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Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

 -  Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery  -  18 May 1955 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 11,632 users  
Reviews: 163 user | 98 critic

A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit."

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Title: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Juano Hernandez ...
Eddie Yeager
...
Marian Carr ...
Friday (as Marion Carr)
Marjorie Bennett ...
Manager
Mort Marshall ...
Ray Diker
Fortunio Bonanova ...
Carmen Trivago
...
Harvey Wallace
Mady Comfort ...
Nightclub Singer (as Madi Comfort)
James McCallion ...
Horace
Robert Cornthwaite ...
FBI Agent
Silvio Minciotti ...
Mover
Nick Dennis ...
Nick Va Va Voom
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Storyline

Private Investigator Mike Hammer gets involved in a murder case after he gives a lift to Christina Bailey. She is obviously on the run as she is barefoot and wearing nothing but a trench coat. Whoever was after her eventually catches up with them. She has information they want but dies while being questioned. They fake an accident by pushing Hammer's car off the road but he survives, waking up in the hospital two weeks later. As he investigates Christina's death he's told by the police to stay out of it but the hard-nosed PI proceeds anyways. Little did he know that Christina's secret would lead to death and destruction. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Blood red kisses! White hot thrills! Mickey Spillane's latest H-bomb! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

18 May 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mickey Spillane's Kiss Me Deadly  »

Box Office

Budget:

$410,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$214 (USA) (2 May 2008)

Gross:

$882 (USA) (13 June 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cloris Leachman's first theatrical film role. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning, Christina (Cloris Leachman's character) is shown running at the side of the highway, but the shots of only her feet show her running along the painted center line of the highway. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mike Hammer: You almost wrecked my car! Well? Get in!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits scroll backwards (down instead of up). See more »

Connections

Featured in The Fifties (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Rather Have the Blues
Sung by Nat 'King' Cole
Sung by Kitty White
Written by Frank De Vol (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Noir for a Nuclear Age
1 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sleazy, tawdry B-noir doesn't get any sleazier or tawdrier than Robert Aldrich's jazzy and astonishingly entertaining "Kiss Me Deadly." This film was released late in the life cycle of the film noir genre. By 1958 and Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil," true noir would be just about washed up. Any noir film from that point forward would be self-consciously aware that it was tipping its hat to an established genre. But "Deadly" came out when films still didn't have to work at being noirish---they just WERE, and dazzlingly so.

Born-to-play-a-bully Ralph Meeker plays tough-guy detective Mike Hammer, who's in the wrong place at the wrong time and picks up a mysterious panic-stricken girl (Cloris Leachman), who's just escaped from an asylum. From that moment forward, he finds himself tangled up in a barely lucid plot, in which a bunch of baddies want to get their hands on something the girl either had or knew about. Hammer doesn't know what it is, but he knows that if so many people want it, it's something he probably wants too, and the race for the great "whatsit" is on.

If you wanted to teach a film class about the look and attitude of a film noir, you couldn't pick a better film than this one. I found myself on a recent viewing of this film pausing my DVD player and studying the frame (because, sadly, this is what I do in my spare time), rehearsing in my mind what I would tell a class about any particular composition. And aside from the style, the film is steeped in noir sentiment--it's not simply cynical, like the glossier studio noirs of the 40's; it's downright apocryphal. It's not simply one man undone by the vengeful forces of fate here, but an entire civilization on the brink of extinction.

So pop this in and have a great time with it--feel free to quote it liberally, as there are plenty of juicy lines worth quoting. But as you watch it, you might want to stay away from the windows, for as Mike Hammer's hot-to-trot sometime girlfriend, sometime secretary Velda says, someone may "blow you a kiss."

Grade: A+


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