All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
TENSE! TAUT! TERRIFIC! Told the untamed Hemingway way!
Two professional killers invade a small town and kill a gas station attendant, "the Swede," who's expecting them. Insurance investigator Reardon pursues the case against the orders of his boss, who considers it trivial. Weaving together threads of the Swede's life, Reardon uncovers a complex tale of treachery and crime, all linked with gorgeous, mysterious Kitty Collins.
Film #27 of Project 40
”Don't ask a dying man to lie his soul into Hell.”
Most noirs center around a mystery and it is the attempts of main characters to find the truth – or sometimes to desperately hide it – that defines the actions and reactions which will ultimately rearrange the film’s universe and rewrite the relationships between various individuals involved in the plot. Robert Siodmak’s The Killers - which is based on a short story by Ernest Hemingway – follows the same rule but here there is one big difference that makes this quite unique among other noirs of 40s. The film uses multiple flashbacks and by gathering little pieces of information/truth from various people it follows…
"If there's one thing in this world I hate, it's a double-crossing dame."
When two crooked looking men walk into a small town diner it spells only one thing, trouble. They are looking for "The Swede", Ole Andreson (Burt Lancaster) and aim to put him out of his misery. As film noir tends to look at the darker aspects of life it maybe no surprise that the man who leads the picture is killed right at the beginning, the two killers finding him not long after they depart the diner. It is a fine example of why film noir was so brilliant that it could give us the not so happy ending right at the beginning. It proves the movement…
Hadn't previously thought of Siodmak as much of a stylist beyond the basic noir conventions he helped establish, but this is nearly as formally dazzling as Kane (which it's clearly striving to emulate), albeit in a less flashy way. Wish I had a copy handy so I could revisit and describe some of the shots that knocked me on my ass—I can't quite recall, for example, whether it's camera movement or blocking (or both) that suddenly places Ava Gardner in the foreground of this moment as she begins to sing her number, upstaging an already tense interaction between Lancaster and his girl, but it demonstrates an understanding of cinematic space that makes widescreen seem like a grotesque affectation (and…
That's what the Swede does when he's not trying to break up Julie Taylor and Matt Saracen
Between them, Double Indemnity and The Killers made the world of insurance seem a hell of a lot more exciting than it probably is.
No offence meant to any insurance salespeople or investigators out there who regularly run across murder plots and beautiful femmes fatale, and I'm happy to stand corrected if I have shown my ignorance on this front. In the more likely event that I'm imagining the industry to be rather more mundane than the respective Billy Wilder and Robert Siodmak classics portray it as, it's fair to say that the strengths of these two perhaps lie to a fairly large extent in the fact that we don't end up following a rather predictable police or private detective…
This was probably the most expertly directed piece I watched today, and definitely one of the best written plots I think I can name. Unless I missed something, everything neatly falls together in this one in a way that lets you keep up while also being genuinely intrigued by what will happen next.
It opens with a tense scene in a diner, where two hired killers immediately take control and begin hunting their quarry. From there, it follows the unraveling, via flashback and dialogue, of a payroll robbery and its fall out that is neatly plotted but not convoluted, just complex enough to be interesting and not ridiculous. Everyone betrays everyone, and in the end, the... insurance company wins? Well,…
Second viewing. I didn't remember the first (late night watch in 2007). One of those brilliant noirs but kept getting distracted during my re-watch and gotta re-revisit it soon. Criterion Blu out this summer backed with Siegel's "remake" which I like a lot.
[English/ Spanish review]
The Killers is one of those masterful noirs where its cards are shuffled for a different game. There are no conventional heroes, nor one-piece villains; the story structure is quite non-liniar; treason, but also truth is chased by money’s sake, not for justice itself; the movie title refers to some secondary characters who couldn’t care less about motivations. And above all, The killers is a movie about a loser in the saddest meaning of the term. In this case, the word “Influential" would be an underestimation.
The Killers es uno de esas obras maestras del cine negro en el que las cartas se mezclan para un juego distinto. No hay héroes convencionales, tampoco villanos de una pieza;…
16 April 2015 ★★★☆☆
"If there's one thing I hate, it's a double crossing dame"
Possibly one of the finest Film Noir's I've seen made even greater by the presence of the incomparable Burt Lancaster in his first film role.
Very good Hollywood Noir excellently showcasing the pure beautiful masculinity of Burt Lancaster.
Citizen Kane, film noir style.
As top-billed performer (second only to Papa Hemingway in the title), hunky Burt Lancaster has maybe 20 minutes of actual screen time and mostly in flashback after the audience already knows his fate. I haven't seen any other Lancaster films, but I'm eager to do so mostly due to his gentle charisma. He doesn't seem to have all that much range, but it may be the chopped up structure of the film that just doesn't allow him to get a good foothold.
Storytelling through flashback is a difficult undertaking and this is not one of the better examples. The main drawback is that I already knew how it ends, at least for the character that I cared for, "the Swede"…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
UPDATED: April 16, 2015
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…