The Killers (Criterion Collection 2-Disc Special Edition) (Double Feature 1946 & 1964 Versions) [DVD]
|Price:||CDN$ 42.99 & FREE Shipping. Details|
Frequently Bought Together
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
The Killers (1946)
This 1946 adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's short story adds well over an hour of new material to the original tale. The reason is, while director Robert Siodmak, star Burt Lancaster, and an outstanding supporting cast are faithful to Hemingway's work, his story only takes up about 15 minutes of screen time. Burt Lancaster plays the doomed man sought by hired guns in a small town. Hemingway's bruisingly concise dialogue makes an early sequence set in a diner quite unnerving, but after the killers dispense with their prey, Siodmak turns to an insurance investigator (Edmond O'Brien) who looks into the reasons behind the murder. An exemplary film noir (complete with a fickle femme fatale played by Ava Gardner), The Killers is all mood and fatalism.
The Killers (1964)
The 1964 remake (of sorts) by Don Siegel builds another whole world around Hemingway's narrow, if intense, premise. The two assassins of Siegel's film (Clu Gulager, Lee Marvin) go in search of their intended victim--a teacher (John Cassavetes) at a school for the blind--and find that he not only recognizes his fate when they show up, but seems entirely resigned to it. Curiosity leads the killers to seek out the party who hired them and discover why Cassavetes's character didn't run or fight. Soon the facts tumble into place--the dead man had once been a top-drawer racer who fell for a glamorous woman (Angie Dickinson), the latter gradually pulling him into the orbit of a criminal villain (a convincingly evil Ronald Reagan)--and the film becomes increasingly dark and dangerous. Originally shot for television but rejected for its violence, Siegel's film is a blistering experience of swimming against the currents of fate for one's survival--and losing. --Tom Keogh
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Hal Wallis spotted Burt Lancaster and put him under contract and as happens so often after a brief stint in "Sound Of Hunting"
Lancaster was around for his breakthrough role.
With Mark Hellinger and Bob Siodmak at the controls we have a REAL classic noir/crime film..The supporting cast is terrific especially Ava Gardner in her first real acting role, pros like Albert Dekker and Jeff Corey ( Blinky Franklin ..what a name for a guy who has the monkey on his back), Charleston, Dum Dum..and Sam Levene and Ed O'Brien add to the suspense..
The DVD allows us to look further into the film as never before..Miklos Rosza's great score..to be used later by Jack Webb, how Hemmingways'piece was expanded..and nice bios..on many of the actors...
1964 " The Killers" illuminates how A SUPERB film maker , Don Siegal reworks the story for the 1964 audience..updates the people involved with a fine supporting cast..Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager are amusing and deadly..John Cassavetes plays the Ole Anderson role and also a fine turn by veteran Claude Akins.
Clu Gulager's sons produce a really fine monologue by their father..he is introspective..has some wonderful anecdotes on Lee Marvin and Don Siegal..and shares some nice memories about the making of the film " The Killers" This is one of the best pieces I have ever seen on DVD!
A Double Dynamite of a DVD package that is very illustrative of the 20 years difference between and how things change yet remain the same..
The first DVD, with the 1946 version, features an impressive introduction into the film noir genre. Author and screenwriter, Stuart Kaminsky is interviewed at length about the origins of film noir and the similarities and differences between the 1946 and 1964 versions and how they compare to Hemingway's original short story.
In an amazing bit of cinematic archaeology, Criterion found Russian filmmaker, Andrei Tarkovsky's take on The Killers. It's very minimalist in style and set design but is quite faithful to Hemingway's story.
Another highlight on this disc is writer-director, Paul Schrader's seminal essay, "Notes on Film Noir." Schrader outlines and defines the characteristics of film noir and puts it into a historical context.
The second disc, with the 1964 version, doesn't feature as many extras but does present a fascinating look at how Siegel's film evolved from a made-for-TV movie to a theatrical release. Some of the highlights include a hilarious memo from NBC's Broadcast Standards Department as they outline all the objectionable material they found in the screenplay. It becomes readily apparent that Siegel ignored all their suggestions and kept in all the offending material!
For fans of film noir this is an essential purchase as these two films are given the deluxe Criterion treatment. The prints of both films have been lovingly re-mastered and have never looked better. The wealth of extras entertain and educate, making this set an excellent primer for anyone interested in learning more about film noir.
As much as I'm a huge fan of Film Noir, and Burt Lancaster, I have to admit I'd never even heard of the original 1946 version... shame on me! No, I bought this for the masterful Don Siegel version, staring Marvin, Gulager, Angie Dickenson, John Cassavetes, and in his only "bad guy" role, the future President of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan! Indeed, it was one of the first films I looked for on DVD when I got my shiny-disc machine, and this is somewhat surprising, as I'd only ever seen the film once, sometime back in the 70's, on British TV!
This film, especially its electrifying final scenes, featuring an incredible performance by Marvin, seared itself into my memory for the better part of 30 years, and watching it again after all this time has NOT been a disappointment! The character of hit man "Charlie Strom" was, for me, the defining image of Lee Marvin. Tough - damn, forget "tough," we're talking hard-as-nails here! - menacing, cold, logical, world weary, and brutal, when the situation warrants it.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Great collection of two versions of "The Killers". Video quality is excellent on both.Published 10 months ago by Paul A Horch
Fantastic movie!! Burt Lancaster's first movie and his performance is great. I would watch this movie 24 hours a day it is THAT well donePublished 11 months ago by James Callanan
The Killers from 1946, Burt Lancaster's debut movie, is fantastic. It is one of the finest in the noir genre. Ava Gardner is a truly devilish femme fetale. Read morePublished on March 28 2004 by Gregory Olsen
What more can I add to the reviews below? The Clu Gulager interview is absolutely fantastic. He reveals some very interesting facts regarding the filming and makes strong positive... Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2003 by Trevor William Douglas
I remember at 13 years being struck with wonder at the power of the dialogue in Hemingway's The Killers and if I recall correctly walked around the streets talking to myself,... Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2003 by Ian Muldoon
Seeing Ronald Reagan's performance in this movie is what made me vote for him for president. In fact, I liked him much better in "The Killers" than I did his presidency.Published on July 15 2003
Without a doubt this is one of the best produced DVD,s made yet. The extras are just right,no unnecessary items added just to make room. Read morePublished on July 12 2003 by S. Doyle
Look for similar items by category
- Movies & TV > Classics > Drama
- Movies & TV > Classics > Mystery & Suspense
- Movies & TV > Drama > Classics
- Movies & TV > Drama > Love & Romance
- Movies & TV > Mystery & Suspense > Classics
- Movies & TV > Mystery & Suspense > Crime
- Movies & TV > Mystery & Suspense > Film Noir
- Movies & TV > Mystery & Suspense > Mystery
- Movies & TV > Mystery & Suspense > Suspense