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Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner star in Robert Siodmak’s gritty and muscular film noir, adapted from Hemingway’s short story.
Director: Robert Siodmak
Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner star in Robert Siodmak’s gritty and muscular film noir. Told entirely in flashback, a life insurance investigator pieces together the tragic story of ‘the Swede’ (Burt Lancaster), a boxer drawn into a dangerous world of crime by his feelings for a fickle mobster’s moll (Ava Gardner). The influential opening scene, in which two hit-men track down their prey in a sleepy small town, sets the bleak but seductive tone of noir fatalism to memorably brilliant effect.
Ernest Hemingway’s short story has also been filmed by Andrei Tarkovsky and Don Siegel, but Robert Siodmak’s version remains the definitive adaptation.