Watch They Made Me a Killer
- 1 hr 4 min
They Made Me a Killer is a 1946 crime film directed by William C. Thomas and starring Robert Lowery, Barbara Britton, and Lola Lane. The film tells the story of Tom Durling, a former soldier who returns home from the war to find his family's farm foreclosed upon. Desperate and without any prospects, Durling takes a job as a truck driver, transporting goods for a company owned by a trio of criminals.
The film opens with Durling driving his truck through a rainstorm, struggling to stay awake. He picks up a hitchhiker, Ann Collins (played by Britton), who is also a former soldier. The two share their stories of struggle and hardship, and Durling tells Ann about his family's farm and his hopes of one day returning there.
However, Durling's dreams are quickly shattered when he arrives home to find that the farm has been foreclosed upon and sold to the very same criminals he now works for. Durling is furious and decides to confront his former employer, but things quickly turn violent and Durling accidentally kills one of the criminals in self-defense.
Panicked, Durling flees the scene and is picked up by Eddie (played by Frank Albertson), a small-time con artist who becomes Durling's partner in crime. The two embark on a crime spree, robbing gas stations and stores to make ends meet.
As Durling and Eddie's crimes become more serious, Ann shows up again, having tracked Durling down in the hopes of helping him escape the law. Together, the three of them try to evade the police and clear Durling's name, while also trying to bring the real criminals to justice.
One of the standout elements of They Made Me a Killer is its impressive cast, particularly the pairing of Robert Lowery and Barbara Britton. Lowery, who had previously starred in several B-movies, delivers a standout performance as Durling, effectively conveying both the character's desperation and his growing sense of moral ambiguity. Britton is equally impressive as Ann, portraying the character with a sense of strength and determination that is rare in female characters of this era.
Lola Lane, who plays the film's main villain, also delivers a memorable performance, portraying a character who is both cunning and ruthless. Lane's performance is particularly impressive given that, up until this point, she had mostly been cast in supporting roles in B-movies and serials.
Director William C. Thomas, who had previously worked primarily in B-movies, manages to elevate the material with his deft direction and strong visual sense. Despite the film's low budget, Thomas is able to craft several tense and suspenseful sequences, particularly during the film's climactic chase scene.
They Made Me a Killer is ultimately a gripping crime thriller that is well worth watching for fans of film noir and classic cinema. While the film's low budget is often evident, particularly in some of the more poorly executed action sequences, the performances and direction more than make up for any technical shortcomings. With its themes of desperation, morality, and redemption, They Made Me a Killer is a film that still resonates with audiences today.
They Made Me a Killer is a 1946 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 4 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9.