The Killers (1964)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  7 July 1964 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 4,436 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 51 critic

Surprised that their contract victim didn't try to run away from them, two professional hit men try to find out who hired them and why.


(as Donald Siegel)


(story), (screenplay)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 11 Dec 2010
a list of 35 titles
created 04 Feb 2012
a list of 26 titles
created 12 Feb 2012
a list of 41 titles
created 12 Mar 2012
a list of 30 titles
created 28 May 2014

Related Items

Search for "The Killers" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Killers (1964)

The Killers (1964) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Killers.

User Polls

Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Killers (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
Point Blank (1967)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After being double-crossed and left for dead, a mysterious man named Walker single-mindedly tries to retrieve the rather inconsequential sum of money that was stolen from him.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A man, his wife, and their friend, stage a bloody bank robbery, unaware they are stealing money from the Mob.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Walter Matthau, Joe Don Baker, Felicia Farr
Madigan (1968)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Policemen Bonaro and Madigan lose their guns to fugitive Barney Benesch. As compensation, the two NYC detectives are given a weekend to bring Benesch to justice. While Bonaro and Madigan ... See full summary »

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Inger Stevens
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Producer Walter Wanger, who had just been released from a prison term after shooting a man he believed was having an affair with his wife, wanted to make a film about the appalling ... See full summary »

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Neville Brand, Emile Meyer, Frank Faylen
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During World War II, an American pilot and a marooned Japanese navy captain are deserted on a small uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. There, they must cease their hostility and cooperate if they want to survive, but will they?

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Lee Marvin, Toshirô Mifune
Prime Cut (1972)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Chicago mob enforcer is sent to Kansas City to settle a debt with a cattle rancher who not only grinds his enemies into sausage, but sells women as sex slaves.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman, Sissy Spacek
Attack (1956)
Drama | War | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1945, an American Infantry company sets up an artillery observation post but tensions between captain Cooney and lieutenant Costa run high.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Jack Palance, Lee Marvin, Eddie Albert
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 1933, during the Depression, Shack the brutal conductor of the number 19 train has a personal vendetta against the best train hopping hobo tramp in the Northwest, A No. 1.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Keith Carradine
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Three men case a small town very carefully, with plans to rob the bank on the upcoming Saturday, which turns violent and deadly.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Victor Mature, Richard Egan, Stephen McNally
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When John North, a budding author, pulls the communication cord of a late night train that is taking him away on a weekend with his publishers wife, he sets in motion a series of events ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Birt
Stars: Valerie Hobson, Richard Todd, Christine Norden
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the bordertown of San Pablo, preparing for an annual 'Mexican Fiesta,' arrives Gagin: tough, mysterious and laconic. His mission: to find the equally mysterious Frank Hugo, evidently for... See full summary »

Director: Robert Montgomery
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Thomas Gomez, Wanda Hendrix


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sheila Farr
Johnny North
Earl Sylvester
Mickey Farmer
Virginia Christine ...
Miss Watson
Don Haggerty ...
Mail Truck Driver
Robert Phillips ...
George Fleming
Kathleen O'Malley ...
Miss Leslie - the receptionist
Ted Jacques ...
Gym Assistant
Irvin Mosley Jr. ...
Mail Truck Guard (as Irvin Mosley)
Jimmy Joyce ...
Davis Roberts ...
Maître D'


A remake of The Killers (1946) which itself was inspired by the Ernest Hemingway short story. Told instead from the hitmen's point of view, the killers decide to find out why their latest victim (a race car driver) "just stood there and took it" when they came to shoot him. They also figure on collecting more money. Ronald Reagan plays a rich, double-crossing financier. Lovely Angie Dickinson plays the femme fatale. Written by Mark Logan <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There is more than one way to kill a man! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 July 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ernest Hemingway's The Killers  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


President John F. Kennedy was assassinated during filming, which caused a delay in the production. See more »


Silencers don't work on most revolvers. See more »


Charlie Strom: Lady, I don't have the time.
See more »


Referenced in American Hardcore (2006) See more »


Too Little Time
Music by Henry Mancini
Lyrics by Don Raye
Sung by Nancy Wilson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Siegel takes Siodmak into fast, brutal post-Camelot era
30 June 2002 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Under the title Ernest Hemingway's The Killers, Don Siegel's 1964 movie shows no more fidelity to the short story from which it takes its name and a fraction of its plot than Robert Siodmak's 1946 masterpiece, The Killers. And though it borrowed from the earlier movie its flashback structure (substantially simplified) and much of the backstory written for it, it's not quite a remake, either: the changes strike too deep.

A pair of contract hit-men track down a victim who seems ready, almost eager, to die. The killers this time around are Lee Marvin and Clu Gallagher, whose cozy arrangements suggest something of Fante and Mingo in The Big Combo. The first big shift from its 1946 predecessor is that Marvin's curiosity, not an insurance investigator's, sets the plot in motion, by his delving into the target's past and the whereabouts of a million dollars from a heist years before (in fact, he becomes the principal character). The second is a racheted-up level of violence: The movie opens with the pair tracking down their prey in a school for the blind, whose residents they ruthlessly terrorize during their hunt. And the level stays high.

John Cassavettes plays the victim, a former race-car driver fallen on hard times since a bad smash-up. Through the reminiscences of old buddy Claude Akins and past associate Norman Fell, we relive his racing career to an extent that stretches of the movie look like outtakes from Grand Prix. In those glory days he crossed tracks with the femme fatale of the piece, Angie Dickinson (in her rat-pack, late-Camelot salad days herself). After his car crash and their break-up, she lures him off the primrose path – to serve as driver during a mail-truck robbery.

But Dickinson's heart belongs to daddy – daddy in this instance being Ronald Reagan as a heavy. This marks his last film role. For a while it was chic to dismiss Reagan as a lousy actor, but he was always compentent enough. The puzzle is that the undeniable charisma that helped garner him the governorship of California and the presidency of the United States never came through on the screen; he couldn't carry a picture. He has a nasty moment slapping Dickinson silly when her attention strays to Cassavettes, but Marvin redeems his top billing by stealing the movie.

Ernest Hemingway's The Killers remains a good example of how the complexities and suggestiveness of the noir cycle were to metamorphose into a faster, flatter, more literal and brutal style of moviemaking starting in the late 1950s. Don Siegel was in the forefront of this change, starting in period noirs (The Verdict) but reaching his apogee, so to speak, in Dirty Harry. He delivers the goods, pronto, in a plain brown wrapper.

29 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
You have to get the Criterion 2 Disc set to see this version on DVD .... stalzz64
liberals and reagon haters must love this movie! teejay6682
Pulp Fiction haa-1
From small beginnings careers are born compsecure
Actual Release? Fasman
Starsky + Hutch? porterbhall
Discuss The Killers (1964) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: