7.2/10
4,030
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 »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Set-Up (1949)
Crime | Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Because aging boxer Bill Thompson always lost his past fights, his corrupt manager, without telling Thompson, takes bribes from a betting gangster, to ensure Thompson's pre-arranged dive-loss in the next match.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, George Tobias
Bodyguard (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After being fired for insubordination, homicide detective Mike Carter is hired as bodyguard by the owner of a local meat-packing plant where a meat inspector has been murdered.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Lawrence Tierney, Priscilla Lane, Phillip Reed
Crime Wave (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Reformed parolee Steve Lacey is caught in the middle when a wounded former cellmate seeks him out for shelter.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Gene Nelson, Sterling Hayden, Phyllis Kirk
Desperate (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young married couple flee both police and a gangster out for revenge.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Steve Brodie, Audrey Long, Raymond Burr
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A lawyer who is planning to run for District Attorney accidentally kills a gangster who owns the nightclub where the attorney's girlfriend is a singer. Although he manages to cover up his ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Tom Conway, Martha O'Driscoll, June Clayworth
Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Insurance detective Steve Hastings is sent by his company to investigate the disappearance of a fellow agent. His first lead is the agent's fetching sister, Victoria, whom he trails to ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: William Lundigan, Jacqueline White, Ricardo Cortez
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An aspiring reporter is the key witness at the murder trial of a young man accused of cutting a café owner's throat and is soon accused of a similar crime himself.

Director: Boris Ingster
Stars: Peter Lorre, John McGuire, Margaret Tallichet
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Why is Inspector Ed Cornell trying to railroad Frankie Christopher for the murder of model Vicky Lynn?

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Betty Grable, Victor Mature, Carole Landis
Decoy (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A mortally wounded female gangster recounts how she and her gang revived an executed killer from the gas chamber, to try and find out where he buried a fortune in cash.

Director: Jack Bernhard
Stars: Jean Gillie, Edward Norris, Robert Armstrong
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A woman planning to testify against the mob must be protected against their assassins on the train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor, Jacqueline White
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An embittered, vengeful POW stalks his former commanding officer who betrayed his men's planned escape attempt from a Nazi prison camp.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Van Heflin, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh
Edit

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)
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The French film maker Jean-Pierre Melville was influenced by the movie; he borrowed the lost isolated house settings, at night, the same kind of settings you have in his movie : Le Doulos. See more »

Goofs

Mrs. Kraft spits on Helen's back. Helen turns around and wipes it off her front. See more »

Quotes

Georgia: Well, I'll tell you this much. You won't get another nickel as long as I live. And when I die, you still won't. I'll see to that first thing in the morning.
See more »


Soundtracks

I Haven't a Thing to Wear
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Revel
Tune on the radio when Helen discovers the bodies
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Pushin' the Extreme
31 May 2016 | by radiobirdmaSee all my reviews

Odd things are happening in this picture, and at the Hays Office obviously all were sound asleep: A stinking rich Miss Supersweet is marrying a brick-faced lowlife hunk who preferably shares his bed with an old buddy from jail, while the millionaire girl's foster sister gets soaking wet when it comes to gory murder. Here, in 1947, RKO finally delves headlong into the abyss of Krafft-Ebings Psychopathia sexualis, and though the fatal-attraction plot may not be entirely plausible, Robert Wise's direction is taut and trim, the timing pure excellence, while angel-faced and downright ravishing Claire Trevor – marvelously dressed in one stunning ensemble after another by costume designer Edward Stevenson (Out of the Past) – gives the probably best performance of her career opposed to Lawrence Tierney, the Most Vicious Mutha ever to roam Hollywood Boulevard. Despite its icy brutality a melodrama at heart, Born to Kill moves along the slickest ground amour fou terrain has to offer, chock-full of malevolence, aggression, sexual deviance and a stranglehold feel of utter depravity. The NYT called Wise's first noir "not only morally disgusting, but an offense to a normal intellect" back then. So much about the high art of pushing the envelope.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 78 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed