The Killers (1946)


“Don’t ask a dying man to lie his soul into Hell.” – Lt. Sam Lubinsky

Number of Times Seen – 1 (8 Oct 2018)

Brief Synopsis – An insurance investigator tries to figure out why two hoodlums would want to kill a gas station attendant.

My Take on it – This is a film that I had never even heard of beforehand and decided to watch it solely for the reason that the director Robert Siodmak was nominated for an Oscar for Director for his work here.

This is an excellent film noir movie that is able to tell a very complex tale with the use of flashbacks as we learn about the events that led up to the present.

This is all done solely via the recollections of various characters and some of the stories and alibis overlap so we can see cracks in some of those stories which could be deliberate or just by accident.

They do a great job showing us new information together with the main character who is investigating it all because this allows us to experience shock and awe along with him as his inquiry moves along.

We also never truly known (just like the character) what is truth and what is fiction in the back stories being described.

Burt Lancaster does a fine job in his debut role but the standout is Edmund O’Brien as the investigator who feels that something just isn’t right.

This movie takes a complex plot and spreads it around like pieces of a puzzle and it’s great how both we and the characters need to try and put it together in order to fully understand what actually transpired and why.

Siodmak does a wonderful job putting this film together and was definitely deservingly nominated for an Oscar for his work here.

Bottom Line – Excellent film noir that manages to tell a very complex tale largely via flashback as we get to learn about everything that happened in the past based solely on recollections of other characters. It’s great how we discover new information at the same time as the investigator and just like him, we can never know what is truthful and what is not.  Lancaster does a great job in his debut role, but O’Brien stands out throughout as the insurance investigator.  Love the way that this film makes us piece together all the information like a complex puzzle. Siodmak was deservingly nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The entire Prentiss Hat Company robbery was filmed with one camera and no cuts. It required quick coordination between dozens of people and several vehicles. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)

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2 thoughts on “The Killers (1946)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1946 |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1946 | MovieRob

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