Big screen classics

The Killers

Siodmak’s classic film noir about amour fou and inevitable betrayal, with Lan-caster and Gardner on top form.

Image from The Killers

USA 1946
Dir Robert Siodmak
With Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien, Albert Dekker
102min
Digital 4K
Certificate PG

This taut adaptation of a Hemingway short story is the essence of noir, complete with a labyrinthine narrative of fatalistic flashbacks explaining how the protagonist (Lancaster) plunged into perilous crime after falling for a seductive femme fatale (Gardner). From the opening scenes leading inexorably to a brutal murder, the bleak mood is effortlessly established by Siodmak’s bold direction and Woody Bredell’s chiaroscuro cinematography.

Restored by Universal Pictures in collaboration with The Film Foundation. Special thanks to Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg for their consultation on this restoration.

The screening on Wed 23 Jun will feature a pre-recorded intro by Imogen Sara Smith, author of In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City.