Movies. When the killers find the Swede, he's expecting them and doesn't put up a fight. Summary “The Killers” was first published at the height of the Prohibition Era in 1927, a time when criminal activity was rampant throughout the United States, most notably in and around Chicago. ... Told instead from the hitmen's point of view, the killers decide to find out why their latest victim (a race car driver) "just stood there and took it" when they came to shoot him. Since the Swede had a life insurance policy, an investigator (Edmond O'Brien), on a … The Killers uses Ernest Hemingway's short story as a springboard for a complex film noir. Two hit men walk into a diner asking for a man called "the Swede" (Burt Lancaster). Read the full synopsis of The Killers, 1946, directed by Robert Siodmak, with Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, at Turner Classic Movies Synopsis. Menu.