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Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | 18 May 1955 (USA)
A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit."



(novel), (screenplay)

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


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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

18 May 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mickey Spillane's Kiss Me Deadly  »

Box Office


$410,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$214 (USA) (2 May 2008)


$882 (USA) (13 June 2008)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (original)

Sound Mix:

| (Glen Glenn Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first of 3 Robert Aldrich-directed films whch begin with someone crying over the credits. See more »


(at around 1h 10 mins) The singer is shown standing with both hands on the microphone stand. When Hammer is sitting at the bar, during the same song, the singer is shown in a reflection playing a piano and not singing, though she is still heard singing. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in The Usual Suspects (1995) See more »


Kaiser-Walzer, Op. 437
Music by Johann Strauss
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the greatest detective thrillers ever made.
28 November 1998 | by (Mississauga, Canada) – See all my reviews

If The Maltese Falcon (1941) was the definitive true detective movie, The Big Sleep (1946) the definitive glamourized detective movie, and Chinatown (1974) the definitive allegorical detective movie, then Kiss Me Deadly is the definitive sleazy detective movie.

Mickey Spillane's sadistic private eye Mike Hammer, turned from successful private eye to sleazy bedroom dick, is the quintessential anti-hero, doing just about anything and everything wrong to get a piece of the pie that the characters call "The Big What's-it."

The movie survives by giving the usual Spillane buckets-of-blood story and its protagonist new dimensions. Right from the electric opening scene and the audacious opening credit sequence, the audience is drawn into Hammer's seedy world, where morality is suspended, and the credo of the end justifying the means dominates Hammer's actions. His reckless abandonment is almost never questionned and the film seems to understand his brutality as what he must do to get the job done in an equally brutal world.

Director Robert Aldrich observes all of it with an objective eye that neither glorifies nor condemns the action on-screen, letting the audience draw its own conclusions--even where the plot is concerned. The pace is unrelentless and the plot turns are never fully explained, forcing the audience to participate willingly in all that Hammer does to, hopefully, see the story through to its ending.

And what an ending! I'd de damned to a special place in Hell if I elaborated, so I'll just say that it's one of the greatest I've ever seen. That goes same for the movie itself, which is one of the most stylish, jarring and truly entertaining movies of its genre.

45 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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