The Killers

1946

The Killers

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 34

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,770
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Movie Info

The Killers, directed by Robert Siodmak, who received an Academy Award nomination, has long been considered the quintessential noir film: a character study of one man, Swede (Burt Lancaster), who because of betrayal and the love for a woman, Kitty Collins (Ava Gardner) has lost the will to live and waits, alone in one room as his fate unfolds. The entire film, a masterfully edited and photographed series of flashbacks, is Swede's story, told from the perspective of Riordan (Edmond O'Brien) as he tries to find out the truth. This film established Ava Gardner as a major film presence. Siodmak uses shadows to mask her eyes, giving Kitty an evasive, mysterious quality and effectively keeping her true motivations in question. Burt Lancaster, in his film debut, gives one of his best performances, portraying the tough ex-boxer with simplicity and a stoic acceptance of fate that is unforgettable. Siodmark's hard, edged, moody direction of the excellent Oscar nominated screenplay by Anthony Veiller, makes The Killers one of the definitive film noir, and an involving, poignant, pipeful film.

Cast

Burt Lancaster
as Ole "Swede" Anderson
Ava Gardner
as Kitty Collins
Edmond O'Brien
as Jim Reardon
Albert Dekker
as Big Jim Colfax
Jeff Corey
as Blinky
Sam Levene
as Lt. Sam Lubinsky
Jack Lambert
as Dum Dum
Virginia Christine
as Lilly Lubinsky
John Miljan
as Jake the Rake
Garry Owen
as Joe Smalley, trainer
Audley Anderson
as Assistant Paymaster
Vince Barnett
as Charleston
Charles D. Brown
as Packy Robinson
Phil Brown
as Nick Adams
Harry Brown
as Paymaster
Howard Freeman
as Police Chief
John Berkes
as Plunther
Noel Cravat
as Lou Tringle
Vera Lewis
as Mrs. Hirsch
Howard Negley
as Policeman
Perc Launders
as Policeman
Therese Lyon
as Mrs. Grimes, housekeeper
Jack Cheatham
as Police Driver
Ethan Laidlaw
as Conductor
Wally Rose
as Bartender
Mike Pat Donovan
as Timekeeper
Al Hill
as Customer
Ernie S. Adams
as Little Man
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Critic Reviews for The Killers

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (34)

Audience Reviews for The Killers

  • Mar 17, 2017
    Although the film is good, by 1946 this kind of story had been told dozens of times. 70 years on it's been told thousands of times.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2016
    We follow an insurance claims investigator who stumbles onto clues that lead the perpetrators of a high profile armed robbery. Only there's a sad tale of desire and lust thrown into the mix, deception and deceit with a kiss, and that's the gasoline that drives this dragster to it's finish line, a view of the world that's ultimately black and white and icy cold.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 15, 2013
    Lancaster's first big screen role is fabulous film noir punctuated by that very memorable bullet ridden opening scene. Far superior to the rubbish that Ronnie Reagan did in the 1960s.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 19, 2012
    What just happened? This was literally the most complicated film I have ever watched. The dialogue made it very complicated because I had trouble keeping up. I don't even know what to write about. Well how about I write about this, this film had everything. The acting, writing, directing, and producing. The writing was good considering how complicated it was. I wish I could write complicated scripts but I just can't. The writing also contributed to the plot. How do I know that considering that it's complicated? It stayed true to the story that's why. The acting was also good considering this is a classic film. You rarely see classic films that have bad acting. That's part of the reason why there so good. As for the directing it was good as well. I can't find a way that I could have done it better so that means it's a good thing. If you like classic films then this is for you.
    Eduardo T Super Reviewer

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