2010 September 22 • Wednesday
In late 1954, Bruce left Strip City and found work within the San Fernando Valley at a variety of strip clubs. As the master of ceremonies, his job was to introduce the strippers while performing his own ever-evolving material. The clubs of the Valley provided the perfect environment for Bruce to create new routines: according to Bruce's primary biographer, Albert Goldman, it was "precisely at the moment when he sank to the bottom of the barrel and started working the places that were the lowest of the low" that he suddenly broke free of "all the restraints and inhibitions and disabilities that formerly had kept him just mediocre and began to blow with a spontaneous freedom and resourcefulness that resembled the style and inspiration of his new friends and admirers, the jazz musicians of the modernist school."
—Lenny Bruce Wikipedia entry.
But what does it have to do with The Killing, a bank heist movie photographed by Lucien Ballard and directed by Stanley Kubrick, who collaborated with Jim Thompson on the screenplay?
The Killing, released in June of 1956, was shot on location in the Los Angeles area while Lenny Bruce was working strip clubs there. No surprise, then, that this shot of Sterling Hayden getting into a car happens to capture a poster for one of Bruce's engagements, apparently at the Gayety Club.
Kubrick probably wanted the poster in the shot just for sleaze potential, to add to the already sordid atmosphere of the movie.