The Killers (1964) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Killers (1964)



Critic Consensus: Though it can't best Robert Siodmak's classic 1946 version, Don Siegel's take on the Ernest Hemingway story stakes out its own violent territory, and offers a terrifically tough turn from Lee Marvin.

Movie Info

Based on an Ernest Hemingway short story, this cult classic stars Lee Marvin and Clu Gulagher as a pair of hit men assigned to kill John Cassavetes, a teacher at a school for the blind. After committing the crime, they try to piece together the man's past.


Lee Marvin
as Charlie
Angie Dickinson
as Sheila Farr
Ronald Reagan
as Browning
John Cassavetes
as Johnny North
Claude Akins
as Earl Sylvester
Virginia Christine
as Miss Watson
Don Haggerty
as Mail Truck Driver
Kathleen O'Malley
as Receptionist
Ted Jacques
as Gym Assistant
Irvin Mosley
as Mail Truck Guard
Jimmy Joyce
as Salesman
Davis Roberts
as Maitre D'
Hal Brock
as Race Marshal
Burt Mustin
as Elderly Man
Peter Hobbs
as Instructor
Tyler McVey
as Steward
Seymour Cassel
as Postal Clerk
Scott Hale
as Hotel Clerk
View All

Critic Reviews for The Killers

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (6)

Siegel's terse, seething, and stylish direction glows with the blank radiance of sheet metal in sunlight; the movie's bright primary colors and glossy luxuries are imbued with menace, and its luminous delights convey a terrifyingly cold world view.

August 28, 2017 | Full Review…

Perhaps the sole justification for turning a fine old movie into a just passable new one can be summed up as Angie Dickinson.

May 23, 2011 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Ronald Reagan fails to crash convincingly through his goodguy image in his portrayal of a ruthless crook.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

The second film version (1964) of Ernest Hemingway's short story, directed by Don Siegel with far more energy than Robert Siodmak could muster for his overrated 1946 effort.

March 12, 2008 | Full Review…

A familiar tale of robbery and betrayal unfolds, not enhanced by the glossy colour but given a terrific boost by the fact that the two killers stick around and are superbly characterised by Marvin and Gulager.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

The selfish cynicism on display, the every-man-and-woman-for-themselves bravado is a more cinematic than televisual conceit.

March 9, 2003 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Killers


Siegel's minimalistic style perfectly suits every crime tale he touches. This version rivals Robert Siodmak's previous by being something completely different, having more of a pulp-ish, b-movie sensitivity, au courant with a more nihilistic, violent, and mysogynistic time it was made. Memorable parts played by everyone, especially the badass Lee Marvin, and Angie Dickinson is to die for..

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer


The original is where it's at, although this has it's moments. Very watchable.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer


Not as atmospheric as Robert Siodmak's 1946 version but this neo-noirish rendition of Ernest Hemingway's short story does have it's merits. Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson are standouts in an otherwise lethargic cast. Director Don Siegel took a completely different approach to the material, resulting in a film that's more of a retelling than a remake. In fact, if the titles weren't the same, it's doubtful you'd even recognize the story. I still favor the original film but The Killers of 1964 isn't nearly as bad as I thought it might be.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

The Killers Quotes

News & Features