Sunday, November 14, 2010

1964 - THE KILLERS, made for TV film of the Hemingway story, sort of.

Supposedly the first made for TV film that was released instead in the theater because of it's violence.  The Killers is kind of a lame looking film with lots of sloppy back projection, cheap looking studio sets, crappy back lot filming and over blown music from John Williams no less.

The film was directed by B movie ace Don Siegel who had a good cast.  Lee Marvin and Clu Gulagher are the ultra cool killers possibly an inspiration for the Blues Brothers.  Angie Dickenson is the femme fatale in full fatale mode.  Ronald Reagan the criminal mastermind who earns his reputation as the second string actor he always was.   John Cassavetes is also in the film, this is the kind of crap he did to finance his own independent films. 

Since this was a cheapskate Universal studio production, Siegel probably did the best he could do under the circumstances.  Siegel tries to stick a few stylistic flourishes into the film but it's pretty much an uphill battle.  When it's all said and done probably the only interesting stuff in the film is Lee Marvin's very cool killer.

A film with a higher reputation than it deserves probably due to the weirdness of having Ronald Reagan in his final film playing a screen villain.  The Killers is another Criterion disc like the Blob where the bonus materials are better than the actual film.

93 minutes.

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