Kansas City Confidential (The Secret Four) (1952) - Rotten Tomatoes

Kansas City Confidential (The Secret Four) (1952)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Kansas City Confidential (The Secret Four) Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Kansas City Confidential, Phil Karlson's low ( low ) budget, B-grade film noir, opens on a Kansas City armored-car robbery perpetrated by cynical, corrupt ex-policeman Timothy Foster (Preston S. Foster). Foster devises an outrageous scheme: he will recruit three of the most vicious and unrelenting criminals he can find (screen heavies Lee Van Cleef, Jack Elam and Neville Brand) to undertake a robbery, blackmailing them into the heist with incriminating evidence from other "jobs." As an eccentric and clever conceit, Foster forces each of the perpetrators to wear masks, thus concealing their identities from one another and preventing the old pitfall of the men squealing and backstabbing. The heist comes off without a scratch, but a complication arises when the ignorant cops pick up an unrelated fellow, Joe Rolfe (John Payne) for his ownership of a van similar to the one used in the caper. In time, Rolfe is cleared, but he grows irate over the accusations and sets off to find Foster and co. and teach them a lesson. He finally happens upon one of the perpetrators in Mexico, beats him nearly to death, and assumes the victim's identity - and that's when things really get complicated. Though produced under the Hays Code censorship regulations, Kansas City Confidential constituted one of the most brutal and violent crime pictures made up through that time; as such, it retains historical significance. It also claims a strong cult following.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Harry Essex, George Bruce, Rowland Brown, Harry J. Essex
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 4, 2002
Runtime:
United Artists - Official Site

Cast

John Payne
as Joe Rolfe
Coleen Gray
as Helen Foster
Preston S. Foster
as Timothy Foster
Lee Van Cleef
as Tony Romano
Dona Drake
as Teresa
Jack Elam
as Harris
Ted Ryan
as Morelli
Vivi Janiss
as Mr. Rogers
Helen Kleeb
as Mrs. Crane
Kay Wiley
as Woman
Harry Hines
as News Vendor
Al Hill
as Shooter
Sam Scar
as Player
Joey Ray
as Houseman
Paul Hogan
as Bouncer
Ric Roman
as Brother
Sam Pierce
as Workman
Edward Coch
as Airline Clerk
William Haade
as Detective Barney
Charles Cane
as Detective Mullins
Ray Bennett
as Prisoner
Joe Ray
as Houseman
Carleton Young
as Assistant District A...
Phil Tead
as Collins
Lee Phelps
as Jailer
Archie Twitchell
as Police Dispatcher
Don House
as Policeman
Jack Shea
as Policeman
Tom Dillon
as Policeman
Tom Greenway
as Policeman
Paul Fierro
as Paul Garcia
Charles Sherlock
as Stickman #1
Frank J. Scannell
as Stickman #4
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Kansas City Confidential (The Secret Four)

Critic Reviews for Kansas City Confidential (The Secret Four)

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A down and dirty picture with all the requisite blood, sweat and double-crosses. ... The biggest thrill is watching Jack Elam as the most nervous of the hoods.

Full Review… | January 30, 2016
Creative Loafing

If Kansas City Confidential was a meal, it would consist of a plate full of spice - but no meat.

Full Review… | March 29, 2011
Film Snobbery

Terse and tough, Kansas City Confidential is one of the great lean, mean B crime thrillers...

Full Review… | February 20, 2011
Parallax View

Audience Reviews for Kansas City Confidential (The Secret Four)

Decent "B" caper flick w/ some noir touches.

brooklynspo
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

½

Good but not great noir has a decent story and fine acting but could have been a little more tightly directed. Still if you're a fan of the genre this is an entry to watch.

jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

½

In spite of it's faults (campy dialog, boneheaded criminals, cheesy ending, etc.) Kansas City Confidential is still a keystone in the evolution of the classic heist film. Essential viewing for fans of the genre.

flixsterman
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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