Amid a semi-documentary portrait of New York and its people, Jean Dexter, an attractive blonde model, is murdered in her apartment. Homicide detectives Dan Muldoon and Jimmy Halloran ... See full summary »
Tough L.A. private eye Mike Hammer gives a ride to Christina, a frightened young woman he finds running along the road one night. His car is run off the road by unseen thugs. Hammer is knocked out and Christina is tortured in an unsuccessful attempt to get information from her. They are put back into Hammer's car which then is forced off a cliff. Hammer wakes up in the hospital. Velda, his trusty secretary, informs him that Christina is dead. Pat Chambers, Mike's policeman friend, tells him to stay off the case, but Mike thinks it might be a big story--meaning big money for him--because the FBI is interested. He, Velda, and Nick, his garage mechanic friend, start investigating in hopes of finding out why Christina was killed. Written by
Although Victor Saville is credited as Executive Producer and director Robert Aldrich is credited only as producer, in reality Aldrich had it written into his contract that he had complete control over the picture and it would be made the way he wanted it, specifically stipulating that his decisions could not be overruled by any studio representative. See more »
When Hammer is brought to the beach house for the first time by the 2 thugs and is trying to escape the ensuing brief chase and fight is shown in alternating close ups and from distance. The shots from distance clearly show different actors, stand-ins for the thugs than those playing them in the close-ups and throughout the movie. See more »
So the big what'sit is what it's all about and this big what'sit is without a doubt, flat out phenomenal. Ralph Meeker snarls and sneers his way thru a bevy of sadism and selfishness in this superb, unflinching look at amorality beneath happy go lucky 50's sensibilities. Biting and wicked and never dull, and filled with more amazing characters than one movie deserves, this is a knock out classic that you will enjoy wallowing in repeatedly.
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