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 <email@example.com>
Director Don Siegel's "The Killers" is very loosely based on the Hemingway short story with few similarities. Two killers (Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager)complete an easy hit-for-hire but wonder why their victim, although warned in advance, didn't run away from them. After piecing together some information, they realize that the $25,000 they got for the hit is a drop in the bucket compared to a missing million dollar stash of stolen loot. After questioning a few "witnesses" they discover that the man they killed had been double-crossed and had lost his will to live. Throw in Angie Dickinson as a two-timing temptress and Ronald Reagan (of all people) as a nasty double-dealing henchman and you've got one violent movie without any good guys in sight. Marvin and Gulager are excellent as the hit men and John Cassavettes is also great as their hapless and resigned victim. Reagan, who supposedly regretted his turn here as a villian, is surprising effective. It was the only time in his career he played a "bad guy". Angie Dickinson, of course, is no mere window-dressing. She gives everyone a run for their money as the best-looking devious dame on the planet. "The Killers", which was originally made for TV, but released in theatres instead due to its violent subject matter, is a one-of-a-kind early 60's film noir. It may have little to do with Hemingway's story, but I'm sure "Papa" would have enjoyed it anyway.
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