Film Notes: Kiss Me Deadly (1955) directed by Robert Aldrich


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USA / 106 minutes / bw / Parklane Pictures/United Artists Dir: Robert Aldrich Pro: Robert Aldrich Scr: A. I. Bezzerides Story: based on the novel by Mickey Spillane Cine: Ernest Laszlo Mus: Frank DeVol Cast: Ralph Meeker (Mike Hammer), Albert Dekker (Dr. Soberin), Paul Stewart (Carl Evello), Maxine Cooper (Velda), Gaby Rogers (Gabrielle/Lily Carver), Wesley Addy (Pat), Nick Dennis (Nick), Cloris Leachman (Christina)

Summary Plot: One night, private detective Mike Hammer is driving home to Los Angeles when he is stopped by a woman standing in the highway. Although Mike upbraids the woman, he gives her a ride. As they drive, the panicked woman, who is wearing only a trenchcoat, asks Mike to drop her at the nearest bus stop. Before Mike can learn more, they are stopped at a roadblock, and the police reveal that they are looking for a woman who escaped from a nearby sanitarium. After Mike bluffs his way past the officer, the woman, named Christina, admits that she is the escapee, but insists that she was being held prisoner at the sanitarium. When they stop at a gas station, Christina gives the attendant a letter to mail and looks relieved. Mike is intrigued by Christina’s demeanor and her plea to remember her if anything should happen. Just then, a car blocks their way and Mike is knocked unconscious by the occupants. When Mike awakens, he hears Christina scream as she is being tortured, but because he is lying face-down, he cannot identify his captors, although he does notice that one wears a distinctive pair of shoes. (Read full summary at American Film Institute here) Release Date: 18 May 1955

In 1999, Kiss Me Deadly was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Kiss Me Deadly (1955) is the definitive, apocalyptic, nihilistic, science-fiction film noir of all time – at the close of the classic noir period. The hard-edged film’s 50’s Los Angeles hero (transplanted from New York), created by pulp novel writer Mickey Spillane, follows in the footsteps of other detective heroes from the pens of Raymond Chandler (Phillip Marlowe), Dashiell Hammett and James M. Cain. (read full review at Filmsite Movie Review)

Notas de cine: El beso mortal  (1955) dirigida por Robert Aldrich

Argumento: El detective Mike Hammer recoge en la carretera, en plena noche, a una muchacha que huye de un peligro mortal. Poco después son interceptados por los acosadores, unos despiadados matones que, tras torturar y matar a la muchacha y pegar una paliza al duro detective, les arrojan por un precipicio. Hammer logra salir indemne, y se dedicará a investigar este misterioso caso… (FilmAffinity)

En 1999, Kiss Me Deadly (El bseo mortal) fue seleccionada para su conservación en el Registro Nacional de Cine de los Estados Unidos por la Biblioteca del Congreso como “cultural, histórica o estéticamente significativa“.

Pero El beso mortal es, sobretodo, un gran ejemplo de cine negro, introduciendo al espectador en una absorbente trama a la que se le engancha con un memorable inicio. La moderna dirección de Aldrich contribuye a que la película no haya envejecido y siga siendo igual de efectiva ahora que en 1955. (Ver la reseña completa en El Cinéfago de la Laguna Negra).

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