“Movie for the Evening”: Feature
Not without flaws, however “The Killers” is a movie charged with double-cross. Filmed in gloriously depressing black and white by the skilled hand of Woody Bredell, a group of crooks devise a plan to steal the payroll of a hat company. At the start, the movie distances itself from sentimentality and develops the plot by dealing harshly with deception, allowing the principles to dissent into a hell of their own making. Very few films show so clearly how bad character leads to ruin.
Eva Gardner is Kitty Collins, the source of the double crossing at the center of the plot. Gardner never looked or fit a part better; her performance is the best of her career.
Burt Lancaster is Ole Anderson, know to everyone as The Swede, a washed up fighter turned to crime as a way to the easy life. When he teams up with Kitty to make that dream a reality the fall is hard.
Burt Lancaster’s star status came with the film, his first, and, I suspect, there is a connection between this film and Lancaster’s “Atlantic City” since the pair, Kitty and The Swede, are hold up in Atlantic City when she runs off with the 250k from the theft.
As is typical of the film noir genre, much of the film is told in flashbacks. Edmond O’Brien plays a persistent insurance investigator and cracks the case. In the end, a mansion is scattered with dead bodies and Kitty, the only one left alive, pleads with the dying Big Jim Colfax, played by Albert Dekker, to save her from a life sentence.