The Killers/1946/Universal Pictures/105 min.
“The Killers,” based on a short story by Ernest Hemingway, is virtuoso noir director Robert Siodmak’s most famous work and one of the genre-defining, all-time great noirs. Insurance investigator Jim Reardon (Edmond O’Brien) wants to know who killed “Swede” Andreson (Burt Lancaster) and why a chambermaid is the beneficiary of his policy. The root of all evil (are you sitting down?) is a raven-haired beauty named Kitty Collins (Ava Gardner), who refers to herself as “poison.” Lancaster’s first movie and Gardner’s first big success.