Killers & Killers

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Overview

Prepare to experience two radically different versions of Ernest Hemingway's gripping crime drama The Killers as The Criterion Collection presents both the Robert Siodmak 1946 screen adaptation and Don Siegel's 1964 take on the tale in one feature-packed special edition DVD release. Both films are presented in 1.33:1 full-frame as originally released and offer audio in English Dolby Digital Mono with optional English subtitles. Special features for Siodmak's version include Andrei Tarkovsky's 1956 student film ...
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Overview

Prepare to experience two radically different versions of Ernest Hemingway's gripping crime drama The Killers as The Criterion Collection presents both the Robert Siodmak 1946 screen adaptation and Don Siegel's 1964 take on the tale in one feature-packed special edition DVD release. Both films are presented in 1.33:1 full-frame as originally released and offer audio in English Dolby Digital Mono with optional English subtitles. Special features for Siodmak's version include Andrei Tarkovsky's 1956 student film version of The Killers, a video interview with writer Stuart M. Kaminsky, a Screen Director's Playhouse radio adaptation of the tale from 1949, actor Stacy Keach reading Hemingway's original short story, production and publication stills, trailers for other Siodmak films, writer/director Paul Schrader's 1972 essay "Notes on Film Noir," an essay by Jonathan Lethem, and a music and effects audio track. Bonus materials for Siegel's version include reflections with star Clu Gulager, pertinent excerpts from Siegel's autobiography, A Siegel Film, production correspondence including memos from Siegel, production and publicity stills, an essay by Hardboiled America author Geoffrey O'Brien, and a music and effects track.
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Special Features

The Killers (1946):; New digital transfer; Andrei Tarkovsky's 1956 student film version of The Killers; Video interview with writer Stuart M. Kaminsky (Don Siegel: Director); Screen Director's Playhouse 1949 radio adaptation, starring Burt Lancaster and Shelley Winters; Actor Stacy Keach (Mike Hammer) reads Hemingway's short story; Production and publicity stills with actor biographies, rare behind-the-scenes stills gallery, original press book, and ads; Collection of trailers for Robert Siodmak films; Writer/director Paul Schrader's seminal 1972 essay "Notes on Film Noir"; Essay by Jonathan Lethem (Motherless Brooklyn); Music and effects track; ; The Killers (1964): ; New digital transfer; Reflections with star Clu Gulager; Excerpts from Don Siegel's autobiography, "A Siegel Film," pertaining to the making of the movie; Production correspondence including memos from Don Siegel, broadcasting standards reports, and casting suggestions; Production and publicity stills with actor biographies, rare behind-the-scenes stills gallery, and advertisements; Music and effects track
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/18/2003
  • UPC: 715515013321
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English
  • Time: 3:16:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Burt Lancaster
Technical Credits
Robert Siodmak Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 -- The Killers (1946)
1. Brentwood, U.S.A. [8:40]
2. "Why Would Anyone Want to Kill the Swede?" [4:09]
3. "What Do You Know About Lunn?" [2:10]
4. Nick Adams' Story [3:59]
5. Queenie's Story [4:43]
6. Dead Man's Handkerchief [3:00]
7. Lt. Lubinsky's Story [9:04]
8. Lilly's Story [5:27]
9. "Tip on Some Hot Jewelry" [5:33]
10. Charleston's Story [5:12]
11. "Tell Us About a Caper" [5:18]
12. Holdup in Hackensack [5:25]
13. Bunky's Story [4:47]
14. "There Goes a Quarter of a Million" [3:59]
15. Dum Dum's Story [7:12]
16. Big Jim Colfax's Story [5:15]
17. "Blue Suit, Bow Tie" [3:14]
18. Kitty's Story [6:48]
19. Let's Get Out of Here [2:30]
20. "Our Luck's Run Out, Kitty" [4:49]
21. Double-Cross to End All Double-Crosses [1:16]
Side #2 -- The Killers (1964)
1. Sage Home for the Blind [6:12]
2. Just Stood There and Took It [3:05]
3. Earl's Story [4:58]
4. "Ma'am, You Dig Fast Cars?" [5:59]
5. "Neither of Us Scares Easily" [3:56]
6. Too Little Time [4:36]
7. At the Race [10:01]
8. What a Loser Looks Like [6:50]
9. Choking on a Question [1:51]
10. Mickey's Story [5:22]
11. A Trial Run [3:29]
12. "I'm Mixed Up in You" [3:06]
13. Show Me What You Can do [2:20]
14. "Homicide Is Against My Principles" [4:17]
15. No Sweat, Mickey [6:29]
16. "Don't Try to Run" [5:50]
17. A Long Way Down [4:32]
18. Sheila's Story [7:22]
19. "Lady, I Don't Have the Time" [4:29]
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Menu

Side #1 -- The Killers (1946)
   Play Movie
   Chapters
   Case Study
      Stuart Kaminsky on The Killers
      Biographies
         Burt Lancaster as "The Swede"
         Ava Gardner as Kitty Collins
         Edmond O'Brien as Jim Reardon
         Sam Levene as Lt. Sam Lubinsky
         Jeff Corey as Blinky
         Albert Dekker as Big Jim Colfax
         Vince Barnett as Charleston
         Jack Lambert as Dum Dum
         Miklos Rozsa/Composer
         Robert Siodmak and Mark Hellinger
      Exploitation
         Publicity Stills
         Production Stills
         Behind-the-Scenes
         Original Press Book
         Original Advertising
         Winter Garden Theater, NYC
      Source and Adaptations
         Hemingway's Short Story
         Andrei Tarkovsky's The Killers
         Screen Director's Playhouse
            Introduction
            Play the Program
               Introduction
               "I Did Something Wrong Once"
               Intermission
               Double-Cross
               "The $250,000 Question"
               Interview With Robert Siodmak
            The Players
      "Notes on Film Noir"
         Index
            Introduction
            War and Post-War Disillusionment
            Post-War Realism
            The German Influence
            The Hard-Boiled Tradition
            Stylistics
            Themes
            Three Phases of Noir
            Neglect of Noir
      Siodmak Trailers
         Play All
         Son of Dracula (1943)
         Cobra Woman (1944)
         The Killers (1946)
         Cry of the City (1948)
         Criss Cross (1949)
   Set-Up
      Audio Options
         Dolby Digital Mono
         Music and Effects Track
      Color Bars
Side #2 -- The Killers (1964)
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Hit List
      Reflections With Clu Gulager
         Play
      Don Siegel on The Killers
         Play
            Made for Television
            Mucho Macho
            Do the Picture for Nothing
            Quadruple Talent
            Cobb Salad
            A Theory About Drinking
            JFK
            The Garage Scene
            Happy Birthday John
            Straight Scotch
            President of SAG
            Better Than the Script
      From the Office Of....
         9/9/63: Notes on Johnny North Script (Excerpts)
         9/24/63: Siegel to Lang (Excerpts)
         10/20/63: NBC Broadcast Standards Department
         10/22/63: Casting Suggestions
         5/27/64: Siegel to Angie
         "Pale Carbon Copy"
      Biographies
         Lee Marvin as Charlie
         Angie Dickinson as Sheila Farr
         John Cassavetes as Johnny North
         Ronald Reagan as Browning
         Clu Gulager as Lee
         Claude Akins as Earl Sylvester
         Norman Fell as Mickey
         Don Siegel/Director and Producer
      Exploitation
         Publicity Stills
         Behind-the-Scenes Stills
         Newspaper Ads and One-Sheets
         Trailer
   Set-Up
      Audio Options
         Dolby Digital Mono
         Music and Effects Track
      Color Bars
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    One Great "Killer" And One Not-So-Great "Killer"

    One is very tempted to say that film noirs really began when director Robert Siodmak unleashed his adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's "The Killers" back in 1946. Another director who was considered for the job---but was passed on it---was Don Siegel, who got the chance to make his own version of the movie in 1964. The results were two completely different films on the same subject. Siodmak's version is widely considered a classic. Siegels' version is less than so.

    The 1946 version of "The Killers" has a lot of things to recommend. It tells the story of a down-and-out ex-con (Burt Lancaster, in his first major role) who falls under the spell of a gun moll (a sultry Ava Gardner) who convinces him to pull the ultimate double-cross. But rather telling the story in a linear fashion, it starts with a murder and an insurance agent (Edmond O'Brien) investigates the crime and winds up with more than he bargained for.

    Lancaster is superb as the doomed ex-con. You watch Gardner here and you realize why she played femme fatales so perfectly. For me, however, watching the beginning of the film, which involves two hit men in a roadside cafe, with their gradual intimidation of the patrons is the kind of slow-burn tension kind of filmmaking we see from Quentin Tarantino. In other words, not violent but the threat of violence is enough to produce palbable excitement. And yes, that theme song definitely sounds like the theme from "Dragnet".

    Siegel's version of "The Killers" was supposed to be a made-for-TV film but got yanked after the Kennedy assassination when censors felt it was too violent. So, it went straight to the theaters. This version has almost nothing to do with Hemingway's story. Instead, it tells the story of the murder of a race car driver (John Cassavettes) as told through the murderers themselves (Lee Marvin & Clu Gulager). Siegel's telling of the story has the look and feel of a TV movie but its violence is like a B-movie pulp fiction novel.

    If Siegel's version of "The Killers" is noteworthy for anything, it is for two things. One of them is Angie Dickinson, playing the bad girl here with almost the same raw intensity that Gardner played back in 1946. And Ronald Reagan is here, too, playing the villian (yes, the villian!) in what would be his final film role. But The Criterion Collection DVD also has a compelling 30-minute version of the story that was made in Russia which is a lot better and more believable than Siegel's film.

    Siodmak's "Killers" deserves a 5-star rating because it's one of those brilliant films where you sense the excitement and see the influence at the same time. You sure don't get that feeling watching Siegel's "Killers".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I hate it when they change the names of movies!

    The original name for both versions was "The Killers". I have been looking for both versions for years!! The original with Burt Lancaster is a great film noir! The second, I wanted it because I loved Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager in this movie remake . They were great as the two 'killers'. Keep a close watch on Clu, his mannerism is very distracting, you want to watch him all the time. John Cassavetes has the part originally portrayed by Lancaster. It's a great movie to have in your library. I found out the new name of the movie(s), when I purchased "Written on the Wind", released by Criterion. I went on their website, typed in "The Killers", it asked me where did I want to purchase this movie, it gives you some options, including Barnes and Noble. I clicked on B&N, and I was immediately transfered to this website and to the new movie title. I would have never found it otherwise. That's why I hate it when studios change the name of the movies upon re-release. I hope you enjoy both versions as much as I have.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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