The Killers – which was intended to be one of the first "made-for-TV movies" – was filmed under the title Johnny North, – but NBC judged it too violent to broadcast, so Universal released the film theatrically instead.
The Killers, released in the UK as Ernest Hemingway's "The Killers", is a 1964 crime film written by Gene L. Coon, directed by Don Siegel, starring Lee Marvin, John Cassavetes, Angie Dickinson and Ronald Reagan, and released by Universal Studios. The movie remains notable for being future U.S. president Reagan's last theatrical film before entering politics, as well as the only one in which he plays a villain.
The picture was the second Hollywood adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's short story of the same name, following a 1946 version starring Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner.
At the time of release, Marvin said that it was his favorite film. The supporting cast features Clu Gulager, Claude Akins, and Norman Fell.