7.1/10
5,028
69 user 51 critic

The Killers (1964)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 30 May 1964 (Japan)
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.

Director:

(as Donald Siegel)

Writers:

(story), (screenplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

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)
Crime | Thriller
    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 | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In New York City's Spanish Harlem, detectives Madigan and Bonaro are given 72 hours by their superior to capture a hoodlum wanted for homicide in Brooklyn.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Inger Stevens
The Outfit (1973)
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Earl Macklin robs a bank owned by the mob, serves his prison time and is released, only to start a private war against the crime outfit that owned the bank.

Director: John Flynn
Stars: Robert Duvall, Karen Black, Joe Don Baker
Prime Cut (1972)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A vicious Kansas City slaughterhouse owner and his hick family are having a bloody "beef" with the Chicago crime syndicate over profits from their joint illegal operations. Top enforcer Nick Devlin is sent to straighten things out.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman, Sissy Spacek
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After his last crime has him looking at a long prison sentence for repeat offenses, a low level Boston gangster decides to snitch on his friends to avoid jail time.

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Peter Boyle, Richard Jordan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sheila Farr
...
...
Lee
...
...
Mickey Farmer
...
...
Miss Watson
...
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 ...
Salesman
...
Maître D'
Edit

Storyline

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 <marklo@west.sun.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Explosively NEW ... In Color! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 May 1964 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Ernest Hemingway's The Killers  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The only movie in which Ronald Reagan plays a bad guy. He reportedly hated doing it. See more »

Goofs

During the scene in Browning's office, part of the set casts a shadow on the background matte painting. See more »

Quotes

Earl Sylvester: I don't know where Johnny is, what trouble he got into ...
Lee: [Interrupting] He's dead!
Earl Sylvester: [as Lee smiles at him in amusement] He's dead?
Charlie Strom: [laconically] ALL the way.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Killers (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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.


31 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
liberals and reagon haters must love this movie! teejay6682
You have to get the Criterion 2 Disc set to see this version on DVD .... stalzz64
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:
?