There Is More Than One Way To Kill A Man...
"I gotta find out what makes a man decide not to run. Why all of a sudden he'd rather die."
So muses hitman Charlie (Lee Marvin) after his high-priced victim Johnny North (John Cassavetes) gives in without a fight. Obsessed with the answer, Charlie and his hot-headed associate Lee (Clu Gulager) track down Johnny's associates, and uncover a complex web of crime and deceit involving his femme fatale girlfriend Sheila (Angie Dickinson) and ruthless mob boss Jack Browning (Ronald Reagan in his last screen role).
Loosely inspired by the Ernest Hemingway story, and directed by Don Siegel (whose many other taut, efficient thrillers include Dirty Harry and the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers), The Killers was commissioned as the very first 'TV movie', but was given a cinema release because of its violence - although a cast like that really belonged on the big screen in the first place.
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Don Siegel's 1964 adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's short story finally receives a long overdue BluRay release. Arrow Academy have produced a comprehensive package that will delight the many fans of this cult favourite. The film was originally intended for television but was released in cinemas due to it's violence and the viewer is presented with the choice of ratios (1.33:1 or 1.85:1) together with a pristine high definition picture which shows the bright saturated colours that were so much a part of the film to great effect. The Killers has never looked this good. There is also a good selection of extra content including two in depth supplements concerning two stars of the film ; Lee Marvin and Ronald Reagan who made The Killers at different milestones in their respective careers. For Marvin it marked his transition from supporting player into major star and for Reagan it was the last film that he would make before embarking on his political career. An archive interview with Siegel is also worth a watch. The BluRay also comes with a comprehensive booklet featuring further written memories from Siegel as to how he cast the film and new retrospective writing on the impact the film makes. This is perhaps the definitive release for this great film from one of the great directors. Highly recommended.
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