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Don Siegel Estados Unidos, 1964
As in Hemingway’s story, the killers are a couple of cutups; Gulager and Marvin bring a weird and wicked sense of humor to the hit men’s dirty work. Siegel’s terse, seething, and stylish direction glows with the blank radiance of sheet metal in sunlight; the movie’s bright primary colors and glossy luxuries are imbued with menace, and its luminous delights convey a terrifyingly cold world view.
August 25, 2017
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The cast is first-rate. Thanks to Marvin’s sleek, snub-nosed menace and the edgy thrill-seeking projected by Dickinson’s classy moll, the movie exudes a cynical Rat Pack cool. The jazz singer Nancy Wilson, who has a musical sequence looking like Ms. Dickinson’s sister by another mother, adds to the ring-a-ding flavor. Cassavetes’s jangling, immoderate intensity is markedly uncool, although one of his seduction lines — “You’re a nut, we’re both nuts!” — might have been written for Frank Sinatra.
July 30, 2015
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That’s the best, funniest touch to this newer Killers: the idea of a couple of rent-a-hoods investigating a murder they themselves committed. It’s a sly, anti-authoritarian deviation from the Siodmak film… [But] Siegel’s film goes to sleep at the same place that Siodmak’s does, because the victim at the heart of these narratives isn’t interesting; both narratives lose something when their killers recede from the limelight.
July 08, 2015
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Though Robert Siodmak’s 1946 version of Ernest Hemingway’s The Killers is superior, I love Don Siegel’s 1964 The Killers. I love the cars, the Cassavetes, the Clu Gulager (oh, how I love him in this movie), the cool Lee (that’s the endlessly cool Lee Marvin), the cruel Reagan (as in future president Ronald, and a man with a great head of hair), the kind Claude Akins, the cretinous Norman Fell (as in future “fairy” teasing landlord Mr. Roper) and the comely, comely Angie Dickinson.
June 10, 2008
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Though it’s generally considered the lesser of the two [Killers] films–a fact that Siegel blames, rightly, on the studio’s decision to class it up by putting Hemingway’s name above the title–1964’sThe Killers is the more resourceful and inventive, a great example of the remake as criticism.
February 26, 2003
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It’s interesting to note that it was originally to be the first made-for-television movie (as the brightness of image and bizarrely awful rear-projection suggests), but was released to theaters instead, and appropriately so. The selfish cynicism on display, the every-man-and-woman-for-themselves bravado is a more cinematic than televisual conceit. No one gets away clean in this world. Like innumerable Lady Macbeth’s everyone’s hands, including our own, are stained with blood.
February 23, 2003
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The second film version (1964) of Ernest Hemingway’s short story, directed by Don Siegel with far more energy than Robert Siodmak could muster for his overrated 1946 effort. Siegel turns the story inside out, taking the point of view of Hemingway’s two faceless hit men and following their attempt to find out why one of their victims refused to run.
January 01, 1980
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The Killers 1964 shows relatively little violence, yet the total impression of the film is of a work saturated in violence. Siegel’s method is as precise and economical as that of his killers – after an early demonstration of violence a predisposition onwards it is implied in all manifestations of behaviour.
January 01, 1970
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A familiar tale of robbery and betrayal unfolds, not enhanced by the glossy colour but given a terrific boost by the fact that the two killers stick around (since they now conduct the investigation themselves in the interests of better business efficiency) and are superbly characterised by Marvin and Gulager.
August 01, 1964
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