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The Killers (1946)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 11,228 users  
Reviews: 98 user | 67 critic

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

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Title: The Killers (1946)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
...
Sam Levene ...
Vince Barnett ...
Virginia Christine ...
Jack Lambert ...
Charles D. Brown ...
Packy Robinson - Ole's Manager
Donald MacBride ...
...
Al
...
Max
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

TENSE! TAUT! TERRFIFIC! told the untamed Hemingway way! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 November 1946 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Ernest Hemingway's The Killers  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In-joke: In the scene towards the end of the film where Edmond O'Brien arranges to meet Ava Gardner outside a nightclub, O'Brien stands on the street in front of the club, waiting for Gardner to drive up. On the wall behind him is a poster, beginning with "Sir Arthur Hilton presents..." Arthur Hilton, an Englishman, was the film's editor. See more »

Goofs

In the jail house scene, Charleston (Vince Barnett) tells The Swede (Burt Lancaster) of his love for the stars. As he looks out the window, he says that he says he sees Orion and a prominent star, Betelgeuse. He says that Orion is the "Great Bear" and that Betelgeuse is the "brightest star in the sky." Orion is actually The Hunter. Ursa Major (containing the Big Dipper) is the Great Bear. Betelgeuse, while quite bright, is actually the 9th brightest star. See more »

Quotes

'Swede' Andersen: Why did you ever go back to him, Kitty?
Kitty Collins: Maybe because I hate him. I'm poison, Swede, to myself and everybody around me! I'd be afraid to go with anyone I love for the harm I do to them! I don't care harming him!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Outfit (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

With Plenty of Money and You
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played on piano in Lou Tingle's cafe
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The swede story unravels in noir classic.
4 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

You can scan thru many publications and they will tell you that Robert Siodmark's adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's story The Killers is quintessential noir, and whilst I haven't seen enough of the perceived classics to make a sound judgement, I do understand why this one ranks so high.

Perfectly directed by Siodmark because it is washed with a moody ambiance that befits the script, the main players in the piece are bang on form to realise the mood and sombre tempo that makes the film a winner. The story basically revolves around Burt Lancaster's Swede Anderson who upon learning that hired killers are out to fulfil a contract on him, promptly stays horizontal on his bed and awaits his fate. We then follow Edmond O'Brien's insurance investigator Jim Reardon as (thru a series of flashbacks) he reconstructs Swede's life and what caused his demise.

The story encompasses one of film noir's most well known femme fatales in Ava Gardner's foxy Kitty Collins, and it's certainly the film's driving force as we observe her part in Swede's life, for better or worse as it were, but ultimately it's the classy framing of the film that marks it out as essential viewing. It's oppressive, it's almost stifling, and it's certainly story telling of the highest order, but mainly it just looks so fecking gorgeous you feel privileged to have been part of it. 9/10


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Use of the ''''n'''' word!!!! richsass
why did the Swede just wait to be killed? ilkerimin
The Hitmen!!! richsass
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