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The Killers (1964)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 24 October 1964 (UK)
Trailer
2:23 | Trailer
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:

Don Siegel (as Donald Siegel)

Writers:

Ernest Hemingway (story), Gene L. Coon (screenplay)
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Marvin ... Charlie Strom
Angie Dickinson ... Sheila Farr
John Cassavetes ... Johnny North
Clu Gulager ... Lee
Claude Akins ... Earl Sylvester
Norman Fell ... Mickey Farmer
Ronald Reagan ... Jack Browning
Virginia Christine ... Miss Watson
Don Haggerty ... Mail Truck Driver
Robert Phillips ... George Fleming
Kathleen O'Malley ... Miss Leslie
Ted Jacques Ted Jacques ... Gym Assistant
Irvin Mosley Jr. Irvin Mosley Jr. ... Mail Truck Guard (as Irvin Mosley)
Jimmy Joyce Jimmy Joyce ... Salesman
Davis Roberts ... Maître D'
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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:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?


Goofs

Although most of the staff and many of the students in the blind school are sight-impaired, all informational signs, names on doors and room numbers are painted, with no accompanying braille information. See more »

Quotes

Johnny North: [to Sheila behind the steering wheel] Slide over - nobody drives for me.
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Crazy Credits

The style of the film's credits reflect it's original made-for-TV origins: in 1960's TV movies, Stars, Co-stars and Featured Players were listed only in the opening credits, while supporting players were listed only in the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in All-Star Party for 'Dutch' Reagan (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Too Little Time
Music by Henry Mancini
Lyrics by Don Raye
Sung by Nancy Wilson
[Johnny and Sheila dance to the song performed at the nightclub]
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User Reviews

Ahead of it's time, uncompromising b-grade thriller.
20 November 2001 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

Don Siegel's 'The Killers' is a diamond in the rough! Initially filmed for television, its technical limitations are easily overlooked as they are more than compensated for by the drive of the no-nonsense narrative, and the high standards of the acting. Caught somewhere between Kubrick's 'The Killing' and Boorman's 'Point Blank', it may not be as flamboyantly impressive as either, but it is just as memorable in its own low key way.

Quentin Tarantino has admitted that the structure of 'The Killing' has influenced him, but after watching 'The Killers', one must question whether this movie is also high on his list. Especially as the cooler-than-thou hit-men played by Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager almost anticipate Travolta and Jackson's similarly quirky ones in 'Pulp Fiction' thirty years later. Just like Vincent and Jules, Charlie and Lee are eccentric and likable when "off duty" and brutal sociopaths when on. Lee Marvin is one of Hollywood's legendary screen tough guys, and his performance here is as good as any he ever did, but the real stand out for me is Clu Gulager's health nut contract killer. He just about steals every scene he is in. Up to this point he was mainly known as a Western TV star. Why this role didn't launch him into a Bruce Dern/Harry Dean Stanton/Dick Miller style career baffles me. Instead he was mainly consigned to the "made for TV" wasteland, and never got the breaks his talent deserved.

Marvin and Gulager's star turns are backed up by strong supporting performances from John Cassavetes, as their enigmatic "job", Angie Dickinson, a double-crossing femme fatale, and Ronald Reagan in a surprising turn as a nasty gangster. Also keep an eye out for a dialogue-free cameo by a very young looking Seymour Cassel!

'The Killers' looks better and better as the years go by. Not without flaws, sure, and calling it a masterpiece would be overkill, but it's a movie that was ahead of it's time in many ways, and it can't help but impress discerning fans of 50s/60s b-grade crime movies, film noir, or Sam Fuller.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 October 1964 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Johnny North See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,944
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Revue Studios See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastman Color by Pathé)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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