All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. 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…
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…
It's been a long time since I've seen this, but I just bought the Criterion Blu-Ray with both versions of The Killers, so it won't be so long before I see it again. I'd forgotten how it ended, so it was a treat to savor this movie again.
I was really impressed with the camera placements and movements of director Robert Siodmak this time.
Jeff Corey, who played Blinky Franklin looked somewhat like John Turturro to me.
"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…
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…
That's what the Swede does when he's not trying to break up Julie Taylor and Matt Saracen
This film is worth it just because of Ava Gardner's beauty. The film's lighting was adjusted based on the luminosity of her skin. AND it was her breakthrough role, and it's hard not to see why. Plot is thin on the ground, but Ava gives a great performance and always looks amazing.
A rather humdrum caper noir plot that solves its overly complex riddle one flashback at a time. The way it goes about it is unwieldy and jarring. I'd say it would've been better off with a conventional structure, but the opening sequence which mandates that style of narrative is the best part of the movie. Hemingway's name being attached to the script disappoints me. Maybe I'm just used to fancier conversationalists like Wilder and Chandler, but I found the banter lacking.
Pretty solid film noir. It opens with a couple of guys walking into a diner. They say they are there to kill the gas station attendant. Shortly after, they do. That's not a spoiler. That's how the movie begins. We spend the rest of the movie unraveling why these professional killers would want to kill a simple gas station clerk in a small town.
Entertaining flick. One I'd like to see again when I get a chance.
An investigator, a dead boxer, a double cross, and it all started with a dame...like every other time.
This is truly one of the great all-time noirs. It has my favourite character actor of the period (Edmond O'Brien), the debut of a fantastic American leading-man icon (Burt Lancaster) and one of the all-time finest femme fatales of noir in Ava Gardner. Great script based on the Ernest Hemingway story, craftily and tautly directed by Robert Siodmak. Unavoidable and essential for noir buffs or fans of the decade.
The 2008 winner of National Film Registry was nominated for four Oscars: Siodmak lost in Best Director to William Wyler for 'The Best Years of Our Lives'; Anthony Veiller lost in Best Writing--Screenplay to Robert E. Sherwood; Best Film Editing; and Miklos Rozsa lost in Best Score for a Drama or Comedy--all to that same film. Go for The Criterion Collection's release with BOTH this AND the 1964 version PLUS the truckload of supplements--YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Ernest Hemingway's short story about the man who doesn't try to escape his killers is acted out tensely and accurately, and, for once, the gangster-thriller material added to it is not just padding but is shrewdly conceived (by Anthony Veiller and the uncredited John Huston) to show why the man didn't care enough about life to run away. Under the expert direction of Robert Siodmak, Burt Lancaster gives his first screen performance (and is startlingly effective), and Siodmak also does wonders with Ava Gardner. With Charles McGraw and William Conrad in the opening sequence, and Edmond O'Brien, Albert Dekker, Sam Levene, Donald MacBride, Vince Barnett, and Jeff Corey. (A 1964 version starring Lee Marvin and directed by Don Siegel was intended to be a TV movie but was considered too brutal and was released in theatres instead; the cast includes Angie Dickinson, John Cassavetes, and Ronald Reagan, at the end of his movie career, as a tough crook.) Universal.
Film Noir #2 of my Marathon of Filmspotting Marathons.
From my perspective, which is that of a Noir Philistine*, The Killers looks and feels more like the idea I have of noir than anything I've seen so far. I don't exactly know what it is... actually I think I do, and it's Ava Gardner. Not only her of course, but her first scene is exactly what I picture when I think "femme fatale", and Burt Lancaster's reaction of stunned infatuation seems like the most natural thing in the world. I struggled a bit with Lancaster here (as Adam & Sam did), but ultimately I think he's excellent. Yeah he plays his character like a dummy…
Noirvember film #6
I have to profess to not paying the fullest attention to The Killers, having recently read Out of the Shadows: Expanding the Canon of Classic Film Noir (a good read, though many films inside were already considered part of the canon) which tackles both Siodmak and Siegel's versions of the film. Knowing the answers to the question that the film asks, it becomes more background noise than encapsulating. However, it is a pretty damn good movie and a first time watch, without the mystery spoiled, would be rewarding.
Based on a short story by Hemingway, The Killers is about the murder of a boxer. Two hitmen come to town to kill him and despite finding out about…
Noir-vember 2016: Day 6
A true-blue hard-boiled crime thriller if I've ever seen one. This may have started as a short story but everything about it benefits heavily from the cinematic format which may be why it is such a popular piece to adapt. Even at it's most tedious, there's enough intrigue and sense of mystery to keep it interesting. It's themes are timeless and the aloof way it tackles them, though typical of the film noir formula, end up being unexpectedly, but wonderfully sentimental in a subtle way.
UPDATED: October 21, 2016
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…