A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
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 an on-coming 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 PI proceeds anyways. Little did he know that Christina's secret would lead to death and destruction. Written by
Tough and surreal Noir classic gets better and better with age.
'Kiss Me Deadly' is an overlooked crime gem that has proved to be a major influence on subsequent film makers from the French New Wave to cult classics 'Repo Man' and 'Pulp Fiction'. It's a movie which gets better and better with age. Director Robert Aldrich manages to put lots of style and interesting touches which sometimes border on the surreal into this toughest of tough guy movies. Ralph Meeker ('Paths Of Glory', 'The Dirty Dozen', 'The Anderson Tapes') is well cast as Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. Meeker's Hammer is brutal and his performance really makes this one work. The supporting cast are all very good too, especially Albert Dekker ('The Wild Bunch') as Dr Soberin and Maxine Cooper as Hammer's "assistant" Velda. Also keep an eye out for the debut of Cloris Leachman is the striking opening sequence. The "great whatsit" which Hammer searches for is one of the great movie gimmicks, and the ending will blow you away - literally. I loved this movie from beginning to end. I think it ranks alongside 'Out Of The Past' (Tourneur), 'The Asphalt Jungle' (Huston), 'Double Indemnity' (Wilder), 'The Killing' (Kubrick) and 'The Killers (Siegel)' as one of the greatest and most influential American crime movies, and I'm sure Scorcese and Tarantino would be the first to agree. Highly recommended.
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