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
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 »
When they are torturing Christina she is screaming but when Mike is on the floor her legs can be seen in the background and they are not moving, she is already dead but you can hear her still screaming. See more »
The opening credits scroll down instead of the usual up, resulting in needing to read them bottom to top. See more »
The complete ending footage from Robert Aldrich's version has finally been recovered from the director's own personal print, donated to the Director's Guild of America after his death. This version shows quite clearly that Mike and Velda do not die in the fire. See more »
A genre-bending film so transcendent that it can be considered as an alien transmission.
Movies like "Kiss Me Deadly" are reassuring that there's more to each genre than meets the eye. "Kiss Me Deadly" is part hard-boiled detective story & part apocalyptic sci-fi horror film. The movie suspects its own plots and its conventions are ludicrous. The result is a highly inventive film with a ridiculous but highly enjoyable storyline and comically fascinating characters.
The basic plot, loosely adapted from Mickey Spillane's bestselling novel,is: after private-eye Mike Hammer picks up a hitchhiker who is later murdered, he becomes determined to learn the truth about her death. Although the plot becomes more and more insane, it's highly interesting. There are no empty twists, as each one leads to something larger and more confounding.
I've never had more fun with a film noir character than the aptly named character of Mike Hammer. He isn't intimidated by any man and denies the world's hottest women. If he holds the upper hand in a situation, he seems virtually impenetrable. This characteristic leads to the ever-prevalent theme in film noirs of men vs. women and their places in relationships and society.
The film is a masterpiece of cinematography, exhibited in the disorienting camera angles and unique and unconventional compositions of Ernest Laszlo. In fact, Ernesto Laszlo's cinematography is so apt with the film's randomness that it made me giddy.
One of the most distinctive aspects of Kiss Me Deadly is the outrageousness of its final few seconds: the movie doesn't conclude, it detonates. In the hands of the director Robert Aldrich, the film becomes a starting point for a delirious expression of 1950s anxiety and paranoia, starting with opening credits that run backwards and ending with an atomic explosion.
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