This set of The Killers includes two movie versions of Ernest Hemingway’s famous short story. Robert Siodmak’s 1946 version of The Killers features Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, and William Conrad. Woody Bredell’s luminous black & white cinematography accentuates the starkness of this bleak film.

Don Siegel’s 1964 film was made for television. I love the cast: Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, John Cassavetes…and Ronald Reagan! This new Criterion Collection edition looks great on a 4K HDTV! If you’re in the mood for noir, here are two excellent versions of Hemingway’s noirish short story. Do you have a favorite work by Ernest Hemingway? GRADE: A (for both)

14 thoughts on “THE KILLERS [Blu-ray]

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    Big fan of both. Lee Marvin was a favorite of mine. Just watched him in Hell in the Pacific with the great Toshiro Mifune. His favorite of mine is Point Blank.

  2. Prashant C. Trikannad

    George, I have seen Siodmak‚Äôs verson and liked it a lot. I thought it was a very well-scripted film. But now I’d like to watch Siegel’s television film primarily for the cast, especially Marvin and Cassavetes.

  3. Jeff Meyerson

    Do you mean book or movie? I have always liked THE SUN ALSO RISES and the Nick Adams stories. As for movies, the first KILLERS was better, though it was fun seeing Ronnie as a mob boss slapping Angie Dickinson around. I think it was his last movie. I remember liking the book and movie of FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS, but that was a long time ago and I don’t really remember it. I did enjoy TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT.

    One warning, avoid the Hart Bochner/Jane Seymour tv-movie version of THE SUN ALSO RISES.. It was appallingly awful.

    Arthur Unger of The Christian Science Monitor described this production as “a minor literary classic, which has now been turned into a major miniseries disaster”.[2] Stephen Farber of The New York Times recounts numerous elements depicted in the film that were not in the source material such as

    A grieving Jake Barnes attends the funeral of a prostitute he had visited several times before being wounded and rendered impotent in World War I. Pedro Romero, the handsome young Spanish bull fighter, uses his sword to murder a vindictive count who has threatened the life of Lady Brett Ashley. Jake’s best friend, Bill Gorton, takes an airplane, goes up on a daredevil flight and crashes to his death.[4]

  4. George Kelley

    Jeff, the movies based on Hemingway’s works remind me of the screen adaptions of Stephen King’s novels: a few good ones but mostly flops. Yes, it is shocking to see a future President slapping Angie around.

  5. Dan

    The ’46 version is complex and elegant, with real emotional resonance and a great cast. The ’64 film has a fine cast too and a subtle thematic complexity. Early on, the killers tell a receptionist that they don’t have time to wait for someone, a comment they repeat throughout the film. The central caper is based around a tight time schedule, and in the background of one scene, a chanteuse sings “We don;t have the time…” leading to one of the great curtain lines in the movies.

    1. George Kelley

      Dan, you’re absolutely right about the “time” metaphor extending through the 1964 version of THE KILLERS. I never connected that Nancy Wilson song in the movie with the concept of time before you mentioned it!

  6. wolf

    A bit OT:

    I don’t remember that movie – though Siodmak of course is a household name for me …
    He was one of those many German Jews who fled to the USA – his brother Curt too who I know as a science fiction author.
    What might have become of German movies if those darn nazis hadn’t taken over – I sometimes wonder.
    And then I realise how lucky we (the next generation …) were to come back to democracy and be among the leaders again in the 21st Century.


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