The Killers (1964)
March 27, 2023 12:13 PM - Subscribe

A remake of the 1946 noir movie by the same name. A hit man and his annoying sidekick wonder why their target didn't resist being murdered, threaten many people to find out the story, get obsessed, things do not go well for pretty much anyone.

So very 1964-ish. Those room-sized cars! The hair! The constant abuse of the female lead! The smoking! More cars! Angie Dickinson! Lee Marvin!
posted by The corpse in the library (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This movie is far inferior to the original. They changed the detective character from being the insurance investigator -- which made sense, more or less -- to one of the killers, which is an interesting idea but didn't work for me.

Why was the auto shop class on the second floor of the school?

Why did they have such a complicated heist planned (other than as an excuse to bring in Johnny North)? They could have detoured the mail truck and had a road block already set up, using radios to communicate -- no need to overtake the truck.

Is the viewer supposed to feel there's any chemistry at all between Johnny and Sheila? Or Jack and Sheila?

Why is this so poorly filmed, with moments like how we linger for so very long on the blurry back of Sheila's hair and part of Johnny's face at the racetrack?

What happened to this cigarette Johnny was smoking while blinded, in traction, in a hospital bed?

Is it possible to have Ronald Reagan make an appearance and not have modern audiences laugh?
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:23 PM on March 27

Is it possible to have Ronald Reagan make an appearance and not have modern audiences laugh?

I happened to see this at the BFI 22 years ago, and at that point, no, it wasn’t possible, even for a non-American audience. Especially since Reagan is a) a menacing villain and b) pretty close in appearance to his presidency.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 1:35 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]

I was briefly excited that someone went for a deep dive into the very early Kubrick catalogue. Turns out no, but as his second and third features were Killer’s Kiss and The Killing, my confusion was perhaps understandable.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:42 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]

This movie is far inferior to the original

I'm not sure I agree with that. Don Siegel's Killers may not have the 40s panache of the Siodmak version but I think it stands on its own (Reagan notwithstanding). It may lack Lancaster's physicality and Edmond O'Brien's pathos but this cast are no slouches top of his game Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, John Cassavetes with Claude Akins, Clu Gulager, Norman Fell and yes... Ronnie Reagan in support. While not spectacularly shot it is well directed by Siegel. I don't know... I think it is better to think of the 40s and the 60s Killers are different beasts.
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:49 PM on March 27

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