7.7/10
14,944
179 user 129 critic

Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

"I don't care what you do to me, Mike - just do it fast!" See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

9 September 1955 (France)  »

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:

(Glen Glenn Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

At around 15 minutes Hammer is talking to the Greek garage owner and enters a can. As the cab pulls away a crew member with a baseball cap on is reflected in the rear quarter light window. 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 Bullets Over Hollywood (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 8: Unfinished
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Schubert
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.


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