The Killers Criterion Collection
Ernest Hemingway's 1927 short story "The Killers" first appeared in Scribner's Magazine and became one of the writer's most recognized and re-printed works. Although it barely cracks 2,500 words, "The Killers" is a powerful piece ripe with satire, angst and the human condition. The story spawned several adaptations, including two fantastic feature films: a 1946 adaptation with Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner, and a 1964 version with Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson. Each film expands the brief, chilling fragment into a dark thriller told in retrospective flashbacks, and together they chart the evolution of Film Noir from romantic fatalism to existential nihilism.

The Killers (1946) - directed by Robert Siodmak
This crackling, engrossing first film adaptation of "The Killers" ignited the careers of stars Lancaster and Gardner, and is rightfully revered as classic film noir.
In the rather long prologue of this legendary film, two killers (William Conrad and Charles McGraw) arrive in a small New Jersey town looking for a man nicknamed the "Swede" (Burt Lancaster), a once legendary boxer. A bystander manages to warn the Swede, who makes no attempt to flee and accepts his fate quietly as gunfire blares. A series of flashbacks gradually reveal why the Swede had to die...

The Killers (1964) - directed by Don Siegel
This version of The Killers begins in a similar, if more brutal, fashion to its predecessor. Hired guns Charlie (Lee Marvin) and Lee (Clu Gulager) torture the principal at a school for the blind until she reveals the whereabouts of a teacher, Johnny North (John Cassavetes). Someone warns Johnny about the danger, but he simply replies, "It's OK, I know them." Charlie and Lee enter the classroom and shoot Johnny until dead. Here, it is the killers who are curious enough to find out why Johnny did not run away. They'd also like to profit from any ongoing scheme Johnny may have been running. Johnny's former associate, Earl (Claude Akins), details Johnny's time as a stock car driver and his relationship with seductress Sheila Farr (Angie Dickinson). The men begin to second-guess their work as they learn more about Johnny's life.

• Andrei Tarkovsky's short film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's "The Killers", made when he was a student in 1956 (20:38)
• Interview from 2002 with writer Stuart M. Kaminsky about both films (17:46)
• Piece from 2002 in which actor Stacy Keach reads Hemingway's short story
• Screen Director's Playhouse radio adaptation from 1949 of the 1946 film, starring Burt Lancaster and Shelley Winters (17:43 + 29:42)
• Interview from 2002 with actor Clu Gulager (18:46)
• Audio excerpt from director Don Siegel's autobiography, "A Siegel Film", read by actor and director Hampton Fancher (19:32)
• Sidomak Trailers
• Trailer for 1964 version

Easter eggs:
• "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" trailer - Go to the 1946 version, go to Supplements, highlight "Source and Adaptations" and press the blue button
• "Video of Clu Gulager reading a section of Siegel's autobiography" - Go to the 1964 version, go to Supplements, highlight "Reflections with Clu Gulager" and press the blue button

2 x DVD9 | NTSC 4:3 | 01:42:30 + 01:34:43 | 7.66 Gb + 7.59 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English

Download The Killers (1946 and 1964) 2 x DVD9 Criterion Collection [2015 Edition]:



BD50 | 1080p AVC | 01:42:39 + 01:34:52 | 44.9 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English

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