Tuesday
01
Oct
7.15pm
Back Killers, The
 
Tue
01
Oct
No film notes
class rating
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 at 7.15pm
Femmes Fatales
  • Classic film noir
  • 1946
  • USA
  • B&W
  • 98 mins.
 
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This is one of the most powerful and influential thrillers ever made, with director Robert Siodmak's lovingly bleak and pessimistic tone virtually defining the term film noir. Based on a short story of remarkable power by Ernest Hemingway, the movie opens with a murder and then seeks, through intricate flashbacks, to explain why the victim was so accepting - welcoming, even - of his fate. Burt Lancaster, all coiled anger as the fall guy, makes a stunning film debut and there's a career-defining role for Ava Gardner as the femme fatale. In fact, there's class all round: the Edward Hopper-influenced design is brilliantly atmospheric, Miklos Rozsa's superb score was so effective it was re-used for TV's Dragnet and John Huston had a hand in the taut screenplay. The Don Siegel remake with Lee Marvin and Ronald Reagan isn't a patch on this marvellous original.

Tony Sloman in Radio Times Film Guide

[For more, click on FILM NOTES ]

 



Director:

 
Robert Siodmak

Cinematographer:

 
Elwood Bredell

Screenplay:

 
Anthony Veiller, John Huston, from a short story by Ernest Hemingway

Cast:

 
Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Albert Dekker, Sam Levene, Charles D Brown, Donald MacBride, Phil Brown, Charles McGraw, William Conrad, Vince Barnett
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