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The Killers (1946)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 30 August 1946 (USA)
Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director:

Robert Siodmak

Writers:

Anthony Veiller (screenplay), Ernest Hemingway (from the story by)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Burt Lancaster ... Ole 'Swede' Anderson
Ava Gardner ... Kitty Collins
Edmond O'Brien ... Jim Reardon
Albert Dekker ... Big Jim Colfax
Sam Levene ... Police Lt. Sam Lubinsky
Vince Barnett ... Charleston
Virginia Christine ... Lilly Harmon Lubinsky
Jack Lambert ... 'Dum-Dum' Clarke
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... Packy Robinson - Ole's Manager
Donald MacBride ... R.S. Kenyon
Charles McGraw ... Al
William Conrad ... Max
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Storyline

Two professional killers invade a small town and kill a gas station attendant, "the Swede," who's expecting them. Insurance investigator Reardon pursues the case against the orders of his boss, who considers it trivial. Weaving together threads of the Swede's life, Reardon uncovers a complex tale of treachery and crime, all linked with gorgeous, mysterious Kitty Collins. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She's a match for any mobster! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 August 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ernest Hemingway's The Killers See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the fictional Nick Adams only has a small role in the film's opening, the character is a roman à clef for author Ernest Hemingway, and is a prominent character in many of his stories. See more »

Goofs

When Reardon enters the insurance company's home office, he passes by and open glass door with the company's name on it (as seen from the inside of the office). When closed, the name would be facing the inside and not towards the outside of the office. See more »

Quotes

Al: You got anything to drink?
George: I can give you soda, beer, ginger ale...
Al: I said, 'You got anything to drink?'
George: [intimidated] No.
Al: This is a hot town. Whatta ya call it?
George: Brentwood.
Al: Did you ever hear of Brentwood?
Max: [Max shakes his head, no]
Al: Whatta ya do here nights?
Max: [sarcastically] They eat the dinner. They all come here and eat the big dinner.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Visions of Light (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

With Plenty of Money and You
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played on piano in Lou Tingle's cafe
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Expanding A Hemingway Classic
15 April 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Killers is an expansion of a short story by Ernest Hemingway. The first ten minutes of this film is pure Hemingway with two contract gunman occupying and terrorizing a greasy spoon diner. Two of the most malevolent character actors around, Charles McGraw and William Conrad are the hit men.

They're there to kill Burt Lancaster, known to the town as just a simple garage mechanic. Because he left a small insurance policy, his death was investigated by insurance cop Edmond O'Brien. Naturally Lancaster was no simple garage mechanic by any means. O'Brien comes up with Burt's real identity and the reason why a few people wanted him dead.

The Killers was a big break film for Burt Lancaster. He had only done one previous film and that was Desert Fury for Paramount studios which had signed him. Because Universal was looking for an unknown to play the victim, Lancaster's agent was able to land him the part. And because Desert Fury was held up, The Killers became his debut film and he was a star from his first film.

This was also a milestone film for Ava Gardner as well. After The Killers, Louis B. Mayer was most reluctant to lend her out any longer due to the notice that she got.

The plot of The Killers is very similar to that of Out of the Past with Lancaster in the luckless Robert Mitchum role. As for Ava Gardner in her portrayal, she's taking a couple of pages from the Mary Astor school of double crossing, two timing dames. At least Mary had Sam Spade's promise he'd wait for her.

The Killers is a must for Burt Lancaster fans who want to see the film that launched his career.


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