All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. 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…
That's what the Swede does when he's not trying to break up Julie Taylor and Matt Saracen
"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…
"I'm poison, Swede, to myself and everybody around me!" ~ Kitty Collins
First published in Scribner's Magazine in 1927, Ernest Hemingway's "The Killers" soon became one of his most famous and frequently anthologized short stories. It has been widely translated, adapted for radio and television, and recorded by Stacey Keach as an audio book.
Director Robert Siodmak was the first to bring the story from print to a full-length movie. He took a film noir approach and cast an unknown 33-year-old actor named Burt Lancaster in the role of former prizefighter Ole "Swede" Anderson aka gas station attendant Peter Lunn. It goes without saying that this was Lancaster's big break, and he rode it to sky-high stardom thereafter.
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…
I don't usually get that interested in the Noir style crime thriller of the old days of cinema, but sometimes movies just grab your attention and make it worth delving back into the golden age. The Killers is one of those films.
As people have said on here, it is very reliant on flashbacks, to help piece together the story of one mans murder that sheds light on a larger more in depth mystery. Everything just seemed to work for me in this film except for the small part of the dialogue which is fine for the era, but it's still hard for me sometimes to think that people ever spoke like that. The first scene in the diner especially,…
An enjoyable film noir starring Burt Lancaster.
Magnificent old-times noir.
So, the film is considered one of the classic film noirs, even being placed in the National Film Registry. However, it never feels like a noir and the mood never settles into something compelling. The main culprit is a Citizen Kane-like structure that is heavy on flashback. This doesn't fit with the pulpy subject matter. I really like some of the performances (Lancaster and Gardner in paricular) and the opening scene is masterful. But the result is still an overrated film without a lot of intrigue.
Great opening scene. So much tension.
Not a bad film, but pretty thoroughly unremarkable. The first 15 minutes are the strongest, with an intriguing opening and compelling setup. From that point onward, the film falls into a pedestrian rhythm of present-day scenes full of exposition and flashbacks revealing information we've already inferred. It's all presented very well, and acted competently, but isn't compelling by any means.
That opening scene is my favorite thing about it. Not as cool as the remake but also not as memorable to stand on its own. Dig the way the heist scene is handled. Love Ava Gardner in this.
Wait. A boxer named "The Swede," in a screenplay based on a story by Ernest Hemingway; does this mean the movie's part of the same universe as The Sun Also Rises?
What a great movie. Really perfect script and fantastic direction and editing. I love that the main character playing detective is just an insurance man. I love the story-telling told through the flashbacks of several interesting characters.
At first I thought the performances of Lancaster and O'Brien weren't very strong, but Lancaster's made more sense once it became clear that he was supposed to be naive and simple-minded; and I really grew to like O'Brien by the end of the movie.
This is up there with "Out of the Past" and "Chinatown" in terms of best Noirs.
A great watch; riveting from the beginning. The very first sequence at Henry's Diner with the two killers is straight from Hemingway's short story. The film begins at the end for the Swede and then tells the story in flashbacks as an insurance agent works with a hunch that there is more to the story of the Swede than an unfortunate murder. The flashbacks are not told in a linear fashion and it works great to keep the attention of the viewer. As a washed out boxer, the Swede tries to stay relevant and falls hard for the dame that spells "trouble" from the beginning, Kitty. Ava Gardner plays one of the screen's best femme fatale. Classic film noir that…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…