Kill and Be Killed is a very fun Argentinian noir-esque thriller starring Olga Zubarry (Dubarry in the credits) as, Elisa, a former jewel thief who has been released from a five-year stint in prison and, with the help of her mother, she procures a job working as a nurse for a retired prima donna opera singer; her mother happens to be the singer's caretaker. Just as Elisa is settling into her nursing duties, she meets and is smitten by, Fernando, the singer's debonair nephew.
We soon discover that Fernando is a womanizing, broke, leech who hangs around the estate just to receive hand-outs from his aunt. Elisa, who is ignorant of Fernanando's debauchery, falls in love with the slob and the two make plans on poisoning the aunt and running away to get married. Of course, Fernando has no intention of consummating the courtship, as he has his eyes on a young, beautiful cabaret singer.
I don't want to spoil anything for you but the film spins a wonderful web of suspicion and uncertainty involving a meddling doctor, the meddling doctor's son, a cold-blooded murder, a doubting detective, Hitchcockian train shenanigans and an ending to satisfy any noir fan.
The story and the acting are excellent but it is the cinematography by Manuel Berenguer that is the real star; his use of high-contrast lighting, fluid camera movements and complex framing add to the suspense and rivals anything coming out of France at the time.
I highly recommend this one.
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