7.2/10
4,026
78 user 39 critic

Born to Kill (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 3 May 1947 (USA)
A calculating divorcée risks her chances at wealth and security with a man she doesn't love by getting involved with the hotheaded murderer romancing her foster sister.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Eve Greene (screenplay), Richard Macaulay (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Claire Trevor ... Helen
Lawrence Tierney ... Sam
Walter Slezak ... Arnett
Phillip Terry ... Fred
Audrey Long ... Georgia
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Marty
Isabel Jewell ... Laury Palmer
Esther Howard ... Mrs. Kraft
Kathryn Card ... Grace
Tony Barrett ... Danny
Grandon Rhodes ... Inspector Wilson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jason Robards Sr. ... Conductor (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

In Reno a man kills a girl he likes and her boyfriend out of jealousy; it may not be the first time. A woman whose divorce has just come through finds the bodies but decides not to become involved. The two meet next day on the train to San Francisco unaware of this link between them. They are attracted to each other, and the relationship survives his marriage to her half-sister for money and status. It even survives the woman discovering that he was the murderer, though she may not realise how easily someone who has killed this way before can do so again. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

RELENTLESS SUSPENSE! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 May 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Deadlier Than the Male See more »

Filming Locations:

Reno, Nevada, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Scott Brady, costar Tierney's brother. See more »

Goofs

They took a train from Reno Nv. to San Fransisco Ca. but the shot of the train coming at the camera head-on is a Pennsylvania RR streamlined K4 locomotive on their 4 track mainline in Pennsylvania. See more »

Quotes

Arnett: It's quite all right, Mrs. Brent. I am a man of integrity, but I'm always willing to listen to an interesting offer.
Helen: Well, I'm prepared to pay handsomely.
Arnett: Good. Obstructing the wheels of justice is a costly affair.
Helen: Five thousand dollars should do it.
Arnett: Fifteen thousand dollars should do it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
Arranged by Roy Webb
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Iceberg of Woman
2 September 2011 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In Reno, the cold-hearted Helen Brent (Claire Trevor) has just divorced from her husband and returns to the boarding house owned by Mrs. Kraft (Esther Howard) to pay her expenses and say goodbye to her and to Mrs. Kraft neighbor and best friend Laury Palmer (Isabel Jewell) since she intends to return to San Francisco early in the morning. Helen goes to a casino to celebrate her divorce and glances at the gambler Sam Wild (Lawrence Tierney) and Laury also goes to the casino with her boyfriend Danny Jaden (Tony Barrett). When Laury sees Sam, she sneaks with Danny since she had dated the gambler. Late night, Danny and Laury go to her house and Sam is waiting for them and kills the couple in the kitchen.

Meanwhile, Helen sees Laury's dog on the street and brings it to the house. When she sees the bodies in the kitchen, she does not report to the police and heads to the train station, where she meets Sam. They travel together and Sam lodges in the Terrace Hotel. When Sam visits Helen, he leans that she lives in the mansion of her foster sister, the millionaire Georgia Staples (Audrey Long) and is the fiancée of the wealthy Fred Grover (Phillip Terry). The gold-digger Sam seduces Georgia and sooner they get married, but the calculating Helen feels horny for Sam. Meanwhile Mrs. Kraft hires the smart and sleazy private eyes Matthew Albert Arnett (Walter Slezak) to investigate the murder of her friend Laury.

"Born to Kill" is a film-noir that tells the story of a cold, greedy and calculating woman that feels desire for a ruthless killer. Claire Trevor performs an ambitious woman that is an iceberg and plans to marry for money with a good man that controls her bad instincts and sees her world collapsing when she meets the amoral killer Sam Wild. Marty 'Mart' Waterman (Elisha Cook Jr.) has a strange friendship with Sam and the fact that they share a double bad in the low-budget hotel may give a hint that they have a homosexual relationship. Walter Slezak has also a great performance in the role of a sleazy character. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Nascido para Matar" ("Born to Kill")


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