Burt Lancaster & Ava Gardner: 'The Killers' Academy Screening

by Andre Soares
The Killers Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster, Edmond O'Brien, Robert Siodmark
Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster, The Killers

Robert Siodmak's The Killers (1946), the film noir that catapulted Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner (above) to stardom, will be screened as the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' series “Oscar Noir: 1940s Writing Nominees from Hollywood's Dark Side.” The Killers will be shown on Monday, June 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Screenwriter Billy Ray (Shattered Glass, State of Play) will introduce the screening. (The Killers is sold out. More info below.)

Screenwriter Anthony Veiller turned Ernest Hemingway's classic short story into a classic film noir. The Killers, about a former boxer and the men out to get him, isn't one of my favorites noirs, but it's great to look at thanks to Ava Gardner and cinematographer Elwood Bredell. Also in the cast: Edmond O'Brien, Albert Dekker, Sam Levene, Virginia Christine, and Charles McGraw.

Produced by Mark Hellinger, The Killers earned four Academy Award nominations, including Directing (Robert Siodmak), Film Editing (Arthur Hilton), Music - Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (Miklós Rózsa) and Writing - Screenplay (Veiller).

At 7 p.m. Who Killed Who? (1943), an MGM Tex Avery cartoon, and the episode “The Scorpion Strikes” from the 1941 serial Adventures of Captain Marvel will be screened as part of the evening's pre-feature program.

“Oscar Noir” is a summer-long series featuring 15 film noir classics from the 1940s, all of which were nominated in writing categories.

Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, The KillersNote: The Killers is sold out. A standby line will form on the day of the event, and standby numbers will be assigned at approximately 5:30 p.m. Any available tickets will be distributed shortly before the program begins. [Right: Virginia Christine, Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner.]

Ticketholders should arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the feature to ensure a seat in the theater. All tickets to individual evenings in the series are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.

Image: Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library

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kate buford -

THE KILLERS sold out! For a complete backstory of the movie and Lancaster's casting therein, please see my biography, BURT LANCASTER: AN AMERICAN LIFE, Knopf 2000; Da Capo Press paperback 2001; U.K. hardcover and paperback editions from Aurum Press; recent new U.K. Aurum paperback in 2008. New York Times Editors' Choice, Best Book of 2000; LATimes bestseller and Best Book of the Year. Ditto for Washington Post, SF Chronicle, and more. Thanks!

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