Kansas City Confidential - Film Detective Restored
(John Payne, Coleen Gray, et al / DVD / NR / (1936) 2014 / The Film Detective)
Overview: In Kansas City Confidential, four robbers hold up an armored truck, getting away with over a million dollars in cash. Joe Rolfe (John Payne), a down-on-his-luck delivery driver who is accused of involvement in the heist, sets out to discover who set him up and to exact revenge. He follows a trail that leads him to a web of hired killers and corrupt police in Mexico.
DVD Verdict: In truth, 'Kansas City Confidential' is one of my favorite noir films and films of John Payne. It's one you can watch over and over again and still be entertained.
John Payne is a ex-con who drives a florist truck and one of his usual stops is a delivery next door to a bank. Three masked robbers use the same kind of truck to pull off an armored car heist and Payne is suspected of complicity. It don't help he's an ex-con.
This robbery has been organized a fourth man and the beauty of his scheme is that the robbers all wear masks with him and with each other so that no one can rat anyone out. They're supposed to meet in a small Mexican fishing village for the split.
Payne is freed, but the Kansas City cops are still suspicious. He gets a lead on a possible participant and tracks him down to Mexico. And that's where the fun really starts.
The suspense in 'Kansas City Confidential' is not about who did it. The three robbers are Neville Brand, Jack Elam, and Lee Van Cleef, three of the nastiest dudes in film history. The suspense lies whether Payne can put it all together. As he says to one of them, he's flying blind in this one. After all the men don't even know each other or Mr. Big. The viewer knows all, but I won't say more.
John Payne gives a riveting performance of a desperate man and one you don't leave holding the bag without consequences. This is one of the best noir films ever done, not to be missed.
And for those wondering, 'Kansas City Confidential' was indeed the source of inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s, 'Reservoir Dogs'! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1:33.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.