THE MAN WHO WANTED TO DIE...
Ernest Hemingway s spare, laconic short story about two professional killers and their encounter with a mysteriously unresisting victim was significantly expanded into this all-time film noir classic, which Hemingway said was the first adaptation of his work that he really admired.
As washed-up boxer turned hitman victim Ole Swede Andreson, Burt Lancaster made his screen debut, and was catapulted to instant stardom, not least for the screen chemistry that he showed opposite sultry Ava Gardner, whose Kitty Collins is the very personification of the femme fatale.
German émigré Robert Siodmak was one of the filmmakers who helped create film noir, and Elwood Bredell s high-contrast cinematography, all harsh lighting and long shadows, elevates the film far above a conventional crime drama. But even on that level it s a first-rate demonstration of how to maintain narrative tension, with the flashback structure withholding crucial details until almost the very end.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
- Newly restored High Definition (1080p) presentation of the feature, transferred from original film elements by Universal
- Original uncompressed PCM mono 1.0 audio
- Isolated Music & Effects soundtrack to highlight Miklós Rózsa s famous score
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- Frank Krutnik on The Killers, a video piece by the author of In a Lonely Street, which introduces the film and offers a detailed commentary on four key scenes
- Heroic Fatalism, a video essay adapted from Philip Booth s comparative study of multiple versions of The Killers (Hemingway, Siodmak, Tarkovsky, Siegel)
- Three archive radio pieces inspired by The Killers: the 1949 Screen Director s Playhouse adaptation with Burt Lancaster and Shelley Winters; a 1946 Jack Benny spoof; the 1958 Suspense episode Two for the Road which reunited original killers William Conrad and Charles McGraw
- Stills and posters gallery
- Trailers for The Killers, Brute Force, The Naked City and Rififi
- Reversible sleeve featuring one of the original posters and newly commissioned artwork by Jay Shaw
- Collector s booklet containing new writing by Sergio Angelini and archive interviews with director Robert Siodmak, producer Mark Hellinger and cinematographer Woody Bredell, illustrated with original production stills