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Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: cigar joe on March 28, 2012, 03:15:54 AM

Title: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Post by: cigar joe on March 28, 2012, 03:15:54 AM
started originally by Leone Admirer :;u=882 (;u=882)

Kiss Me Deadly

US 1955
Director: Robert Aldrich
Produced: Robert Aldrich
Screenplay: A.I. Bezzerides
Cast: Ralph Meeker, Albert Decker and Marian Carr
Studio: United Artists

DVD Details

Region: R2
Studio: MGM
Transfer: Non Anamorphic 1.66.1
Sound: 2.0 Mono
Extras: Original Theatrical Trailer
Run Time: 1hr 42mins
Date of DVD Release: August 4th, 2003


An adaptation of Mickey Spillane's gripping novel which sees Ralph Meeker in the role of private eye Mike Hammer on the case of a missing atomic device stolen by a spy.

My Thoughts

Wow a very intriguing picture. A very harsh, brutal and nasty noir which was rather notorious on release the film is a strange 'mish mash' of elements that collide, rather like the films subject, quite explosively. The film oozes a rather unsetting mood. Mike Hammer (Meeker) seems to be stumbling around, always too late and always being hit. The interesting title sequence sets the tone for the film. Hammer picks up a girl who seems to be fleeing someone before crashing and waking up to find the girl dead. This film is a nightmare. The low budget doesn't detract, it adds to the film, emphasing the almost abstract nature of the piece. The arresting cinematography and ingenious editing give it a rapid pace, yes the story can be hard to follow but the pace is so fast it will not drag. Alright some of the acting can be a little suspect at times and perhaps the story could be presented just a tiny little more straight forward without harming the ambiguity but this is a quirky little noir that is an interesting examination into the dark elements of an already very dark genre.

A note, the back of the box displays that the R2 contains the "fully restored original ending - which contains over one minute of crucial footage that clarifies decades of false interpretations." However this package does not include the advertised shortened ending for comparison


MGM presents this disc in non-anamorphic 1.66.1 (OAR). Studios seem to be frightened of giving us anamorphic prints of 1.66.1 which is rather annoying. Oh well the transfer given here is OK, not great. The elements seem to hold up well, grain is present along with solid blacks. Artifacts and damage do show up but overall, an agreeable presentation dampened by what should have been an anamorphic presentation and a properly restored picture.


Like Dead Reckoning there is nothing remarkable, the 2.0 (wish again it was in 1.0) did its job with not much interfearance.


Just an amusing trailer. Not on MGM! (well Sony now.) I think we need a doco. This disc is a let down on the extras department (not even an enclosed booklet)

Final Score


I'll be truthful. This score only relates to the film. A good noir, let down by a poor disc Non-Anamorphic, average A/V and no important extras. Even the Universal noirs, with their lack of extras, treated the films with a little more digniity. This disk is dirt cheap though (see below) and definatly worth a watch

Leone Admirer


Price Comparison:
IMDB File:

Variety Review Extract

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.

Interesting Article here:
Title: Re: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Post by: cigar joe on March 28, 2012, 03:22:33 AM
I'd personally give it a 10/10, anyway:

Alternate discussion on Kiss Me Deadly begins here: (

Best Mike Hammer discussion here: (
Title: Re: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Post by: titoli on March 28, 2012, 05:27:47 PM
It can't be 10\10. Ugly Velma (even jenkins agrees on that!), sunny can't be that perfect.
Title: Re: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Post by: cigar joe on March 29, 2012, 02:39:18 AM
It can't be 10\10. Ugly Velma (even jenkins agrees on that!), sunny can't be that perfect.

Ok, I'm easy you are right 9-9.5/10, its not perfect
Title: Re: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 29, 2012, 03:41:13 AM
Getting a movie rating I know I can rely on with certainty, is almost impossible, cuz everyone has different tastes in movies. I  used to dream of having 1 friend or finding one critic with my exact taste in movies, so when he rates a movie, I know with certainty that i can rely on it, whether or not to see the movie. But alas, it seemed that would never happen....

For I, Destroy, Drink A., have finally discovered a formula to get myself an accurate rating on any Noir movie:

To be exact, it's two different formulas: one formula for visually-noir Noir movies (or whatever is the latest of the ever-evolving new French names cj has for that sub-sub-sub-genre style);
and another formula for non-visually-noir Noir movies (or whatever is the latest of the ever-evolving new French names cj has for that sub-sub-sub-sub-genre style)

For a "visually-noir-Noir," the formula is: VNN = cj-2 (ie. just take cj's rating and minus 2 points)
for a non-visually-noir-Noir, the formula is: NVNN = cj+2 (ie. just take cj's rating and add 2 points)


a) say Movie X is a real visually-noir Noir,  a movie like eg.  The Set-Up, Act of Violence, or Crossfire;


b) say Movie Y is a non-visually noir Noir, ie. it's  considered a noir -- for example, cuz of obsessive characters -- but there are few if any noir visuals: a movie like eg. Ace in the Hole


c) say cj (inevitably  ;)) rates Movie X  a 10/10; and Movie Y a 7/10

apply the formula, and there you have it: you know that Movie X is actually an 8/10 at best, while Movie Y is at least a 9/10.

Foolproof :)