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Kansas City Confidential (The Secret Four)

Kansas City Confidential (The Secret Four) (1952)


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Release Date: Nov 11, 1952 Wide



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 701

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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

Jun 4, 2002

United Artists

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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (2) | DVD (9)

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

March 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Snobbery
Film Snobbery

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

February 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

Great heist tale, with good visual style.

August 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

Falls into that rarefied early-'50s cycle of noir, which benefited from B directors who had learned how to quickly dispense with the genre conventions and deliver brutal action and lurid innuendos.

July 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

It's a decent film, but its payoff just isn't up to the level of its buildup.

May 16, 2006 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Phil Karlson's rote heist-revenge flick aims to be stone cold, but can't seem to get any frost to grow around its warm, mushy heart.

May 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

An amazing little film.

September 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

An action-packed film noir directed by Phil Karlson.

September 4, 2001 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Kansas City Confidential (The Secret Four)

Decent "B" caper flick w/ some noir touches.
September 7, 2008

Super Reviewer

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.
September 19, 2010
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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.
June 19, 2010
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Kansas City Confidential is more of a heist movie as opposed to a film noir flick. And a pretty decent one at that. The title's pretty misleading as most of the action takes place in Mexico. The action and most of what innovation this movie has takes place mostly in the first act but it ends pretty well. A good supporting cast includes the ever-shifty Lee Van Cleef and the crazy eyed Jack Elam. My biggest gripe is that this movie didn't entirely hold my attention throughout but I was pretty surprised as I was expecting a 50s version of CSI. So it's got that going for it. Which is nice...
November 8, 2008

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Kansas City Confidential (1952) (DE)
  • Kansas City Confidential (1952) (UK)
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