Archive for March 2nd, 2009


by Allan Fish

(USA 1955 105m) DVD1/2

Remember me…

p  Robert Aldrich  d  Robert Aldrich  w  A.I.Bezzerides  novel  Mickey Spillane  ph  Ernest Laszlo  ed  Michael Luciano  m  Frank de Vol  art  William Glasgow

Ralph Meeker (Mike Hammer), Albert Dekker (Dr Soberin), Gaby Rodgers (Gabrielle/Lily Carver), Paul Stewart (Carl Evello), Cloris Leachman (Christina Bailey/Berga Torn), Juano Hernandez (Eddie Yeager), Nick Dennis (Nick), Wesley Addy (Pat Chambers), Marian Carr (Friday), Maxine Cooper (Velda), Jack Elam (Charlie Max), Jack Lambert (Sugar), Percy Helton (morgue doctor), Fortunio Bonanova (Trivago),

Two words not used so hauntingly since the days of Henry Purcell.  Kiss Me Deadly is one of the most brutal of all films noir (a close thing with the same year’s The Big Combo), a diamond sharp looking paean to the colour black.  It’s the sort of film that could only have existed in the fifties and perfectly encapsulates what it was to be a cult item in that most iconic of decades.  This may have been the decade of James Dean, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot, but it was also the age of a new phoney realism in the movies.  Deadly may not be realistic, but it tantalises you into thinking that it could be. 

            Mike Hammer, a somewhat unscrupulous private detective with a special line in messy divorce cases, stops his car one night when a woman, wearing only a trenchcoat, runs out to pull him over.  She stops at the petrol station to post something and, when getting back into the car, murmurs the immortal two words “remember me.”  Soon afterwards Hammer’s car is run off the road, Christina is murdered and Hammer wakes up some time later in hospital.  As detectives wait to ask him questions, gangster Carl Evello offers him the bribe of a new car, but when it turns out it’s been planted with explosives, Hammer decides, somewhat foolhardily, to investigate further. (more…)

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