The Killers (Ubiytsy) (1956)
Complete: Andrei Tarkovsky
Tarkovsky’s first credited work is the 20-minute short Ubiytsy (1956), an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s 1927 short story, “The Killers,” about a pair of pitiless hitmen who descend on a rural diner to kill a mark named Ole “The Swede” Andreson. Tarkovsky co-directed the film with classmates Alexander Gordon (who also plays barman George in the short) and Marika Beiku while studying at the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK), under the tutelage of Mikhail Romm. Hemingway’s collected works had recently been published for the first time in the Soviet Union, which led to another first: No students prior to Tarkovsky and his collaborators were given approval to use a foreign work of art as their subject.
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