Wednesday, March 23 at 7:00pm | Regular admission prices
One of noir’s essential works – it virtually defines the doom-laden chaos and menacing expressionism of the genre’s universe – The Killers is directed by celebrated noir meister Robert Siodmak (Criss Cross, Phantom Lady), and elaborates on an existential Ernest Hemingway short story about a man who offers no resistance when hired killers come to gun him down.
“This is the kind of noir thriller the word ‘quintessential’ was minted for. It’s one of the great films of disenchantment.” – Wally Hammond, Time Out
This tricky noir begins with the ending – “I did something wrong … once” – and moves backward through time to reveal the sinister layers of double crosses that led to the opening scene. Burt Lancaster (From Here to Eternity), in his remarkable film debut, is destined-for-destruction Swede, a world-weary ex-boxer who passively accepts his murderous fate. Edmond O’Brien (D.O.A.) is Jim Riordan, an insurance investigator seeking to discover why this man would simply allow himself to be killed. His investigation unfolds as a series of Citizen Kane-style flashbacks, recounting Swede’s torturous downfall at the hands of Kitty Collins, a double-crossing gangster’s dame who drew the hapless hero into an elaborate armored-car robbery scheme. The sultry Ava Gardner (On the Beach), as Kitty, creates one of noir’s great femme fatales, while Miklós Rózsa’s memorable score was later used in the “Dragnet” TV series. A blistering example of post-war pessimism and fatalism, The Killers also features a smoldering chemistry between Lancaster and Gardner that catapulted both into super stardom. (Dir. by Robert Siodmak, 1946, USA, 97 mins., Not Rated)