The Killers is a 1946 American film noir directed by Robert Siodmak and based in part on the short story of the same name by Ernest Hemingway. It stars Burt Lancaster in his film debut, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, and Sam Levene. The film also features William Conrad in his first credited role, as one of the titular killers. In 2008, The Killers was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." Two hitmen, Max and Al (William Conrad and Charles McGraw), come to a small town to kill Ole "the Swede" Andreson (Burt Lancaster). The Swede's coworker at a gas station warns him but, strangely, he makes no attempt to flee, and they kill him. Life insurance investigator Jim Reardon (Edmond O'Brien) is assigned to find and pay the beneficiary of his policy. Tracking down and interviewing the dead man's friends and associates, Reardon doggedly pieces together his story. Police Lieutenant Sam Lubinsky (Sam Levene), a close, longtime friend of the Swede, is particularly helpful.