Saturday, May 6, 2017

Ernest Hemingway's THE KILLERS - Tense Love, Taut Luck (1946)

A couple weeks ago, I presented you with the 1964 version of "The Killers," I guess if I had given it any forethought, I would have done this 1946 version first, but since everything else in my world is bassackwards, I guess it doesn't matter much! That being said, it's time for another Saturday Night Special down in The Dungeon, and a very special film for numerous reasons, "Ernest Hemingway's The Killers!"

I don't know it for a fact, because I still haven't read the story, but I'm willing to bet that this version is a lot closer to the original tale! It just makes sense!

In this 1946 version, even though it's named after them, the two killers have a much smaller role! Charles (The Mad Ghoul, The Birds) McGraw, and William (Cannon, Jake and the Fatman) Conrad in only his second big screen appearance, are Al and Max, aka, "The Killers!"

 "The Killers" is well lit and extremely atmospheric!

In this version, there is an insurance investigator named Jim Reardon who has a bunch of sneaking suspicions about a death, and a rather odd policy! Jim Reardon is played by Edmond (D.O.A.) O'Brien, and in my feeble mind, he's the real star of the movie, even though he's not even credited on the poster, because..............

......."The Killers" is a movie about two different and more dynamic talents of the time, Burt Lancaster, and ...................

..........The gorgeous Ava Gardner!!

The 1964 version featured John Cassavetes as a banged up race car driver, and in this version, Burt Lancaster is a washed-up boxer because of a broken right hand, which would have been a lot more appropriate for 1946, but it kind of makes you wonder why they thought they needed to change it, because boxing was still popular in 1964!

 Believe it or not, "The Killers" isn't a vampire or a Universal horror movie, but you wouldn't know it by looking at this shot!

Or this one that looks like it's from "Peter Pan In Prison!"

 I think this was the original poster, and I like it a lot, because it tells you who all the awesome supporting cast members were! Albert (Dr. Cyclops) Dekker, Sam (Three Men On A Horse) Levene, Vince (Red Planet Mars) Barnett, Jack (Kiss Me Deadly) Lambert, Jeff (Lady In A Cage) Corey, and Virginia (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) Christine!

 Ava Gardner gives you lots of different looks in this movie, and they're all good!!

 "So what do you think guys? I told you it was big!"
"Wow Boss, you weren't kidding!"

 Now this is what you call a fight scene!!

Time to head on over to the "Green Cat" for a drink or two!
A very interesting place!

 These five guys squished into a patrol car reminds me a bit of stuffing nine clowns into a Volkswagen!

I'll leave you with this killer production still of Ava Gardner!
"Ernest Hemingway's The Killers" is a great story no matter which version you see, but I think I liked this version a little bit better, but overall, you're not going to go wrong! Just watch it already, you won't regret it!


TC said...

I read the Hemingway story in high school. It ends shortly after the gas station attendant goes up to the room to warn the intended victim, and finds him resigned to his fate. So the first ten minutes or so of the 1946 movie are a faithful adaptation of the story. After that, they had to create a back story to make a full-length movie.

EEGAH!! said...

Thanx TC! So that's it? It's just a short story, and the whole rest of the movie is filler, more or less. Amazing!

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