Many thanks once more to the Film Foundation for making available two gorgeous restorations of the 1946 and 1964 versions of The Killers. It was a real pleasure to be able to see them side by side and we’re also very appreciative of all the support documents that the film foundation provides, including very illuminating interviews with Eddie Muller, Imogen Sara Smith and Cassandra Moore and which you can explore here:
In the podcast we compare the two films, a noir and a neo-noir, the 46 version made stars of Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner. We then compare both to the Tarkovsky 1956 student version of the film, what they use of the Hemingway short story, and what needed to be invented as background. We discuss why the 1946 continues to fascinate through its Citizen Kane style investigatory structure, its use of music, Woody Bredell’s textured, expressive cinematography, and its depiction of a man driven to death by his love of a woman who constantly lies and who the film shows as unknowable. We discuss the two versions of the 1964 Killers (José prefers the widescreen rather than the 1.33), the casting of the major characters, including Ronald Reagan, and a certain attitudinal cool that the film embodies and evokes.
The podcast may be listened to here:
The podcast can also be listened to on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/show/2zWZ7Egdy6xPCwHPHlOOaT
The BBC documentary on the film: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p05c3yjk
The Tarkovsky student film of The Killers is on You Tube: