Top positive review
51 people found this helpful
Essential Film Noir
on 18 February 2007
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.