The Killers

The Killers ★★★★★

The Swede. Kitty Collins. Blinky Franklin. Dum-Dum. Big Jim. The best noir names for the best noir. It's 1946. The Iron Curtain has gone up, and Americans are getting scared real quick like of "outsiders" & "invading forces." Robert Siodmak's opening features two unafraid & arrogant hitmen freely saunter through the night and the shadows into a small town American diner and openly state that they're here looking for someone. And they mean business. This scene parallels the time's sentiment in such a stark way and is one of noir's best and most defining moments. And to round out the rest of the film, the following 90 minutes are great t'boot. I adore this one. It'd been a while since I eyed it, but it remains a favorite.

"Why would a man welcome his fate with the passivity of a man already dead?" The excellent John Huston screenplay will tell us. Up there with Murder My Sweet as my favorite noir usage of flashbacks. But Siodmak does more than his part, too. Pay attention to a masterful tracking shot around the 58-minute mark. It's actually one whole flashback story told in one exhilarating shot. Burt... Ava... I love it.

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