Cairns on Siodmak

On Film / Short Takes — Jun 4, 2010

He may not be a household name like Fritz Lang or Billy Wilder, but Robert Siodmak is renowned in some circles as one of the most important film noir directors, and his 1946 Burt Lancaster–Ava Gardner vehicle The Killers is widely considered a pinnacle of the genre. Film writer and director David Cairns, a recent Criterion collaborator (see his Stagecoach essay), has written an in-depth, insightful elucidation of the life and career of this master of the macabre (who’s currently the subject of a retrospective at the Cinémathèque française) for Moving Image Source. In the piece, called “Dark Mirrors,” Cairns tracks Siodmak’s work in film from Germany to France to Hollywood, where he directed such unforgettably sinister entertainments as Phantom Lady, The Spiral Staircase, and of course, The Killers, available on Criterion DVD.