Rent Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

3.7 of 5 from 189 ratings
1h 42min
Rent Kiss Me Deadly (aka Mickey Spillane's Kiss Me Deadly) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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When callous thugs beat Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) senseless and viciously murder the gorgeous blonde he's been trying to help, the hard-boiled detective retaliates the only way he can: by hitting first and asking questions later. Cutting a brutal swathe through the city's sleazy underside, Hammer uncovers a mysterious black container whose deadly contents not only solve the murder...but trigger an apocalyptic climax as well!
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Robert Aldrich
Voiced By:
Nat 'King' Cole
Mickey Spillane, A.I. Bezzerides
Mickey Spillane's Kiss Me Deadly
Classics, Drama, Thrillers
Action & Adventure, Award Winners, Films to Watch If You Like..., Films to Watch if You Like: Get Carter, Getting to Know..., Holidays Film Collection, Introducing a British Film Family, The Biggest Oscar Snubs: Part 1, The Instant Expert's Guide, The Instant Expert's Guide to: Robert Aldrich, Top 10 Screen Kisses (1896-1979), Top Film and TV Detectives: Guide to Screen Sleuth
Release Date:
Run Time:
102 minutes
English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, French Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, German Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
Dutch, English Hard of Hearing, French, German Hard of Hearing, Greek, Italian, Spanish
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
  • Original theatrical trailer
Release Date:
Run Time:
106 minutes
English LPCM Mono
English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • Audio commentary by film noir specialists Alain Silver and James Ursini
  • Video tribute from director Alex Cox (Repo Man, Walker)
  • Excerpts from The Long Haul of A. I. Bezzerides, a 2005 documentary on the Kiss Me Deadly screenwriter
  • Excerpts from Mike Hammer's Mickey Spillane, a 1998 documentary on the author whose book inspired the film
  • A look at the film's locations
  • Altered ending
  • Theatrical trailer

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Reviews (3) of Kiss Me Deadly

Classic Noir - Kiss Me Deadly review by CP Customer

Spoiler Alert

What's in the box? This low budget thriller from Aldrich will have you guessing until the closing scenes (thankfully intact on this DVD). A classic piece of film noir in gritty B&W its a shame this DVD doesn't come with any extras. The main feature is pacey, helped along by quick editing and some unusual, distinctive camera angles. It's easy to see why many highlight its influential status. Very much a product of 50's America. The undertones are apparent, the performances over the top with dubious sound quality at times, but its all part of Kiss Me Deadly's charm.

2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

Va Va Voom. - Kiss Me Deadly review by Steve

Spoiler Alert

As crime films became more realistic in the '50s, Robert Aldrich made one of the most expressionistic noirs of the whole cycle. This is a visual knockout which also pushes at the boundaries of censorship, with explicit violence and an antihero-Mike Hammer- who isn't as much ambiguous as utterly unscrupulous.

It kicks off with a bang. The private detective (Ralph Meeker) runs into a woman who has escaped from being tortured, and is barefoot on the freeway in only a trenchcoat. He investigates her eventual death, not because he cares about the law, or her, but he thinks there will be more money to be had than his usual divorce racket.

Meeker's version of Mike Hammer is fascinating. It's a stunning performance. To a degree he recalls the ethical relativity of Sam Spade, but is much more mercenary. He is a philistine: narcissistic, sadistic and manipulative. But everyone in his world is motivated by greed. And no one can be trusted.

When the stupid protagonists stumble on the 'great whatsit', without knowing what it is, it kills them and everyone else. The motifs and themes of film noir are reimagined and updated to the cold war era, and there is a palpable sense of the dogs of censorship being called off. This is sleazy but stylish pulp fiction.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Hardest Boiled - Kiss Me Deadly review by Count Otto Black

Spoiler Alert

Mickey Spillane's once-popular ultra-violent private eye Mike Hammer didn't make it onto the big screen anything like as often as the creations of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, because he was simply too nasty to be acceptable as any kind of hero. Robert Aldrich, the man who gave the world "The Dirty Dozen" and helped invent the spaghetti western, always had a way with extremely violent and not very pleasant "heroes", plus a gift for intelligently subversive irony completely lacking in the the original Mike Hammer novels, so he was the ideal director to bring the character to life. And Ralph Meeker is absolutely perfect as a borderline psychopath whose finest quality is a crude loyalty to his few friends that would just about qualify as a redeeming feature in an alpha male chimpanzee. I guarantee you won't like this guy on any level for one second, but you'll still care what happens to him. That's good acting, good directing, and good movie-making all round.

In a crucial change from the source novel, Hammer is, for purely selfish reasons, on the trail of the ultimate McGuffin, a "great whatsit" he knows nothing about except that people are willing to kill lots of other people to get it, therefore it must be immensely valuable. In the book, it's a suitcase full of heroin, and Hammer knows that all along. In the movie, it's something altogether different (and much more interesting), and when Hammer finally figures out what it is, he's not so sure he wants it after all. But by then, everything's out of control. Another change from the source material is that the police, instead of being in awe of this man who can do their job so much better than they can (usually by slaughtering all the bad guys), despise him as a sleazy thug who treats the woman who loves him no better than a pimp, and literally ask for a window to be opened when they have to be around him.

Mike Hammer, as portrayed here, is the toughest tough guy of them all. No wisecracks, just relentless brutality; he metes out the same level of nastiness to a corrupt official who disgusts him by demanding a bribe, and an honest man who annoys him by refusing one. If you include everything that's implied but kept just off screen so the censor will let it pass, this is a staggeringly violent film, and none of it is the slightest bit glamorous. However, your attention never wanders, and almost everyone who's onscreen for more than a few seconds instantly springs to life as a fascinatingly twisted character in a dark, sleazy world you're constantly intrigued by (watch out for spaghetti western regular Jack Elam playing another kind of villain while waiting for spaghetti westerns to be invented). If you like film noir, this is probably the ultimate example of the genre. And you simply won't believe that ending!

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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