A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
"If you don't have your own plan, you'll damn sure be a part of someone else's." That quote kicks off the first of multiple story lines, in the crime ensemble "Bubblegum & Broken Fingers." ... See full summary »
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. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The boxing match in the third flashback was filmed in a boxing arena for an audience of 2000 spectators. Burt Lancaster trained for two months with a boxing champion and played the part of the Swede with realism, against a real boxer, until his 2nd KD and TKO. See more »
The Police Officer silences his car's siren without ever moving his hands from the steering wheel, or even moving his hands at all. See more »
You got anything to drink?
I can give you soda, beer, ginger ale...
I said, 'You got anything to drink?'
This is a hot town. Whatta ya call it?
Did you ever hear of Brentwood?
[Max shakes his head, no]
Whatta ya do here nights?
They eat the dinner. They all come here and eat the big dinner.
[...] See more »
The Killers is an expansion of a short story by Ernest Hemingway. The first ten minutes of this film is pure Hemingway with two contract gunman occupying and terrorizing a greasy spoon diner. Two of the most malevolent character actors around, Charles McGraw and William Conrad are the hit men.
They're there to kill Burt Lancaster, known to the town as just a simple garage mechanic. Because he left a small insurance policy, his death was investigated by insurance cop Edmond O'Brien. Naturally Lancaster was no simple garage mechanic by any means. O'Brien comes up with Burt's real identity and the reason why a few people wanted him dead.
The Killers was a big break film for Burt Lancaster. He had only done one previous film and that was Desert Fury for Paramount studios which had signed him. Because Universal was looking for an unknown to play the victim, Lancaster's agent was able to land him the part. And because Desert Fury was held up, The Killers became his debut film and he was a star from his first film.
This was also a milestone film for Ava Gardner as well. After The Killers, Louis B. Mayer was most reluctant to lend her out any longer due to the notice that she got.
The plot of The Killers is very similar to that of Out of the Past with Lancaster in the luckless Robert Mitchum role. As for Ava Gardner in her portrayal, she's taking a couple of pages from the Mary Astor school of double crossing, two timing dames. At least Mary had Sam Spade's promise he'd wait for her.
The Killers is a must for Burt Lancaster fans who want to see the film that launched his career.
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