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.
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>
Author of the original short story Ernest Hemingway liked the film. Prior to its release, producer Mark Hellinger sent publicity man Al Horwits to Sun Valley, ID, to give Hemingway a private screening. Hemingway had a pint of gin in one pocket of his overcoat and a pint of water in the other so that he could sip from them if the film got bad. After the screening, Hemingway held up the full bottles, grinned and said, "Didn't need 'em". See more »
There were several errors involving the firearms used. When Burt robs his cohorts, the gun is obviously not real, probably rubber, because the barrel is pointed downward from the frame. If he were to shoot at someone's chest, the bullet would probably hit below the belt. When Edmond O'Brien is holding his pistol at the bad guy, he says it is a .45, but a trained eye can see that it is either a .32 or .380, most likely of Spanish origin. When Edmond asks Sam Levine if he has another .45 for him, Levine says yes, but the gun turns out to be a .38 revolver instead. See more »
What'll it be, gentlemen?
I don't know. Whatta you want to eat, Al?
I don't know what I want to eat.
I'll have the roast pork tenderloin with apple sauce and mashed potatoes.
That's not ready yet.
Then what's it on the card for?
Well, that's on the dinner. You can have that at six o'clock. That clock is ten minutes fast. The dinner isn't ready yet.
Never mind the clock. What have you got to eat?
Well, I can give you any kind of sandwiches: bacon and eggs, liver and bacon, ham and eggs, steak...
[...] See more »
Siodmak, Lancaster's first pairing is one of noir's central masterpieces
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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