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1,686 Ratings

The Killers

Directed by Robert Siodmak
United States, 1946
Crime, Drama, Film noir


Swede, a world-weary ex-boxer, offers no resistance when hired killers come to slay him in the opening scene. Insurance investigator Reardon pursues the case against the orders of his boss, who considers it trivial. The narrative unfolds as a series of flashbacks recounting Swede’s downfall.

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The Killers Directed by Robert Siodmak
It’s the movie that made Burt Lancaster a star and cemented Robert Siodmak’s reputation as one of the great noir directors. But as significant as their contributions are, the film’s power really hinges on its screenplay, which is one of the cleverest in the entire noir canon. Written by Anthony Veiller, John Huston, and Richard Brooks, THE KILLERS boasts a flashback-driven structure as ambitious as that of CITIZEN KANE, employing multiple narrators and a non-chronological organization of events.
September 29, 2017
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[It] tackles virtually every major theme in the noir cycle, unlike many other noirs, which only focus on a particular subset of motifs. The Killers includes a haunting femme fatale in Ava Gardner as Kitty Collins, a seminal heist scene, psychiatric profiles of a network of professional gangsters, a devastating double cross, the spirit of heavy fatalism, and a hard-boiled protagonist doomed by existential fate in Burt Lancaster as Ole Andersen. Each motif is developed with precision and style.
December 02, 2003
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Robert Siodmak’s 1946 noir staple plods lethargically through its double, triple, and quadruple crosses, but its marvelously expressive black-and-white photography puts the story’s despairing tone in purely visual terms.
February 26, 2003
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