Troy Patterson
April 24, 1998 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Killers (Movie - 1946)

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster, Albert Dekker, Edmond O'Brien
director
Robert Siodmak
author
John Huston, Anthony Veiller
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Drama

We gave it an A-

Of the five quintessential noirs Universal just released on tape — including Fritz Lang’s You and Me and Ministry of Fear, the perverse Phantom Lady, and the tricky Black Angel — the best and blackest is The Killers. Using the eponymous Hemingway story as a launching pad, director Robert Siodmak and cowriters Anthony Veiller and John Huston (uncredited) blast into hard-boiled atmospherics: An insurance investigator (Edmond O’Brien, Bogart manque) pries into the death of the Swede (Burt Lancaster), an ex-boxer, ex-con, and ex-beau of the shifty Kitty (Ava Gardner, sublimely feline). You get so caught up watching the Swede’s gang pull a heist — and the double-crosses unfold in deep focus and Wellesian flashback — that the whodunit problem sneaks up from behind. And Lancaster, in his screen debut, plays a non-contender so deeply doomed that he makes De Niro’s Jake La Motta look like a giddy Rocky Balboa. A-

You May Like

Comments

EDIT POST