See This: Kiss Me Deadly

 

 

Critics continue to argue over whether this is the best film noir ever made but all seem united on one point – Kiss Me Deadly is the best adaptation of one of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer novels. Now 50 years old, the film opens with a scene that still packs a punch – cynical private eye Mike Hammer picks up a girl hitchhiker wearing only a mac. Within minutes his car has been run off the road and a brutal gang is torturing the girl before killing her. The stage is set for Hammer, one of cinema’s great anti-heroes, to become avenging angel, visiting bad men in places high and low to find out whodunit and why. Ralph Meeker is perfect as Hammer, a dirty, lowdown man full of animal cunning, snide one-liners and little else, the ideal operator in a world that has gone to the bad. Director Robert Aldrich and ace cinematographer Ernest Laszlo back Meeker every frame of the way in a succession of blowsy, jaundiced nihilstic set-ups designed to bring out the very worst in every place and every person. And how do you finish off a film set in a world rotten from top to bottom. With a cleansing dose of nuclear apocalypse of course. That’s better.
© Steve Morrissey 2006

 

Kiss Me Deadly – at Amazon

 

 

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  • Kiss Me Deadly (1955) Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | 1h 46min | 28 April 1955 (USA) 7.6
    Director: Robert AldrichWriters: Mickey Spillane, A.I. BezzeridesStars: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul StewartSummary: A frightened woman is running barefoot on a highway, trying desperately to flag a car. After several cars pass her by, the woman sees another car approaching, and to make sure either the car stops, or, she's killed, she stands in the path of the oncoming car. Private Investigator Mike Hammer is the one at the wheel, and after almost hitting the woman, he tells her to get in. The woman's name is Christina Bailey. She is obviously on the run, being barefoot and wearing nothing but a trench coat, and the scent of fear. Whoever was after her eventually catches up with them. Christina has information they want, but dies while being questioned. The killers fake an accident by pushing Hammer's car off the road, but he survives, waking up in hospital two weeks later. As Mike starts to investigate Christina's death, he's told by the police to stay out of it, but, the hard-nosed private investigator proceeds anyways. Little did he know that Christina's secret would lead to death and destruction. Written by garykmcd

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