Kiss Me Deadly

Kiss Me Deadly

Director: Robert Aldrich Cast: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart

Blu-ray (Wide Screen / B&W)

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Regarded by many critics as the ultimate film noir, and by many more as the finest movie adaptation of a book by Mickey Spillane, Kiss Me Deadly stars Ralph Meeker as Spillane's anti-social private eye Mike Hammer. While driving down a lonely road late one evening, Hammer picks up a beautiful blonde hitchhiker (Cloris Leachman), dressed in nothing but a raincoat. At first, Hammer assumes that the incoherent girl is an escaped lunatic; his mind is changed for him when he and the girl are abducted by two thugs. The men torture the girl to death as the semiconscious Hammer watches helplessly. He himself escapes extermination when the murderers' car topples off a cliff and he is thrown clear. Seeking vengeance, Hammer tries to discover the secret behind the girl's murder. Among those who cross his path in the film's tense, tingling 105 minutes are a slimy gangster (Paul Stewart), a turncoat scientist (Albert Dekker), and the dead woman's sexy roommate (Gaby Rodgers). All clues lead to a mysterious box -- the "Great Whatsit," as Hammer's secretary Velda (Maxine Cooper) describes it. Both the box and Velda are stolen by the villains, at which point Hammer discovers that the "Whatsit" contains radioactive material of awesome powers. The apocalyptic climax is doubly devastating because we're never quite certain if Hammer survives (he doesn't narrate the story, as was the case in most Mike Hammer films and TV shows). Director Robert Aldrich and scriptwriter Jack Moffit transcend Kiss Me Deadly's basic genre trappings to produce a one-of-a-kind melodrama for the nuclear age.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/21/2011
UPC: 0715515081818
Original Release: 1955
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Presentation: [B&W, Wide Screen]
Time: 1:46:00
Sales rank: 7,406

Special Features

Audio Commentary by film noir specialists Alain Silver and James Ursini; New Video tribute by Director Alex Cox; Excerpts from The Long Haul of A.I. Bezzerides, a 2005 Documentary on the Kiss Me Deadly Screenwriter; Mike Hammer's Mickey Spillane, a 1998 Documentary about the life and work of the author; Video Pieces on the Film's locations; Controversial altered ending; Theatrical Trailer; ; Plus: A booklet featuring an Essay by critic J. Hoberman and a 1955 reprint by Director Robert Aldrich

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ralph Meeker Mike Hammer
Albert Dekker Dr. Soberin
Paul Stewart Carl Evello
Wesley Addy Pat Chambers
Maxine Cooper Velda
Cloris Leachman Christina Bailey, a.k.a. Berga Torn
Jack Elam Charlie Max
Juano Hernandez Eddie Yeager
Gaby Rodgers Lily Carver, a.k.a. Gabrielle
Nick Dennis Nick
Jack Lambert Sugar Smallhouse
Marian Carr Friday
Jerry Zinneman Sammy
Leigh Snowden Girl at Evello's Pool
Percy Helton Morgue Doctor
Madi Comfort Singer
Fortunio Bonanova Carmen Trivago
James McCallion Super
Silvio Minciotti Mover
Robert Cornthwaite F.B.I. Man
James Seay F.B.I. Man
Mara McAfee Nurse
Mort Marshall Piker
Jesslyn Fax Mrs. Super
Marjorie Bennett Manager
Strother Martin Harvey Wallace, Truck Driver
Leonard Mudie Athletic Club Clerk
Bob Sherman Gas Station Man
Sam Balter Radio announcer
Joe Hernandez Radio announcer
Paul Richards Attacker
Kitty White Vocalist in Club (uncredited)
Frank deVol Conductor

Technical Credits
Robert Aldrich Director,Producer
A.I. Bezzerides Screenwriter
Howard Bristol Set Decoration/Design
Nat "King" Cole Songwriter
Frank deVol Score Composer,Songwriter
William Glasgow Art Director
Robert H. Justman Asst. Director
Ernest Laszlo Cinematographer
Michael Luciano Editor
Victor Saville Executive Producer
Bob Schiffer Makeup
Jack Solomon Sound/Sound Designer

Customer Reviews

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Kiss Me Deadly 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Kiss Me Deadly¿ is a cinematic revelation. Beautifully produced, directed, and photographed, it lurks in a host of formulaic fifties films like a viper in the grass of a kid's playground. Director Robert Aldrich took Spillane¿s nickel-cigar book and gave it a completely unique treatment. It is sinister, amoral, unredeeming, and really savage. Depravity runs through it like a scar. The film is so polished and controlled that we are continually lulled and then jarred by what happens. The protagonist, Mike Hammer, is handsome and smooth on the outside but sadistic and sleazy on the inside. He uses his sexy assistant Velda to entrap and double-cross divorce clients, but brushes off her genuine affection. As played by the sleek, sneering, Ralph Meeker, for whom this part fit like a glove, Hammer drives beautiful sports cars, lives in a classic LA bachelor¿s pad (check out that crazy answering machine), dresses sharp, and gets women. He also beats thugs to death for pleasure, hurts and terrorizes witnesses, and shows scathing disrespect and disregard for the law and law enforcement, even when it would probably help his case. His integrity, what little there may be, is entirely self-serving. He is basically motivated by the same thing as the bad guys: greed. The good guys are pretty bad, but the bad guys are even worse. Led by the velvet-voiced Dr. Soberin, (Albert Dekker, who guested that voice a few times on the TV series ¿The Outer Limits¿), the antagonists are misogynistic degenerates who kidnap and torture women, drop cars on mechanics, and mangle Hammer so many times it¿s a wonder he can finish the film. Finish he does, when the explosive (literally) climax plays out in a beach house. By that time the film has veered to levels of interpretive realism found in some Kurosawa films, and in fact, the current version of ¿Kiss Me Deadly¿ provides an alternative ending to the original theatrical release. You be the judge.
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ClassicMovieFanSH More than 1 year ago
I like(d) this movie - not a lot, but did mainly due to the "hype" around the cast - and then was not disappointed. But, after seeing it once, even trying about 3 times, I knew the end, the middle, and the rest, so it wasn't that entertaining. Not like watching a BOGIE, MITCHUM, G. FORD and/or others of this genre. (noir?) The start is fairly good, but I think Meeker plays a "wooden"-type detective, not the colorful kind like one of the others I mentioned, but plain. The cast was full was good and had some "would be" famous people, but for this movie - it was just not that good. Same old tricks, the exploding car, people died needlessly, and I felt I could guess the next scene. This was all except the first time, when I wanteted to find out what all the "hoopla" was about. Once I did, then after that, it reall wasn't worth watching unless there was nothing else on TV. It was not the kind of DVD I would buy, even at this price - which isn't bad. I like Meeker, especiall in "Path's of Glory", but in this, he was one of those "greasy, snooping detectibes one finds in hotel lobbbies", etc. (from "The Big Sleep - L. Bacall on what she thought a "shamus" aka detective was.) The FIRST TIME I SAW IT, the plot was interesting. But, from there, a lot of people turned up in the film making it quite complicated. When Meeker was first questioned by the police about his detective job, it turned out (though he was dressed nice and had a nice, sports car), he really was one of those who was the kind who worked mainly on finding out if a husband and/or wife was cheating. His partner (and gal pal), also worked with him in this business, often making up to the other partner to make it so they earned their money - which I found was a silly as the police dept did. All in all, it is a good movie, but I rated it a 3, but comparing it to ones like "The Big Heat", "Macao", BOTH of "The Big Sleeps" (Mitchum in 197X and the bogie/Bacall in 1946) would make me rate it more like a 2. But, on it's own, it is better than many of the other noirs I have seen, probably due to the Dashiell Hammett book is was based on. MANY movies of this genre - if I have seen the end - I can watch it over and over knowing how it is going to come out, and still watchit often; but, this one - already knew and just doesn't hold me after one viewing - as I stated earlier, unless there is nothing else on - and I don't feel like watching another DVD. I am sure if you are looking at this, you have seen the movie' however, if you haven't, I won't ruin it and tall you ths plot. But, you may want to see it on-line and/or "ON DEMAND" first, to make sure you get what you want! (Fans of D.Hammett, noirs and crime dramas will probably like it, so it depends on you, your budget, and the kind of DVD you watch often!) Good luck and hsppy viewing!