Review: ‘Kiss Me Deadly’

The ingredients that sell Mickey Spillane's novels about Mike Hammer, the hardboiled private eye, are thoroughly worked over in this presentation built around the rock-and-sock character. Ralph Meeker takes on the Hammer character and as the surly, hit first, ask questions later, shamus turns in a job that is acceptable, even if he seems to go soft in a few sequences.

The ingredients that sell Mickey Spillane’s novels about Mike Hammer, the hardboiled private eye, are thoroughly worked over in this presentation built around the rock-and-sock character. Ralph Meeker takes on the Hammer character and as the surly, hit first, ask questions later, shamus turns in a job that is acceptable, even if he seems to go soft in a few sequences.

From the time Hammer picks up a half-naked blonde on a lonely highway he’s in for trouble. The girl is killed and he nearly so in an arranged accident. This gets his curiosity aroused and he sets about trying to unravel the puzzle.

The trail leads to a series of amorous dames, murder-minded plug-uglies and dangerous adventures that offer excitement but have little clarity to let the viewer know what’s going on.

Kiss Me Deadly

Production

Parklane. Director Robert Aldrich; Producer Robert Aldrich; Screenplay A. I. Bezzerides; Camera Ernest Laszlo; Editor Michael Luciano; Music Frank DeVol; Art Director William Glasgow

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1955. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Ralph Meeker Albert Dekker Paul Stewart Wesley Addy Maxine Cooper Cloris Leachman
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