Directed by Don Siegel (1964)
Don Siegel's "THE KILLERS" hews pretty tightly to classic 1940s noir form, even though it's in glorious technicolor. Guy (John Cassavetes) gets caught up with the wrong crowd on account of a dame. This dame (she's actually referred to as a "dame" throughout the film - I'm serious) corrupts him and helps turn him into a bad fella. Meanwhile, two murderers-for-hire, who start the film out by taking down Cassavetes in cold blood, retrace their steps trying to figure out why he seemed to want to be murdered. Something's a little....screwy about the job they were asked to do. Maybe they ought to travel cross-country to figure out who's paying them - and if needed, murder them too.
It goes without saying that Lee Marvin, one of the contract killers, is a total badass. Angie Dickinson is pretty and peculiar and sassy in that strange way of hers (definitely not the classic beauty queen, but totally eye-grabbing nonetheless). Yet what's really jarring about this film are two of the other stars - John Goddamn Cassavetes and Ronald Wilson Reagan (in his last-ever role - four years later he'd be governor of California). I can't tell you how awesome it was to see two people I know from totally different contexts (legendary director and American president) acting together. Both are crooks! Reagan even smacks Angie Dickinson! Can you imagine Cassavetes and Reagan hanging out together on the set? What did they talk about? Had Reagan seen "Shadows"? Did Cassavetes give him an early screenplay for "Faces" to look over? Did Reagan try to get him to vote for Goldwater? Anyone know?
Totally fun film - like I said, right out of 1946 instead of 1964, with a little weirdness around the edges that hints at the film era that was looming in the wings.