Siodmak and his director of photography, Elwood Bredell, compose more than a handful of great visual moments: the Swede's girlfriend realising that she's lost him as Lancaster watches Gardner sing; a flowing, single-take heist accompanied by the following day's newspaper report. The film is never better than its opening sequence, when two strangers turn up at cafe to wait for the Swede. McGraw and Conrad menace and crack wise with a wonderful air of resignation – this is the job: to arrive in the target's town, make some jokes, fire some shots, leave – and the whole sequence is choreographed to perfection. It's no slight to state that it never hits such heights again; those initial minutes are some of the finest the genre has to offer. Uneven though it may be, The Killers remains an entertaining and finely constructed film. Nearly seventy years after its initial release, it still holds the power to thrill.
David Sugarman | @ShugZ