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 the oncoming 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 private investigator proceeds anyways. Little did he know that Christina's secret would lead to death and destruction.Written by
The Kefauver Commission, a federal unit dedicated to investigating corrupting influences in the 1950s, singled this out as 1955's number one menace to American youth. Because of this, Robert Aldrich felt compelled to conduct a writing campaign for the free speech rights of independent filmmakers. See more »
After talking to Nick, the Greek garage owner, Hammer enters a taxi; as it begins to move (16:39), a crew member with a baseball cap on is reflected in the rear quarter light window. See more »
Opening credits scroll backwards (down instead of up). See more »
The restored ending was been included in a video edition of Kiss Me Deadly released in the USA in August 1997. The original ending was recovered by editor Glenn Erickson with help from author Alain Silver. See more »
First-rate Mickey Spillane adaptation, easily the best film version of any of his novels that I've seen. Private eye Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) investigates the reasons behind the death of a hitchhiker (Cloris Leachman in her film debut). It's a gritty, tough, violent noir with some good dialogue and morally grey (at best) characters. Meeker's the perfect Hammer. Albert Dekker has a small but important part. The rest of the cast is good except for Nick Dennis, who goes full Eli Wallach in his role as Hammer's mechanic friend. Robert Aldrich directs with style. The ending is pretty cool, but it's definitely one of those "love it or hate it" things. It's certainly memorable, which I think most of us can agree is part of what makes any film great.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this