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The Killers [DVD]


Price: £3.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Albert Dekker, Sam Levene
  • Directors: Robert Siodmak
  • Producers: Mark Hellinger
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Feb. 2007
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KHX9IS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,632 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

After boxer Swede (Burt Lancaster) is gunned down by a pair of contract killers, insurance investigator Jim Reardon (Edmond O'Brien) sets about piecing together the motives behind the murder. Swede's story is revealed in flashback - how he became involved in the crime world of Big Jim Colfax (Albert Dekker), only to be seduced into armed robbery by Colfax's glamorous moll, Kitty Collins (Ava Gardner).

From Amazon.co.uk

This 1946 adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's short story adds well over an hour of new material to the original tale. The reason is, while director Robert Siodmak, star Burt Lancaster, and an outstanding supporting cast are faithful to Hemingway's work, his story only takes up about 15 minutes of screen time. Burt Lancaster plays the doomed man sought by hired guns in a small town. Hemingway's bruisingly concise dialogue makes an early sequence set in a diner quite unnerving, but after the killers dispense with their prey, Siodmak turns to an insurance investigator (Edmond O'Brien) who looks into the reasons behind the murder. An exemplary film noir (complete with a fickle femme fatale played by Ava Gardner), The Killers is all mood and fatalism.--Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Nobody VINE VOICE on 18 Feb. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Killers was directed in 1946 by Robert Siodmak (Criss Cross, 1948; The Spiral Staircase, 1945) and was adapted by Anthony Villier and John Huston from the Ernest Hemingway story of the same name. Much of the film is told in flashback sequences similar to that of Citizen Kane (1941). An insurance investigator, played by Edmond O' Brian (DOA 1950; Barefoot Contessa 1954), attempts to solve the murder of `Swede' who is gunned down by two hitmen. Burt Lancaster stars as `Swede' in his film debut and would later star in Criss Cross also. This truly is a brilliant film noir with some excellent dialogue, especially in the opening diner scene (lifted straight out of short story), as well as superb cinematography. The Killers also made a star out of Ava Gardener as the femme fatale interest Kitty. I don't think however she is as great a femme fatale as say Lana Turner, Gene Tierney, Lauren Bacall or Gloria Grahame were in similar roles. The Killers was a critical as well as box-office hit and received an Oscar nomination this year but lost out to William Wyler's `The Best Years Of Our Lives'

The DVD package is very basic with no extras but is a decent transfer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ramin on 19 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD
I first became aware of this noir classic when it was featured prominently in the clever and funny Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid. There are plenty of reviews of the movie itself around, so this is purely commentary on the Blu Ray package by Arrow.
This is a wonderful release with excellent picture and sound. There is only minimal and minor specks and it's largely blemish-free. The image is detailed with good contrast, showing off the excellent photography to good effect. A couple of scenes are marginally softer. The sound is crisp and clear.
In keeping with Arrow releases, the package contains a wealth of interesting extras.
Ignore Amazons product title description, which includes the confusing DVD notation. This package contains one Blu Ray disc only.
Waiting/hoping now for the release of other Siodmak/Lancaster collaborations onto HD Blu Ray - Criss Cross and Crimson Pirate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maciej TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 May 2014
Format: DVD
I liked this 1946 "film noir" directed by Robert Siodmak A LOT and it was a pleasure to watch two future great stars of Hollywood in the film which started their great careers. Below, more of my impressions, with some very limited SPOILERS.

This film begins with somebody being murdered. A life insurance inspector, Jim Reardon (Edmond O'Brien) is assigned to find and pay the beneficiary of the policy. In the beginning it seems as a completely routine task, but Reardon is bothered by some details and starts to sniff around - and of course, because it is this kind of film, he uncovers some dark secrets from the past, gets in the way of a horribly venomous "femme fatale" (yes, you guessed right - she is played by Ava Gardner), opens a real can of worms and indirectly causes the Mark I BCI (Body Count Indicator) to overheat... Nothing more will be said about the story.

The initial part of this film is based on a short story "The Killers" written in 1927 by Hemingway and you can actually feel it... It is a pretty chilling thing. The rest of the film derives from those events and Hemingway didn't have anything to do with it - but the scenario is still of high quality as it was co-authored by John Huston himself...

The main attraction of "The killers" are of course two leading actors. For Burt Lancaster it was his FIRST role ever - and he did so incredibly well that he immediately became a star! Ava Gardner was trying to make her hole in Hollywood already for some time, as she started to act in 1941, but allmost all her roles until then were uncredited cameos. In this film she got for the first time a real, leading role - and after that she had Hollywood at her feet...
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 May 2007
Format: DVD
How do you make an interesting movie when the character the movie ostensibly is all about is just a dumb lug, as interesting as a boiled potato? The Swede stumbles into one situation after another, willing to believe in true love or lies. For me, director Robert Siodmak and screenwriters Anthony Veiller, Richard Brooks and John Huston (the last two uncredited) solve this problem three ways.

First, there is the great look and style of the movie. I think it's impossible to say one movie looks better than all others, especially when it comes to noirs, but The Killers nails as well as any the dark, foreboding feel of cheap hotel rooms, shadowy streets and close-ups of white, worried faces. Second, all the flashbacks in this movie create the sense of a complex jigsaw puzzle slowly being solved. The story not only becomes complicated and interesting, it's great fun to see what the next piece in the puzzle is going to show us. And what helps make all those puzzle pieces interesting is the cast of characters who take turns in the flashback spotlights. There's not a dud actor in the lot. And third, for me, is the sourness of the ending. No, not the last scene of a smiling Edmond O'Brien jauntily leaving his boss's office. It's the revelation of what a nasty piece of work Kitty Collins really was and how far out of her league was the Swede. He was just a big, thick-eared guy who, in other circumstances, might have gone straight, but he didn't have a chance when he saw Kitty that first time at the party sitting next to the piano player. I don't think this was what Rodgers and Hammerstein had in mind when they wrote about seeing a stranger across a crowded room.

Besides, "I did something wrong once" is a great line to power a crime movie with.
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