MovieChat Forums > The Killers (1964) Discussion > Poll thread: which movie do you prefer, ...

Poll thread: which movie do you prefer, 1946 or 1964?


My vote: about even. While they have many differences, I can't say that I prefer one over the other.

And for those who read the original Hemingway story, which version is closer to the original story?


I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man with no sole. ~ Ancient Disco Proverb

reply

1946 is definitely better. It's true noir (in b&w), tough and scary, with a neat twisty mystery, an excellent cast, great music and direction.

Don't get me wrong: 1964 is very good, and some of the plot changes are really interesting. But Lee Marvin is most of the show (though the cast here is good too), and the movie suffers from the cheap production values Universal put into it because it was intended to be a made-for-TV movie. (Obvious and familiar back-lot scenes, phony backgrounds, bland music and cinematography, even crummy credits -- a film clearly shot in a hurry, characteristic of TV movies, which are usually quickly and shoddily made.) It would have been much sharper and of better technical quality if it had started out to be a theatrical film in the first place.

I've never read the Hemingway short story, but from what I've read about it, 1946 sounds closer. But his story apparently ended with the killing; as I understand it, the plot used in both films (investigating why the victim didn't run) is absent from the original story.

reply

Sorry, but in my opinion, no contest..'46 by a mile.

Much more mood, atmosphere, tension...

But then I'm usually dated in my films..

few visible scars

reply

Remake is still entertaining.

"It's the system, Lara. People will be different after the Revolution."

reply

They're just so different. The 1946 one is obviously the most artful. But the 1964 version is a must-see kind of thing, with quite a cast -- although clearly shot for TV.

When they realized they were going to release the 1964 version to theaters, they should have spiffed up a couple of things, like that bloodless shooting of Cassavetes.

--
LBJ's mistress on JFK:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcXeutDmuRA


reply

...because the short story is about two guys that show up at Henry's diner looking for the Swede. They tie up Nick Adams and the cook and wait around for the Swede to come in. George, the counter clerk, deceives customers who come by, keeping the diner empty until the two guys with guns lose patience and leave. Nick Adams runs to warn the Swede who is sick in bed at a hearby boarding house, but the Swede doesn't care anymore. He says he's tired of running. Nick Adams goes back to George and wonders what kind of a man is so messed up that he won't run to save his life. The End.

reply

Even when I accept the fact that Siegel was trying to distance himself from the 1946 original as much as possible (he did not want to use any of the Hemingway material and was not happy the Hemingway title was ultimately restored to it), the chief problem for me with the 64 version is that it just seems too bloated because its TV production values are too evident. The entire flashback sequence involving how Johnny meets Angie Dickinson goes on way too long IMO and I think this version would have been better served had it simply been done as a one hour program on an anthology series (which also would have allowed for more focus on Marvin and Gulager). You could have dispensed with Claude Akins entirely and had Norman Fell be the first person they tracked down and gotten the back-story necessary right there.

reply

1946 version. Really, they are 2 totally different movies. And the title should not have been used for this one as Siegel and other Hollywood people have said. The studio just wanted in on the notoriety of the 1946 film. The 1964 film had nearly nothing to do with Hemingway's story and the only thing it did have was in a totally different scenario, and different names.

reply

I think the difference comes mostly down to production values.
Particularly the photography. 1946 has a string of striking and memorable images.
1964 is about as bland as a TV movie gets. The flashbacks also drag in the remake and it has some of the worst rear projection I've ever seen.

reply

Oh brother. This was made at Universal and it was supposed to be the first made for TV movie. It shows, big time. Every single actor in this film is wooden, Reagan approaching petrified wood. This was like the amateur hour. The sets and lighting were garish and shoddy. The rear projection scenes laughable. Marvin filmed several scenes drunk, but who would notice in a turkey like this.
The 46 version was class all the way and followed the Hemingway story. This film purposely avoided it.
Actually, Lee Matvin had some decent scenes-after all , he was the M-Squad guy. But that's my only concession.

reply