Luke Thorne’s review published on Letterboxd:
Stanley Kubrick’s second film is a film-noir in which a man tells about the recent past using a long flashback. Starring Frank Silvera, Irene Kane and Jamie Smith.
Davey Gordon (Jamie Smith), a New York City boxer mature out of his occupation, meets dancer Gloria Price (Irene Kane), and they fall in love with each other. However, their potential relationship is intermittent by Gloria's troubled boss, Vincent Rapallo (Frank Silvera), who has eyes for his worker.
The two choose to miss out on town, but before they can, Vincent and his criminals take Gloria away, and Davey is left with no choice but to look for her amid the most filthy corners of the city, with his rival covering in the obscurities.
Jamie Smith gives a good performance in his role as Davey Gordon, the boxer whose upcoming relationship with Gloria is interrupted when she is abducted and he does everything he can in order to avoid the group as he knows they are after him as well. Smith suits his role well and makes the most of the time he has on the screen.
Elsewhere, there are respectable performances to be had from Frank Silvera and Irene Kane in their respective roles as Vincent and Gloria. Vincent is not a likeable character due to his violent temper, while Gloria is the woman who needs rescuing – and fast.
The direction from Kubrick is good because he allows the facial expressions to be seen to a strong effect throughout, while also keeping a tense atmosphere happening as well and the script is written to a decent standard by Howard Sackler as he makes the movie good to follow.
The technical aspect that stands out best is the camera, because this makes good use of the locations and also captures the tense moments well, which get the edge-of-the-seat status.
This movie may run for only 64 minutes, but there is a lot happening from beginning to end.
Overall, Killer’s Kiss is a respectable B-movie noir from Stanley Kubrick, thanks to the decent direction, script, performances and sometimes-tense atmosphere. A definite improvement over Fear and Desire.