Based upon the famous short story by Ernest Hemingway, this was the first film to star Burt Lancaster, here in the role of Swede, the ex-boxer who is stalked by professional killers. Though the original story gave no explanation for why the killers are after Swede, this film provides a credible and exciting back-story, told largely by means of flashback.
Featuring Ava Gardner, in a “career-defining” role as the femme fatale, The Killers has been accurately described by the London Radio Times as “one of the most powerful and influential thrillers ever made, with director Robert Siodmak’s bleak and pessimistic tone virtually defining the term film noir.” Featuring a cast of some of the finest character actors of its time – including Edmund O’Brian, Sam Levine, Charles McGraw, and William Conrad – this is a film worth watching again and again. (NOTE: If the musical themes by Miklos Rosza sound a wee bit familiar, that’s because they were used to great effect some years later on the TV series, Dragnet. You know – “dum de dum dum.”) (Bill Roth)
Directed by Robert Siodnak. US. 1946. NR. 103 min. Universal. 35mm.
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