Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Clu Gulager, John Cassavetes, Ronald Reagan
Gene L. Coon
The screening will be preceded by a video introduction from Martin Scorsese
Surprised that their victim didn’t run, two hit- men try to find out who hired them and why.
Don Siegel’s remake of Robert Siodmak movie, planned as a full-length TV movie, turned the doomed victim into racing driver Johnny North, kept the basic plot of a heist gone wrong, but looked at the story from the viewpoint of ageing hitman Charlie Strom, who’s eager to know why Johnny didn’t attempt to escape, and his psychopathic, hero-worshiping assistant. From the opening scene in which they terrify the blind school where Johnny works, they’re an unsympathetic pair, but utterly compelling in their ruthlessness. The movie defines the violent, complex persona that would make Lee Marvin a star, and he’s cast alongside the irresistibly alluring Angie Dickinson. The coldly glittering cherry on this poisoned cake is Ronald Reagan’s final screen appearance in his only villainous role as a sleazy gangster fuelled by cheap ambition and aware of his own bad faith. Siegel, who’d long observed Reagan at Warner Brothers, was a cult director of taut, low-budget flicks in 1963 and on his way to fame as Clint Eastwood’s key collaborator. He persuaded a reluctant Reagan to play this revealing character. He also injected much that was chillingly disturbing, and in the wake of the 1963 Kennedy assassination the producers decided to release The Killers in cinemas and to withhold it from TV.
Philip French, «The Guardian», 23 febbraio 2014
PRODUCTION: Universal Pictures
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