Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing is a film filled with pleasures, and one of the biggies is the twin supporting performances of Elisha Cook and Marie Windsor, as George and Sherry Peatty. This is a film couple like no other, and their combination of distain (her), and insecurity (him) starts the dominoes falling which will destroy the racetrack robbery caper that the film centers on.
Windsor’s Sherry is a bored housewife who seems to live in lingerie and has a stud on the side. She’s just biding time until she can blow the joint. George is another one of Cook’s nebbish types, who can’t really believe that this babe stays with him. They are marvelous in their screen time together, as she barely looks up from her magazine as he talks to her, and he is just chomping at the bit to tell her about his big score.
“Do you want me to call you Papa? Do you want to call me Mama?”
“It would make a difference, wouldn’t it? If I had money?”
Sherry twists him like a Gumby doll in this film, and sure enough, he ends up telling her more than he should.
“I’m gonna have money. Maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
“Of course you are, darling. Did you put the right address on the letter before you sent it to the North Pole?”
And George basically spills the whole thing to her.
George gets cold feet at one point, but watch how easily she guides him back on course.
“Think of how disappointed I’d be if you didn’t get that money, George! I’d feel like you didn’t really love me."
Uh-Huh. He buys it, however.