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The Killers (1946)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 10,414 users  
Reviews: 92 user | 54 critic

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

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(screenplay), (from the story by), 2 more credits »
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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 ...
Lilly Harmon Lubinsky
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:

BOLD -- because it's told the untamed HEMINGWAY WAY! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 December 1946 (Australia)  »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Reardon: Good morning, Stella.
Stella: Good morning, dream boy.
See more »

Connections

Version of Buick-Electra Playhouse: The Killers (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

The More I Know of Love
(1946)
Music by Miklós Rózsa (as Miklos Rozsa)
Lyrics Jack Brooks
Performed by Ava Gardner (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Siodmak, Lancaster's first pairing is one of noir's central masterpieces
4 January 2002 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

The Killers marked Burt Lancaster's screen debut, establishing the stoic persona that would sustain his long and luminous career. Along with Criss Cross (also starring Lancaster), The Killers also records the high-water mark of Robert Siodmak's work in film noir.

Starting with a Hemingway short story (the retelling of which constitutes only the prologue to the film), The Killers endeavors to fill in the "back story" which Hemingway left to his readers' imaginations. That back story explains why the "Swede" (Lancaster) passively, almost eagerly, awaits the nasty pair of torpedoes (William Conrad, Charles McGraw) who have come to hunt him down. The germ of this recreation is Lancaster's small, solitary bequest -- to a chambermaid in an Atlantic City hotel where he had once stayed. Insurance investigator Edmond O'Brien catches the scent of something unusual and can't let it go. His investigations, helped by an old buddy of Lancaster's who is now a police lieutenant (Sam Levene), uncover a botched stint as a prizefighter; a smouldering yet duplicitous temptress (Ava Gardner), and a payroll heist that ended in an elaborate double cross.

Siodmak, having disposed of the end right at the outset, takes a circuitous route through his telling by using a fragmented series of flashbacks. Paradoxically -- much as the false starts and averted climaxes in a Bruckner symphony pay off handsomely in the end -- the story thus gains depth and momentum. Woody Bredell's dark and meticulous cinematography fulfills Siodmak's vision, resulting in one of the central masterpieces of the noir cycle.


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Use of the ''''n'''' word!!!! richsass
why did the Swede just wait to be killed? ilkerimin
The Hitmen!!! richsass
William Conrad looks like.... borodinrodin
Mistakes? foggybottom3
Fantastic ajiterady
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