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Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Not Rated | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | July 1955 (UK)
A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit".

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Mickey Spillane (novel), A.I. Bezzerides (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Meeker ... Mike Hammer
Albert Dekker ... Dr. G.E. Soberin
Paul Stewart ... Carl Evello
Juano Hernandez ... Eddie Yeager
Wesley Addy ... Lt. Pat Murphy
Marian Carr ... Friday (as Marion Carr)
Marjorie Bennett ... Manager
Mort Marshall Mort Marshall ... Ray Diker
Fortunio Bonanova ... Carmen Trivago
Strother Martin ... Harvey Wallace
Mady Comfort ... Nightclub Singer (as Madi Comfort)
James McCallion ... Horace
Robert Cornthwaite ... FBI Agent
Silvio Minciotti 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 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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

July 1955 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Mickey Spillane's Kiss Me Deadly See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$410,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$214, 4 May 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$726,000, 31 December 1955

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$952,000, 31 December 1955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Parklane Pictures Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Glen Glenn Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

In the final scene in the beach house, Albert Dekker addresses the character Lily Carver by the name Gabrielle. While similar to the actress' real name, a change in character name is true to the plot. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The original ending was shown overseas in various countries (eg. Germany and the UK) when the film was originally released. It appears that the film was actually released in two different versions worldwide and the shortened ending was done specifically for the domestic USA theatrical release. In the UK, although there was a longer ending, the theatrical release was heavily cut by around 7 minutes for violence by the BBFC with the result that the film became nonsensical. For example, the entire scene of Cloris Leachman being tortured was excised and the film cuts from Hammer being knocked out to him waking up again doused with petrol so that you never know what happened to Leachman or the significance of the shoes worn by Albert Dekker. UK TV prints are uncut. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Film Noirs (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Rather Have the Blues
Sung by Nat 'King' Cole
Sung by Kitty White
Written by Frank De Vol (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Mike Hammer, detective
23 July 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

Robert Aldrich was a no-nonsense film director. When he undertook the direction of this film, little did he know it was going to become the extraordinary movie it turned out to be. The fame seems to have come by its discovery in France, as it usually is the case. Based on Mickey Spillane's novel and adapted by Al Bezzerides, the movie has an unique style and it's recommended viewing for fans of the film noir genre.

Right from the start, the film gets our imagination as we watch a young woman running along a California highway. That sequence proved Mr. Aldrich's ability to convey the idea of a disturbed young woman that seems to have escaped from a mental institution. The plot complicates itself as Hammer learns that Christine, the young woman, has died. He decides to investigate, which is what he does best.

Some excellent comments have been submitted to this forum, so we will not even try to expand in the action but will only emphasize in the tremendous visual style Mr. Aldrich added to the film, which seems to be its main attraction. For a fifty year old film, it still has a crisp look to it thanks to the impressive black and white cinematography of Ernest Lazlo, who had a keen eye to show us Hammer's world as he makes it come alive. The great musical score by Frank DeVol fits perfectly with the atmosphere of the L.A. of the fifties.

Ralph Meeker made an excellent contribution as Mike Hammer. He dominates the film with his presence. Albert Decker, Paul Stewart, Miriam Carr, Maxine Cooper, Fortuno Bonanova, and especially Cloris Leachman, in her screen debut, make this film the favorite it has become.

Fans of the genre can thank Mr. Aldrich for making a film that didn't pretend to be anything, yet has stayed as a favorite all these years.


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