Killers, The (1946)

The Killers (1946), directed by Robert Siodmak.

The first 11 minutes follows Hemingway's short story closely: two thugs arrive at a small town diner looking for the Swede. When warned, he doesn't care, but just waits for the end.

The rest of the film is an elaborated backstory and then a resolution to the mystery.

Burt Lancaster's first movie. He's obviously a natural actor and has tremendous physical presence.

Ava Gardner is undoubtedly beautiful but probably bad. With those bedroom eyes: must be bad.

Edmond O'Brien is an insurance investigator -- a common device in hardboiled fiction and noir films -- who hunts down all the characters who knew the Swede and puts the story together.

Frantic score by Miklós Rózsa.

Criterion DVD with isolated score. Also included is a 20 minute short: Andrei Tarkovsky's student film project, The Killers (1956), based on just the short story. It's well done for a class assignment.

A Criterion Blu-ray is due soon but my thumbnails are from the DVD.