Kiss Me Deadly (1955, Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker)

Poster for the movie "Kiss Me Deadly"
NR 106 min - Drama, Mystery, Thriller - 18 May 1955
Our rating:

Set in Los Angeles, Kiss Me Deadly opens with Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) driving along a deserted road when he picks up a scared Christina (Cloris Leachman) who's just escaped from a mental institution. Before she can tell her story, the pair are kidnapped and tortured, a sequence that ends with Leachman dying. Hammer, having escaped, determines to track down her secret and, despite warnings to stay off the case, finds himself embroiled in the atomic age. The film climaxes with Hammer having to rescue his kidnapped secretary Velda (Maxine Cooper) from the gang who have stolen the secrets of the atom bomb.

The entire style of the film was to influence the French New wave, including Truffaut and Godard, with its sardonic depiction of a sick society - Hammer is violent, corrupt, sexist and almost fascist in his views and there was controversy at the time of release, causing Aldrich to defend his film. "We think we have kept faith with the 60 million Mickey Spillane readers and also think we have made a movie of action, violence and suspense in good taste". However, in a later interview with Cahiers Du Cinema Aldrich, while not disowning the film, did admit that he didn't like Mike Hammer. "Actually, I regret having accepted the job of making Kiss Me Deadly… I should have refused. Mickey Spillane is anti-democratic, a fascist".

Director:  Robert Aldrich
Producer:  Robert Aldrich
Director of Photography:  Ernest Laszlo


Production Details

Production Companies:  Parklane Pictures Inc.

Release Date:  18 May 1955

Running Time:  1 h 46 min

Genres: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Language:  English

Tagline: Blood red kisses! White hot thrills! Mickey Spillane's latest H-bomb...

Budget and Box Office takings where known