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The Killers Details


The Killers uses Ernest Hemingway's short story as a springboard for a complex film noir. Two mysterious men (William Conrad and Charles McGraw) muscle their way into a small town and kill an aging boxer (Burt Lancaster, making his screen debut), who offers no resistance and seems to be welcoming his death. An insurance investigator (Edmond O'Brien) is hired to locate the beneficiary to Lancaster's policy, and in the course of his investigation reopens a long-dormant robbery case. In a series of flashbacks, O'Brien makes the connection between Lancaster and the robbery and tracks down the "brains" behind the operation. He also comes in contact with Lancaster's former girlfriend (Ava Gardner), whose duplicity played a big part in Lancaster's demise -- and his indifferent reaction to it. Siodmak's hard-edged, moody direction of the Oscar-nominated screenplay by Anthony Veiller, makes The Killers one of the definitive films noirs, including what is considered to be one of the greatest opening sequences in movie history. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:August 28, 1946


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Anthony Veiller Best Screenplay 1946 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Miklos Rozsa Best Score - Drama or Comedy 1946 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Robert Siodmak Best Director 1946 Nominee


Burt Lancaster
as Ole "Swede" Anderson
Ava Gardner
as Kitty Collins
Edmond O'Brien
as Jim Reardon
Albert Dekker
as Big Jim Colfax
Jeff Corey
as Blinky
Sam Levene
as Lt. Sam Lubinsky
William Conrad
as Killer
Jack Lambert
as Dum Dum
Virginia Christine
as Lilly Lubinsky
Harry Hayden
as George
John Miljan
as Jake the Rake
Garry Owen
as Joe Smalley, trainer
Wallace Scott
as Charlie
Queenie Smith
as Queenie
Bill Walker
as Sam
John Sheehan
as Doctor
William H. Ruhl
as Motorman
Howard Negley
as Policeman
Charles B. Middleton
as Farmer Brown
Ethan Laidlaw
as Conductor
Howard Freeman
as Police Chief
Al Hill
as Customer
Vera Lewis
as Mrs. Hirsch
Therese Lyon
as Mrs. Grimes, housekeeper
Donald MacBride
as Kenyon
Ernie S. Adams
as Little Man
Charles D. Brown
as Packy Robinson
Beatrice Roberts
as Nurse
Vince Barnett
as Charleston
Noel Cravat
as Lou Tringle
Wally Rose
as Bartender
Charles McGraw
as Killer
Ann Staunton
as Stella
Nolan Leary
as Waiter
Perc Launders
as Policeman


Robert Siodmak
Mark Hellinger
John Huston
Anthony Veiller
Elwood Bredell
Miklos Rozsa
Composer (Music Score)
Miklos Rozsa
Jack Otterson
Art Director
Vera West
Costume Designer
David S. Horsley
Special Effects
Melville Shyer
First Assistant Director
Jack P. Pierce