This particular crime of the century takes place at the races. Johnny Clay, a quietly charismatic ex-con played by Sterling Hayden, assembles the usual crew of seasoned mobsters, queasy insiders, and crooked cops (although in 1956, before "Ocean's 11" and "The Sting," this premise was less automatic) in order to relieve Lansdowne Stakes of its millions. Johnny has it all timed down to the whinny. His elaborate plot unfolds with the help of stilted, "Dragnet"-style voice-over and Kubrick's much-more-expert camera. Meanwhile in a series of domestic scenes we learn about the pressures driving each conspirator, whether financial, erotic, or (generally) both. From one such scene, the unhappy home of a meek racetrack cashier named George Peatty (Elisha Cook Jr., also the hapless gunsel Wilmer in "The Maltese Falcon"), emerges the femme fatale, Sherry, played very well if almost with detached amusement by Marie Windsor. Sherry gets George talking. Scheming and trouble ensue. The gears can't help but slip—but the expected twists always feel more surprising than contrived.