, like Kubrick, has many hidden references in his works. In the novel, Humbert wrote the following poem to Lolita.

Where are you hiding, Dolores Haze?
Why are you hiding, darling?
(I talk in a daze, I walk in a maze
I cannot get out, said the starling)

What this was referencing was Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey in which an individual, while considering what life would be like in the Bastile, hears a bird.

"I can't get out–I can't get out," said the starling.

But when the person opens the cage's door to release the bird, it doesn't fly out, trapped by habit or fear.

Lolita is caged. But so also is Humbert caged by his illness (which becomes criminal when he acts on it). Throughout Lolita we have the same barred shadows/light as we have in The Killing, but the caged bird metaphor that is in the novel isn't used by Kubrick, only brought in through the setting of Dover, as I describe in my Lolita analysis. And even that is well hidden. Kubrick had already utilized the metaphor of a caged bird in The Killing, with the parrot, and chose not to do it again explicitly.

Kubrick appears to have referenced George having been shot in the opening of Lolita, when Quilty is killed by Humbert.


The wounds of all at Marvin's place are almost all as grotesque as George's, but George's facial wounds are in the extreme and are not the typical disfigurement one saw from woundings/murder in this era of cinema. George's wounds had impact, they were ugly, and they weren't viewed for only a couple of seconds. We have instead a whole scene of George barely hanging onto life, his drive for revenge and an answer as to "why" keeping him on his feet long enough for him to return home and kill Sherry. I think even today George's wounds remain astonishing. Sherry's death, on the other hand, has a theatrical, unreal feeling to it, punctuated as it is with her quip about George being a bad joke without a punch line. When she says, "Just a bad joke without a punch line," it may be taken she's referring to her situation in life, and perhaps she is, but this immediately follows after her saying she'd never had a real husband, not even a man. "Just a bad joke without a punch line." The statement seems to be in specific about him.

Humbert is also very close too being a Pagliacci figure. If we stripped out of the story his being a pedophile, if Lolita was not a child, then he would be a little more recognizable as such, a man in love with a whose freedom is deprived of her by his jealousy. He strives to present himself as dignified but is also a comic and absurd figure, a grotesque figure, and knows this. Feeling betrayed by the woman who's fled him, he gives pursuit, and he's not entirely confidant whether he will kill her or not. As it turns out, Humbert doesn't kill Lolita. He attempts to talk Lolita into leaving with him, believing she is herself caged by her new marriage and relative impoverishment. When she refuses to leave, he gives her the money that is due her, that is rightfully hers, which she didn't know existed. Depending on the viewer, one either feels sorry for him in his grief, or recognizes that he is only giving Lolita what actually belongs to her. Lolita, in fact, will never escape the cage constructed for her by her mother, society, and Humbert. The damage is done.

Return to the top of the page


368 United Plane arriving at airport. (1:18:07)

369 Exterior of airport. (1:18:14)

Crossfade to Fay inside the airport.

370 MCU Fay. (1:18:17)

A cabbie notices her and stares at her.

ANNOUNCER: American Airlines announces the arrival of Flight 808, DC-7 service from Chicago. American Airlines announces the arrival of Flight 808 DC-7 service from Chicago.

Fay rushes to meet Johnny as he comes through the doors. Outside, she hugs him. They enter the airport.

371 Airport security watching (1:18:40)

372 MS Fay and Johnny. (1:18:42)

They walk past security.

373 MLS Woman with dog at counter. (1:18:49)

WOMAN WITH DOG: Sebastian and I are so excited. We haven't seen Daddy Sweetums for such a long, long time. Will the nice man let us wait outside so we can look at the airplanes?

CLERK: Well, certainly you can stand outside on the boarding ramp. We'll be announcing the arrival of your husband's flight very shortly.

WOMAN WITH DOG: He's a sweetums man, isn't him? Let's hurry up real fast and see Daddy come off the airplane.

As she walks off, Johnny and Fay approach.

JOHNNY (handing over his bag): Good evening.

CLERK: Good evening.

JOHNNY: Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Preston, 9:00 o'clock flight for Boston.

CLERK: We'll be announcing the on-time departure of this flight very shortly, sir. Do you have any other baggage?

JOHNNY: No, it was already checked through this morning. Oh, say, I wanna carry that bag with me on the plane, please.

CLERK: I'm asorry, sir, it's much too large. This'll have to go checked through at Baggage.

JOHNNY: Oh, now, uh, let's, uh, let's be a little reasonable, huh? You can't tell me that the two of us traveling together are not entitled to one piece of luggage between us?

CLERK: Sir, we have no objection to one small bag or even two small bags.

JOHNNY: But we don't have anything else. It's already been checked through.

CLERK: I see. Even though it's getting very close to flight time I think we can locate the rest of your luggage. You could transfer some of the contents in this one to a smaller one.

JOHNNY: No, I'm sorry. That won't work at all. Now, look, ush, let me talk to your supervisor, huh?

CLERK: All right, I'll be very happy to call him. Mr. Grimes! Mr. Grimes, could you come down this way, please?

MR. GRIMES: What is it, sir? What can we do for you?

JOHNNY: Good evening. My wife and I are going through to Boston. The rest of our luggage has already been checked through, and I want to take this bag with me in the cabin, please.

CLERK: I'm afraid it exceeds the maximum cabin size for flight requirements, sir.

MR. GRIMES: Yes, it does look quite a bit too large for the passenger compartment.

374 MCU Fay. (1:20:22)

MR. GRIMES (off screen): Sir, those are our flight regulations which are designed for your comfort and safety.

JOHNNY: Well, I can't make the trip without it.

375 MLS Fay and Johnny at check-in. (1:20:28)

MR. GRIMES: You, uh, really can't, hmm? Well, in that case, I think we can, uh, how about it, Brown? I know it's past cancellation time, but under the circumstances I thnk we might stretch a point, don't you? We'll give you a full rebate on your ticket, sir.

MR. GRIMES: Well, sir, I don't know what else to suggest. It's very close to flight time. There are other passengers waiting.

CLERK: Perhaps the gentleman is worried about the contents of the bag, is that it? We'd be very happy to insure it.

MR. GRIMES: More than happy. We'd be delighted.


MR. GRIMES: If you could just give me its estimated value and tell me what's in it.

JOHNNY: No, there's nothing in it. I mean, just personal items, things like that. All right, all right, check it through.

376 Johnny leads Fay, who stares in concern at the bag, away from the counter. (1:21:03)

ANNOUNCER: Passengers may now board...

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, sir. I'm sure you'll find the service to your complete satisfaction.

ANNOUNCER: ...American Airlines Flight 40, the New Englander DC-7 service to Boston at Gate 8.

The clerk, Brown, places the bag on the conveyor belt. It has a round sticker on its side that reads something like Flamingo Notes.

377 Plane and baggage carrier. (1:21:14)

The camera pans over to show the woman and her poodle then Johnny and Fay. He gives her a reassuring hug.

378 MS Woman and Sebastian barking. (1:21:40)

WOMAN: No, no, Sebastian. Mustn't frighten pretty airplanes. We go for trip on nice airplane someday.

379 MCU Fay. (1:21:48)

380 Plane. (1:21:49)

381 Propeller. (1:21:54)

The propeller reverses.

382 MCU Johnny. (1:21:57)

383 Baggage carrier. (1:22:02)

384 The poodle leaps down to the ground and runs onto the tarmac. (1:22:05)

WOMAN: Sebastian, come back here!

385 The poodle running. (1:22:09)

386 The baggage carrier swerves to avoid the dog. (1:22:09)

387 LS The baggage cart. (1:22:11)

As Johnny's bag begins to fall off the top, before it even hits the ground it opens and money flies everywhere.

388 MCU Fay. (1:22:14)

389 MCU Johnny. (1:22:17)

390 LS The money. (1:22:18)

391 MS Fay and Johnny. (1:22:34)

She leads him away.

392 MLS The woman catching up her dog who comes running back to her. (1:22:19)

WOMAN: Come on. Come, darling. Come to Mama. Naughty boy.

393 LS Fay ushers Johnny back into the airport. (1:22:46)

They pass the check-in desk.

MR. GRIMES: Mr. Preston, we'll be announcing boarding...

The phone rings and he answers.

MR. GRIMES: Grimes speaking. What? Oh, well, you're not serious. Right out on the runway? Yes, sir, right away.

394 Airport security. (1:23:08)

Pan from them to Fay leading Johnny out.

ANNOUNCER: Will passenger Preston please report to the American Airlines ticket counter. Will passenger Preston please report to the American Airlines ticket counter.

Outside, Fay waves for taxi 7015 which drives off.

395 MS Fay waves for a taxi. (1:23:26)

FAY: Taxi!

396 Taxi 7002 drives past. (1:23:27)

397 MS Fay and Johnny from rear. (1:23:31)

She waves again for another taxi which passes them by. She turns toward the camera.

FAY: Johnny, look.

398 Mr. Grimes running to talk to sercurity. (1:23:43)

399 MS Johnny and Fay. (1:23:50)

FAY: Johnny, you've got to run.

JOHNNY: Yeah. What's the difference.

400 Airport security exiting toward Johnny and Fay with guns drawn. (1:23:56)

Shot 368

Shot 369

Shot 370

Shot 371

Shot 372

Shot 373

Shot 374

Shot 375

Shot 376

Shot 377

Shot 378

Shot 379

Shot 380

Shot 381

Shot 382

Shot 383

Shot 384

Shot 385

Shot 386

Shot 387

Shot 388

Shot 389

Shot 390

Shot 391

Shot 392

Shot 393

Shot 394

Shot 395

Shot 396

Shot 397

Shot 398

Shot 399

400 Airport security exiting toward Johnny and Fay with guns drawn. (1:23:56)

The Killing

Return to the top of the page


How Different From the Book?

So, so different from the book. In the novel, after George leaves Marvin's, he takes a taxi to the airport because he recollects seeing a LaGuardia ticket fall from Johnny's pocket. Johnny is also on his way to the airport. Fay is waiting at the airport. At the same time that she sees Johnny entering and runs to him, she also sees George (barely conscious), who she doesn't know. George is about dead and believes he sees Sherry with Johnny. That case of mistaken identity takes Johnny down. Enraged that they are running off together, George shoots Johnny dead. But he probably would have killed Johnny anyway. When the novel ends, no one yet knows who Johnny is or what he has in his bags. He is dead and Fay is sobbing.

If Johnny's death had been kept as it was in the novel, that would have satisfied the production code, but Kubrick dramatically altered the ending, having George kill Sherry (very Pagliacci of him), and brings in the buffoonery of the large suitcase and the annoying little dog denying Johnny glory. It's a combination of human error and fate. The human error is Johnny's purchasing the obviously dilapidated and too large suitcase and not leaving the airport with it when it proved too problematic. Fate was the keys not working, and the dog intervening at the last moment.

The Woman and Her Dog

The woman speaks to the dog in terms of endearment appropriate for a child, and takes the dog out to the gate so it can see "daddy's" plane. This dynamic returns us to George's story of the couple who called each other momma and pappa. Indeed he was eavesdropping on them when he heard the conversation, sitting behind them. He had thought this nice, sweet. Sherry's response is all scorn. "And the climax to this exciting story? The moral? The punch line...?"

The Killing

Kubrick's woman and dog takes us back to a story he shot for LOOK magazine all way back in 1948. On the left above we see the picture for LOOK. The woman is unidentified at the digital NYPL collection, the caption being, "Art by Celebrities Sponsored by the Urban League [Woman holding a dog at the art auction." (From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York.) On the right is is a cropped screenshot from Kubrick's The Killing (1956) of the woman whose small dog escapes her arms at the airport and botches everything for Johnny Clay and his girlfriend. She is identified in the credits as Cecil Elliott.

It looks to me like Cecil Elliott in The Killing is the same woman photographed with a small dog in 1948?

Curiously, there perhaps is another link to he Tempest which influenced Fear and Desire. The dog's name in The Killing is Sebastian. Johnny Clay's suitcase is filled with money and the dog escapes the woman's arms and runs out onto the airport tarmac so that the cart carrying Johnny's luggage has to swerve and his suitcase falls off and the money he had stolen spills out.

Here's Sebastian's last line in The Tempest.

Alonso (speaking to Trinculo and Stephan): Hence, and bestow your luggage where you found it.

Sebastian: Or stole it, rather.

What has happened is that two clownish characters of Trinculo, the king's fool, and Stephano, the king's drunk butler, have entered with Caliban, and are wearing clothing that had been put out by Ariel, at Prospero's order, to distract them from their goal of killing Prospero at Caliban's urging. The idea is that if they killed Prospero they could be rulers of the island, but they are instead distracted by royalty's finery and satisfy themselves with putting it on rather than pursuing their goal, which Prospero knew would happen. Caliban had tried to warn them the clothing was a trick, but the two wouldn't listen. Then, when they were all duddied up, Ariel had them chased by illusory hounds from hell. At play's end, Caliban realizes his error in taking the two clowns for gods. "That a thrice-double ass was I, to take this drunkard for a god and worship this dull fool!" Alonso, the king, orders the two men to return the clothes (bestow your luggage) from whence they found them, Sebastian pointing out the goods had been stolen.

Another Kubrick photo from the same show is titled "Art by Celebrities Sponsored by the Urban League [Frank Sinatra's painting]." (Source: From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York.)

If it looks a lot like Johnny's clown mask, it should. It's Emmett Kelly's Weary Willie, a tramp style clown that would try to sweep up a spot light shining on a floor, and for all we know Kubrick might have been making a parallel with the sweepers in The Killing, even perhaps the sweeper in Killer's Kiss. Frank Sinatra does happen to have a connection with The Killing. Wikipedia states, "Harris purchased the rights to Lionel White's novel Clean Break for $10,000, beating United Artists, which was interested in the film as a vehicle for Frank Sinatra."

Isn't that something, that Kubrick would pull in that photo from 1948 of the woman and her dog? The Pomeranian with its poms becoming the poodle with its poms? Do those poms have anything to do with the woman with the poodle-like pom on her hat who disappears in frame 319?

Why does the dog leap out of the woman's arms? Is it chasing the flamingo on Johnny's luggage? Flamingo was the name of the production company. Flamingo in Spanish means flame colored, coming from the Greek word for flamingo that means red feathered. One begins to wonder if the red-feathered flamingo doesn't tie in with Red Lightning.

As for the air blowing away the money, I think we've perhaps another reference to the airy spirit of Ariel.

It's been pointed out to me that a 1950 film, Armed Car Robbery, ends with the thief lying dead on the airport tarmac, surrounded by his money. There are no good gangsters in that film. Purvis, who is on the sly having an affair with the wife of a Benny McBride, conscripts Benny, along with Mapes and Foster to pull off a Wrigley Field robbery of an armored car, but their precise planning is foiled by happenstance when a police car passes by, intervenes, a cop is killed and Benny is shot. The thieves get away but Purvis kills Benny when he tries to get medical help. The police eventually kill Foster. When they arrest Mapes at the Burly Q where Pruvis' girlfriend (Bennie's now widow) works, the police learn finally Purvis' identity. He and Yvonne have planned a get away at the Los Angeles airport. The final shots of the film show Yvonne crying in horror as Purvis is crushed by a plane. The bad guys lose and they really are bad so there's no sympathy for their loss, whereas Kubrick has built The Killing so we feel for several of the characters and their situations. Especially Mike and Ruthie.

Perhaps Richard Fleischer's film influenced the ending of The Killing, but I'm looking also at The Tempest and its guilt angle.

In The Tempest, Prospero, having been betrayed by his brother, Antonio, losing his dukedom to him, was then exiled by King Alonso. The king and everyone on his ship are, years later, swept up onto Prospero's island. Antonio convinces Sebastian that he should kill his brother, Alonso, and become king. It doesn't happen. The plot is foiled by Ariel. Prospero also has Ariel lay a feast at which everyone will recall past offenses against Prospero. Starving, Alonso is convinced to partake in it and he urges Sebastian to do the same. But when they approach the feast, Ariel claps the table with his wings, becoming a harpy, and the feast vanishes.

They vanish'd strangely.

No matter, since
They have left their viands behind; for we have stomachs.
Will't please you taste of what is here?

Not I.

Faith, sir, you need not fear. When we were boys,
Who would believe that there were mountaineers
Dew-lapp'd like bulls, whose throats had hanging at 'em
Wallets of flesh? or that there were such men
Whose heads stood in their breasts? which now we find
Each putter-out of five for one will bring us
Good warrant of.

I will stand to and feed,
Although my last: no matter, since I feel
The best is past. Brother, my lord the duke,
Stand to and do as we.

Thunder and lightning. Enter ARIEL, like a harpy; claps his wings upon the table; and, with a quaint device, the banquet vanishes

You are three men of sin, whom Destiny,
That hath to instrument this lower world
And what is in't, the never-surfeited sea
Hath caused to belch up you; and on this island
Where man doth not inhabit; you 'mongst men
Being most unfit to live. I have made you mad;
And even with such-like valour men hang and drown
Their proper selves.

ALONSO, SEBASTIAN & c. draw their swords

You fools! I and my fellows
Are ministers of Fate: the elements,
Of whom your swords are temper'd, may as well
Wound the loud winds, or with bemock'd-at stabs
Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish
One dowle that's in my plume: my fellow-ministers
Are like invulnerable. If you could hurt,
Your swords are now too massy for your strengths
And will not be uplifted. But remember--
For that's my business to you--that you three
From Milan did supplant good Prospero;
Exposed unto the sea, which hath requit it,
Him and his innocent child: for which foul deed
The powers, delaying, not forgetting, have
Incensed the seas and shores, yea, all the creatures,
Against your peace. Thee of thy son, Alonso,
They have bereft; and do pronounce by me:
Lingering perdition, worse than any death
Can be at once, shall step by step attend
You and your ways; whose wraths to guard you from--
Which here, in this most desolate isle, else falls
Upon your heads--is nothing but heart-sorrow
And a clear life ensuing.

He vanishes in thunder; then, to soft music enter the Shapes again, and dance, with mocks and mows, and carrying out the table

Bravely the figure of this harpy hast thou
Perform'd, my Ariel; a grace it had, devouring:
Of my instruction hast thou nothing bated
In what thou hadst to say: so, with good life
And observation strange, my meaner ministers
Their several kinds have done. My high charms work
And these mine enemies are all knit up
In their distractions; they now are in my power;
And in these fits I leave them, while I visit
Young Ferdinand, whom they suppose is drown'd,
And his and mine loved darling.

Exit above

I' the name of something holy, sir, why stand you
In this strange stare?

O, it is monstrous, monstrous:
Methought the billows spoke and told me of it;
The winds did sing it to me, and the thunder,
That deep and dreadful organ-pipe, pronounced
The name of Prosper: it did bass my trespass.
Therefore my son i' the ooze is bedded, and
I'll seek him deeper than e'er plummet sounded
And with him there lie mudded.


But one fiend at a time,
I'll fight their legions o'er.

I'll be thy second.


All three of them are desperate: their great guilt,
Like poison given to work a great time after,
Now 'gins to bite the spirits. I do beseech you
That are of suppler joints, follow them swiftly
And hinder them from what this ecstasy
May now provoke them to.

Follow, I pray you.


I do wonder if the wind stirred by the airplane, blasting away Johnny's feast (the wealth), is as Ariel's wings.

Which brings us to the matter of guilt. Johnny's guilt. Johnny's "strange stare". We are inclined to think that Johnny loses his will to live, to be free, because of this wealth, his great work, that has evaporated before his eyes. He doesn't even try to run. Fay urges him, fairly carrying him along, but he hasn't the desire, hasn't the strength. But could it be not because of that loss of money, but due guilt? Just as Alonso is consumed with guilt? As well Sebastian and Antonio? The next time we hear of them they are frozen absolutely in their despair, imprisoned by it. When Prospero inquires about them, Ariel tells him that they are...

Confined together In the same fashion as you gave in charge, Just as you left them; all prisoners, sir, In the line-grove which weather-fends your cell; They cannot budge till your release. The king, His brother and yours, abide all three distracted And the remainder mourning over them, Brimful of sorrow and dismay; but chiefly Him that you term'd, sir, 'The good old lord Gonzalo;' His tears run down his beard, like winter's drops From eaves of reeds. Your charm so strongly works 'em That if you now beheld them, your affections Would become tender.

Is this the prison that now holds Johnny. Guilt over every person he involved in the heist being possibly dead. Guilt over Marvin. Guilt over Mike. Guilt over Randy.

Probably not so much guilt over George.

Flight 465 or 40

At 7 in the morning, Johnny is told his flight is 465. But when we hear the announcement for it at 9 p.m. it is flight 40. It's worth noting the chess club was closed between 7 and 9 AM for cleaning.

The Dog in The Shining

The dog from The Killing eventually made it into The Shining. We see the dog at the airport referenced in one of the pictures in the Boulder apartment in The Shining refers back to The Killing.

It is Colville's portrait of the woman with the terrier in her arms, standing before the fence at the airport. One could take it as pointing forward to the airport scene with Dick arriving in Denver, but it also reminds of the woman with the poodle in The Killing and how the dog is the final agent/act of destiny/synchronicity that spoils Clay's plans. Just as Johnny's wealth blows away leaving an empty suitcase, in the scene of Dick at the airport, a man rummages through his cases looking for something that is apparently missing, officers standing nearby.

We may also see in this a reference to Wendy holding Danny after his strangulation, blaming Jack.

The only times we see the painting are in shots 51 and 54 when Wendy is talking on the phone with Jack and he's telling her he's gotten the job and she's going to love it. Then we go to Danny and Tony and the foreboding of evil.

An article on Colville's work refers to this painting and states:

"There’s Woman with Terrier, one of The Shining four, which Colville once jokingly described as “my Madonna and Child; of course in my world the child is a dog.” Colville had “a peculiar idea of dogs,” Hunter adds. “They are sentient but incapable of evil—they can see. People and dogs in his art represent distracted and hyperaware capacity for evil and innocence. The woman’s face, unsurprisingly, is hidden by the terrier."


Clay and his robbery aren't judged as "evil" in he Killing, but the dog could be viewed as functioning in The Killing as described above (it is certainly a child substitute), and we have a hint of that perhaps here, too, in The Shining with the dog appearing at this point, as Jack describes how Wendy will love the Overlook, and Danny instead is keyed in to the evil lurking there, Tony acting as medium.

Which is not to say that we don't have Sebastian from The Tempest also referred to in the dog. I think we do. Sebastian would be approaching the "feast" hungrily, just as the dog, a bird dog, may be pursuing the Flamingo on the case. Or it could be that Sebastian is instead frightened off by the Flamingo which has more to do with the Harpy. I have associated the blowing away of the money by the airplane with Ariel (powers of the air) in The Tempest, and in The Shining, as shall be seen below, we have a reference to air and the dog with the Pooch Air Fresheners. I think that, too, points back to The Killing and the dog as Sebastian descending upon the feast that is cleared away by Ariel.

Kubrick has one other dog in The Shining and it is, curiously enough, during the airport scene.

Under shot 413 in The Shining analysis I note:

Cut to Durkin viewed now from behind the counter. A cartoon plays on the television, a strongman green flea pestering a dog and making great leaps as he walks. From this view we see to the right and rear two open doors to rear rooms, a wall display for "hi tails" showing three kittens, and a NAPA poster with NAPA enclosed in a hexagon. A time clock is in the left room. As Durkin speaks and moves we then see a display for "Pooch Air Fresheners" hanging from the wall.

Note how very unalike the interiors of Durkin's and the airport are, and yet Kubrick has it so their structure in the film frame is much the same so that the eye stays in a similar space going between one set and the other. The black column to the left in the airport behind Dick is in the same place as the black strip running down the paneled wall to the electrical outlet left of Durkin. The open phone cubby at the airport is paired with another cubby to the right, and a similar effect is created at Durkin's with the pair of open doorways to Durkin's screen right. At the airport we have a sub-story to Dick's screen left of a person who is looking for something in their luggage, and at Durkin's we have the television to his left with its sub-story of the cartoon. The activity on the left, at the airport, of the man searching through blue bags, a red bag situated nearby, is balanced on the right of the frame at Durkin's with the activity concerning the blue and red and white box which will change position.

Why the strong man flea? In A Clockwork Orange Kubrick had inserted a body builder tending for Alexander, the author, who rather takes the place of his wife. Is there some correspondence? Or is the cartoon shown because of the presence of a bull dog in it (reference to the Minotaur)? In order to answer that I needed to find the cartoon and watch it, and after a long time searching I finally came across it.

The cartoon is 1958's To Itch His Own, featuring Mighty Angelo, the World's Strongest Flea. While taking an impromptu vacation from the flea circus, he takes up residence on a country dog that he ends up protecting from Butcher the bulldog.

A letter from the flea to the circus is actually briefly shown on the screen behind Durkin. It reads:

Dear Sam:
I've been working too hard so I'm going to take a rest on some nice quiet dog in the country.
Yours truly,
The Mighty Angelo
P.S. I'll fix the door when I get back. The M.A.

How very appropriate, considering Jack will soon be revealed as having typed over and over and over again "All work and no play make Jack a dull boy."

In the cartoon, the flea continually gets the innocent country dog in trouble while it defends it from the bulldog. The flea clocks the bulldog with a brick, takes his bone and a cushion the bulldog had stolen from the flea's host dog, and gives them to the host dog. The bully dog assumes the other dog had hit him and shows up ready to beat him up. Then the flea beats the bull dog with a mallet and the bull dog throws away his whiskey, thinking these poundings he's getting at the hand of an invisible agency must all be a hallucination. When the bull dog sets up the other dog to be picked up by the pound, the flea thwacks the guy from the pound with a board and then puts the board in the paws of the bulldog so it appears as though he had done it and the bulldog is carried off to the pound instead. The cartoon ends with the strong man flea settling down to watch television on the back of his innocent host dog, and we hear a voice from the television call for a dog named Glassie.

We have the same situation, too, with Jack at the Overlook. Is he responsible for his behavior or is it some invisible agency, such as the flea? The same could be said with Danny in that his invisible flea would be Tony who is the initial medium to him of information.

Who bears responsibility is a question repeated in Kubrick's films. Is Alex responsible for his behavior in A Clockwork Orange? Is his character a matter of fate? Is his killing of the cat woman (sphinx) a matter of fate? And then is his behavior only a matter of conditioning/brainwashing and does this make him more or less free?

Does the cartoon flea connect back with Danny wearing the 42 sweatshirt (reversed to be 24 in the mirror) and eventually The Chess and Checkers Club in The Killing that was based on the 42nd Street Chess and Checkers Club in NY? A place of logic and oracle, if one was able to see the board rightly? In The Killing it is at the chess club that we have (I believe) our first reversed image in the film, with our viewing Johnny entering it via a mirror. The Killing of course also has its own strong man, Maurice, who himself has a dual aspect as he is both physically powerful as well as the intellectual who plays chess and doles out bits of wisdom to Clay.

The strong man, Maurice, plays a role at the race track, staging a fake fight, one which is not his own idea. He acts in real life (in a movie). Again, appearances are deceiving and the motivating inspiration for the fight is not Maurice's. It is Clay's. Maurice is acting a part.

At the end of The Killing, the dog as child is certainly there, and the picture of the dog and woman in The Shining likely speaks to Wendy and Danny. A dog is not always a dog, as we know from the dog in Fear and Desire, which was named Proteus, after a shape-shifter, and able to come and go as it pleased between opposing sides. It was the dog of the General, but it also visited those who crashed behind enemy lines (another plane). Just as Proteus crossed boundaries, so did the dog escape the boundary that held everyone else back at the fence at the airport in The Killing, so does Danny, while Wendy is on the phone before the dog painting, cross a boundary with his vision in the bathroom mirror.

Another indication that Kubrick is referring back to the dog in The Killing is that the movie playing under the painting of the woman and the terrier is Carson City. As usual, with Kubrick, elements work on different levels. What is happening in the film has some synchronicities built in with Danny in the bathroom, but Carson is also a name that is in The Killing. After Johnny deposits the florist's box at the bus station, he goes to Mike's and drops a key for him in his mail box (shot 154). At 11:15 a.m., Mike picks up that key (shot 165) then goes to the bus station to get the box. What is the name to screen right of Mike's mail slot? Joe Carson. And what is the bus station but a Greyhound bus station. Again, we have a dog. In this instance Carson could be conceived of as a link between the dog painting in The Shining and the Greyhound bus station in The Killing.

Shots 51 and 54 in The Shining, in which we see the dog painting behind Wendy, frame not only Danny in the bathroom but also Jack at the Overlook telling Wendy how beautiful the place is, how much she and Danny are going to love it, and how he won't be home until 9 or 10. This corresponds with the Greyhound bus scenes being a frame for Mike's promise to Ruthie that they'll be rich soon, that they'll have a fine house, and then letting her know he won't be home until about 10. She asks him not to drink too much beer and Mike promises he won't be doing any drinking. When Jack tells Wendy he won't be home until 10, Kubrick is certainly thinking back to The Killing, and also with the problematic drinking. For what happens immediately after this in The Shining? After Danny's vision? It's then we learn that Jack is an alcoholic. We also have a discordance of dates on which he supposedly stopped drinking, just as now have a problematic timeline in The Killing. And opposite the painting of the dog? What is Wendy facing during the phone call? There is the painting of the horse running down the track headlong into the train. Again, we can imagine a reference to The Killing and Red Lightning.

Trains, in Kubrick, especially from A Clockwork Orange on, have always to do with deja vu, with incidents recycling. Do we have the beginning of that here? In A Clockwork Orange it was a comic book cover showing the story of a man photographing a horse and carriage stuck on a train track and his wondering how he was able to take a photo of something that had happened in the past. In Eyes Wide Shut it is the newspaper in which Bill reads about Mandy, it also have articles on a recent incidence of train violence that raise an element of deja vu due violence that took place on the train several years beforehand, and the plea was that the violence must stop.

Wrap-it-up Thoughts

I still have questions about this film, but my main take-away is that rather than Johnny becoming frozen, unwilling to run, because the fruit of his heist has escaped him, spraying all over the tarmac, he is instead frozen by guilt, which is clarified when we consider the connections to The Tempest. From the moment Sherry was found eavesdropping outside the door, to say that everything was going according to plan was a dereliction of the kind of good common sense Maurice is aware Johnny doesn't possess. The heist was doomed from the beginning, Johnny was ultimately at fault for not having called off what he so carefully put together, he knows it, and he's paralyzed by the tragedy.

August 2014 transferred to html. Approx 17,600 words or 36 single-spaced pages. A 135 minute read at 130 wpm.

Return to the top of the page

Go to Table of Contents of the analysis
Link to the main TOC page for all the analyses