Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose of Darkness #17: Deadly Kiss Me (Opening Scene of Kiss Me Deadly)

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One of the many things that I have been learning from this course is to look for possible connecting influences that may have influenced the movie. When I saw the opening scene of Cloris Leachman, I did not have to think very hard about a possible connection, as I was immediately reminded of Miss Mizzou, who was a character in the Steve Canyon comic strip, which was drawn by Milton Caniff.

Like the character played in 1955 by Cloris Leachman, the Miss Mizzou character was a blonde dressed in only a trenchcoat. Frankly, I am wondering if Miss Mizzou was inspired by the Mickey Spillane character or if it was vice versa, as the Mickey Spillane novel of Kiss Me Deadly came out sometime in 1952. Miss Mizzou first appeared in print in December 1952, and her character was an immediate nationwide sensation (and became a recurring character in the comic strip). Miss Mizzou was not an escapee from a mental institution. Her landlord had locked her out of her room until she could come up with her past-due rent. So, she had no access to her usual wardrobe, except for the trench coat. I do not recall why she had access only to the trench coat. 

For more information about Miss Mizzou, see http://cafnrnews.com/2014/05/the-notorious-miss-mizzou/

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There is a lot we learn about Mike Hammer in this opening. Christina running down the road in nothing but a trench coat, bare feet slamming into the pavement, then she runs in front of Hammer's car to get him to stop.

 

Hammer shows little concern for this woman who is obviously in trouble. His concern is for his sports car, how she could have damaged it

 

M.H. “...a thumbs not good enough for you, you have to use your whole body.”

    1. “Would you have stopped for a thumb?”

M.H. “No.”

 

Consumer goods mark Hammer, his cars, his things at his house, in a later scene. It is only when he gets to the road block that some compassion of the Spade-Marlowe type of hard boiled detective comes up when he says “I haven't seen anything officer...oh, my wife was sleeping”.

 

There is the development of the hard boiled detective into the consumerism of the 1950's.

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Kiss Me Deadly;s opening reminded me immediately of Marathon Man, with Dustin Hoffman running down the road.  The desperation of the Cloris Leachman character is evident when she stands in front of an oncoming car, the fearful look she gives Mike Hammer when they stop at the road block, and the dark night and shadows all around.  The "noir" aspects include the low key lighting, the desperate character who is just out of an asylum, the cynical and unsympathetic private eye. This opening is as iconic and The Letter, with Bette Davis shooting the guy on the steps.

 

These movies are complicated, moody and tell great stories.  Recently, Entertainment Weekly just noted the "noir" aspects of HBO's True Detective" and IFC's "The Spoils before Dying."  I think Noir is on the rise!

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Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own):

 

-- What are some of the major themes and/or ideas introduced in the opening sequence of Kiss Me Deadly?

 

The Black and White filming, the woman that is either a femme fatale or in some type danger. The rolling of the credits backwards is something new to the viewer. The tension and darkness of the scene reinforces what film noir does best.

 

-- What do we learn or discern about the characters of Christina Bailey (Cloris Leachman) and private eye Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) in this brief introductory sequence?

 

Christina is in some type of peril of danger and at this point the 1st time viewer has no idea. I have never seen this movie, therefore I will be one of those viewers. It must be something of great importance for a female to be out running at night barefoot only dressed in a trench coat. Mike seems to be unfazed or oblivious to the danger that Christina is in. In addition, he is most concerned about his car and seems **** off that he has to be bothered with her and almost shows disdain for being inconvenienced during his travels.

 

-- How is this opening scene an important contribution to the development of film noir?

 

The super paced speed of what is going on in the scene. Also, how the credits are presented to the audience which in a sense disorients the viewers as what is happening and what will happen.

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Sometimes, there's only one way to stop a car, and that's what Christina does in the opening of Kiss Me Deadly

 

 

The desperation is all over her, from her frantic running barefoot and heavy breathing (presumed she ran a very long distance) or recovering from a panic attack as I know people who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

 

The chiaroscuro is perfect with the darkness of the road and the bright lights of the headlights.

 

We quickly learn Mike Hammer is an A-1 misogynist with the way he talks to Christina. If this were today he would call her the C word.  But he relents and lets her in. A sensual voice introduces Nat King Cole as she enters the car.  Christina begins to sob as the credits roll backwards, letting us know this is nor ordinary film.

 

Nat King Cole's warm voice is a brief reprieve from the scene we have just witnessed. The backwards credits throw us for a loop as the enter a different way we expect.

 

He continues his angry rant as he turns off the radio (doesn't even appreciate great music, the ****).

 

When Christina tells him to take her to a bus stop in Los Angeles he is still sore, but then comes up to the roadblock and realizes what has happened. Christina takes his hand almost in a death grip with her pleading eyes, almost like the eyes I see among homeless people in Detroit.  He may not like women, but he can tolerate them when the time comes and they are in a crisis.....

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-- What are some of the major themes and/or ideas introduced in the opening sequence of Kiss Me Deadly

Themes:

• unidentified cause for woman’s desperate fear and flight

• possible sexual assault?

• insanity?  paranoia?

• without compunction, lying to and/or withholding information from authorities

-- What do we learn or discern about the characters of Christina Bailey (Cloris Leachman) and private eye Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) in this brief introductory sequence?

Christina Bailey

• is desperate enough to stop a car that she is willing to stand in the middle of the road to force Hammer to stop

• is unwilling to provide Hammer any immediate answer to his question “What is this all about?”

• is running from something or someone and is afraid; is fearful of the police at the roadblock even before we learn for whom they are searching

• is less afraid of getting in a car with a stranger than she is of whatever she is running from

Mike  Hammer

• projects a tough exterior: “You almost wrecked my car.” [a Jaguar roadster] “No (I wouldn’t have picked you up if you had used your thumb).” “I should have thrown you off that cliff back there.  I might still do it.” “Do you always go around with no clothes on?”

• is prepared to lie to the police to continue his trip and possibly learn more about the woman he has picked up

• shows an inclination to help an underdog despite his rough talk

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In this scene, we learn that the character of Christina Bailey is extremely desperate and it appears to be a matter of life and death for her to get away from her current location. She seems to be wearing only the trench coat and is pretty much in a state of hysterics. Mike Hammer reminds me of the private eyes from earlier films noir with not only his witty and and sarcastic remarks, but also with his quick lie to the police to help a girl in trouble which shows us he does have a heart. Even though he is annoyed and gruff with Christina Bailey, he can tell that she really is in trouble and he helps her out.

This also seems to be an unusual opening for a film, because we can hear Christina Bailey's gasps and sobs while Nat King Cole sings the opening song. Normally we hear one or the other during the opening credits, but not both together. It kind of gives the feeling of uneasiness and that something is not right.

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Kiss me deadly opens with disorientation.  Christina is running on a divided highway.  We don't know why but whatever it is must be bad.  She is shoeless so, we infer, naked under the trench coat.  She looks around not knowing what to do.  In desperation she stands in front of an on-coming car.  If she can't escape she's willing to die.

 

Mike Hammer drives a sporty two door and listens to hip music.  He has a meanness unlike other male protagonists in films noir we've previously seen.  His first concern is his car.  He looks angry and is threatening to Christina when he finally speaks to her after the credits.  Still he's an underworld type (we don't know what he does yet) so for no good reason, other than subverting authority, he helps her evade the cops.

 

She's desperate, likely unstable mentally, he's mean and vaguely criminal.  Seems like a good match.

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I was looking forward to the return of the Daily Doses, and this is, I could say, a triumphant return.

 

Although the film is inspired by a pulp fiction novel by Mickey Spillane, the director and the screenwriter changed almost everything and presented the most weird and absurd masterpiece in the history of cinema. A film full of sexual innuendos, death, violence, fear and - last but not least - paranoia. 

 

Every single one of these elements are shown in the opening scene. A woman with only a trench coat and nothing else on, having escaped from an asylum and hitch-hiking for her life. She's picked by a tough and cynical guy, who is later proved to be a private eye, the most selfish and corrupt private eye ever appearing in the screen, although he has a unique moral code. That is also shown in the end of the scene, when he lies to the police about the identity of the woman he's picked up, mainly by a curiosity typical for him throughout the film.

 

The most weird fact about the opening scene, without any doubt, is that the opening credits are presented backwards. This enters us to the surreal, uncommonly driven by greed and madness (even for a noir) world in which the film is set. Although Christina, the hitch-hiker, has just escaped from a mental asylum, as the film progresses she seems to be the most sane person in it, and the only one that is truly afraid to die.

 

The film didn't have much time to influence later films noir, for the simple reason that film noir itself dissappeared only a few years after its release. However, today it's the best example of the cruel, brutal, sadistic, fatalistic world in which the noir characters have to live - or maybe they choose to live - in. The film is deservedly considered a classic, and I believe Quentin Tarantino paid the greatest homage to it in his film Pulp Fiction, where a mysterious briefcase clearly reflecting the box everyone's looking for in this film, plays a key role to the events.

 

 

 

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The major theme here is the changing face of the woman in society in a changed society. A woman is running like hell on the unforgiving street barefoot and naked under a raincoat. As she stops dead in front of the second car she sees, we don't know from whom or what she is running except that she's willing to risk her life to get away from it. Her breath is primal. It is loud, heavy and wild as she pounds the pavement in search of help.

 

In this post-war world she is not the usual picture of femininity which is perhaps that of a wife and mother, modest, safe and secure in her domestic position. She is not "barefoot and pregnant" and content in her quiet way rather she is barefoot and alone. She is stark, raving, hysterical, naked lunacy of a woman who is unashamed of her sexuality as witnessed in her nudity and continuous panting which carries on well after she is picked up. She goes on like that without explanation for 2 minutes and 45 seconds of the 4 minute scene.

 

In fact the man who picked her up has to guess why and from whom she's on the run. "Let me guess," he says, "You were out with a guy that thought no was a three letter word."

 

He's obviously turned on by her state of duress as he turns on sexy music and asks her if she had to "use her whole body" when she waved him down than questions if she "always goes around with no clothes on." He turns down the sexuality of the scene by turning off the music, she takes his hand, puts her head on his shoulders telling the questioning officers that she's his wife as they role onto their universe of darkness and absurdity.

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We see the young woman running in the dark towards the camera, trying to stop a car.  She's barefoot.  We hear her gasping for breath, desperate for help.  Why is she there?  Is she running from a bad date?  A murder scene?  In the dark, we can only see her and car headlights.  

 

The opening credits roll - from the top down.  Confusing, yes.  I had trouble reading them.  It also imitates the way we might see words on the road as we're driving over them.  More confusion from the music:  Nat King Cole calming crooning to the woman's gasping breaths.

 

In a final desperate act, the woman throws herself in front of a car, closing her eyes and grimacing in fear that it might not stop in time.  She gets in the car, and the driver is at first more concerned with starting his car than her situation.  The car starts moving, and he finally questions her dress.  (I didn't even notice that she was wearing only a trenchcoat until he mentioned it.)  His guess is that she's been on a bad date.  I thought she was fleeing a murder scene or car accident.

 

At the roadblock, the woman, still desperate, takes the driver's hand and puts her head on his shoulder.  He plays along, calling her his wife.  Not surprising - Odd reactions seem to be part and parcel of the film noir detective.  When out-the-ordinary situations arise, he jumps in and rolls with the punches - sometimes literally.  (Good thing he always gets involved in these weird crime scenarios, or we'd have no films noir to enjoy!)

 

We find that the woman is possibly (probably) an escapee from a nearby asylum.  Why was she there?  Why did she escape?  What is down the road for the couple in the car?

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The credits aren't the only thing backward here. There is a shoeless woman in a trench coat. No sound but the slapping of bare feet against the road (sound vs silence and naked vs clothed). It is clear that the woman will sacrifice herself to get away. (Life vs death) The only time there is sound is on Hammer's car radio with the crooning of Nat King Cole. (Smooth voice vs ragged breathing) It is important to note the DJ is female with a sultry voice (covertly erotic) against the trench coated naked woman (overtly erotic)

 

Hammer seems to be different from Spade and Marlowe. I'm not sure how yet (I vaguely recall a Stacy Keach Mike Hammer show as a kid). He is obviously annoyed with this Woman, but instead of his first concern being her, it is his car.%2

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Film Noir characteristics, themes, techniques I noticed:

Use of the highway/road to convey movement and place – leading to and/or from something. Is Christina running from the title’s deadly kiss?

 

Night time filming; key lighting to contrast Christina, the car and Hammer against the night; below eye-level camera shots of Christina

 

Headlights on the dark road.

 

Straight lines punctuated by car headlights

 

The first character introduced has escaped from an asylum (social issue)

 

Christina was desperate and risked being run over by Hammer’s car. However, in the midst of her terror, panic and desperation (she’s barefoot!). We hear Nat King Cole’s Rather Have the Blues and Christina’s breathless panting while the opening credits roll from the top of the screen down as if it’s the road that Hammer’s car is travelling on – but where the road leads

 

Hammer doesn’t even have to hear the lady speak to “rescue” her - his instinct kicks in. He assumes a romantic encounter gone wrong and notices that she has no clothes under the trench coat. But even after he finds out she’s escaped from and asylum, Hammer is more than willing to cover for her – how easily he agrees to be deceitful - even letting her determine how by following her hand-holding lead to support a “my wife was sleeping” story. Such curiosity has killed many cats and men.

 

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The credits aren't the only thing backward here. There is a shoeless woman in a trench coat. No sound but the slapping of bare feet against the road (sound vs silence and naked vs clothed). It is clear that the woman will sacrifice herself to get away. (Life vs death) The only time there is sound is on Hammer's car radio with the crooning of Nat King Cole. (Smooth voice vs ragged breathing) It is important to note the DJ is female with a sultry voice (covertly erotic) against the trench coated naked woman (overtly erotic)

Hammer seems to be different from Spade and Marlowe. I'm not sure how yet (I vaguely recall a Stacy Keach Mike Hammer show as a kid). He is obviously annoyed with this Woman, but instead of his first concern being her, it is his car.%2

I like your line about the credits not being the only thing that's backwards.

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When the scene opens, Cloris Leachman is running.  The only sound are her bare feet on the road.  Then the music plays; and it is tense, threatening music.  She is panting.  She continues to pant and breathe out loud during the scene.  The panting does give an erotic feel to the scene.  

 

The scene was shot at night.  She takes a big chance putting her body in front of Diamond's car.  Later you hear the police officers saying a woman escaped from an asylum.  She grips his hand, and he tells the police she is his wife.  While the scene is going on, you are in the car with them.  You are following the road with them.

 

When the car is driving, you hear the radio say a Nate King Cole song will play.  Then the credits start rolling in reverse.  It is like Star Wars.  I have not seen credits rolling in reverse before in film noir.  The director wants you in the action right from the start.

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I found it interesting that the opening scene should include the Nat King Cole song, I'd Rather Have The Blues. So soft and soothing  against the noise of the cars and the harshness of Mike Hammer's dialog. Such a sharp contrast.

 

The night is mighty chilly

And conversation seems pretty silly

I feel so mean and rot

I'd rather have the blues than what I've got

 

The blues and noir go hand in hand...Nat King Cole being one of my all time favorites.

 

Cloris Leachman's desparation is palpable. And yes, she did need to "use her whole body" in order to stop Mike Hammer's car. A bit of sexual inuendo there!!

The title and credits running backwards gave the impression of spacial imbalance...almost sci-fi, if you will.

 

The night-for-night cineamatography was fantastic. Lots of darkness and very little lighting in order to maintain the uneaseness of the situation. 

 

Loved it!

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There are a couple of things we learn about Hammer that would have been obvious to a lot of males particularly in the '50s. He is a pretty hip guy: drives a Jaguar Xk-120 (the quintessential British sports car of the time) and listens to a pretty cool radio station that plays Nat King Cole and has a sultry DJ. Hammer is not just an everyday detective with simple tastes. He's sophisticated (or tries to be). These are hints there might be some complexity to this guy. That he drives a Jag might also mean that he does a little better than the average guy and can afford some luxury items. He may not be the PI on the edge of being broke we have seen in so many other noirs with detectives.

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I can also see where Star Wars got the idea for the opening sequence -- almost expected to hear some lasers firing. 

 

The scrolling text in Star Wars was inspired by the Flash Gordon serial on the early 1930s. This film had nothing to do with that.

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The first thing that struck me on the first minute and an half of the clip was the use of low key light to set the mood.  Even though you hear Christina (and I cannot believe that’s Cloris Leachman!) breathing, the audience isn’t allowed to see her until she throws herself in front of the car.  While the audience has had glimpses of her fear while she runs, her desperation is brought to light as she is washed out in the car’s headlights. 

 

Not to mention, this is a great hook.  In the first ninety seconds, I want to know why she’s running out in the middle of the road in the middle of the desert in a trench coat and barefoot.  Add in the fact that she isn’t screaming or even talking makes me more curious.

 

And if the running, crying and trench coat wasn’t enough to pull you in, figuring out why Mike Hammer went along with Christina’s ruse on the cops, after finding out she escaped from an asylum, will make you want to watch the whole movie.  To be honest, I was expecting her to pull a gun or knife on him, so I was pleasantly surprised when that didn’t happen.

 

Immediately, Mike comes off as a tough guy, not giving any sympathy to Christina’s sobbing.  He assumes she is trouble, which all “dames” are in noir films.  However, Christina comes across more as a damsel in distress more than a femme fatale to me.

 

On a personal note: as a dyslexic, the credits messed me up.

 

 

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In the opening scene of Kiss Me Deadly we observe that the character of Christina Bailey (Cloris Leachman) is running away from something out of fear.  She's breathless, barefoot, clothed only in an overcoat and is desperate to flag down a car.  Private eye Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) we learn is man who keeps his cool in spite of "this woman" who caused him to run off the road.  He likes his slick sports car, listening to cool jazz and doesn't like being bothered but obviously has an aptitude for staying cool, at least for now.  By the time the two of them reach a police road block we clearly perceive Mike to be a man unwilling to disburden himself of this woman fitting the description of an asylum escapee.  He does have a heart or is at least curious enough to learn more.

 

The major themes introduced in the opening is desperation, isolation, darkness and one of looming doom.  After a couple of cars have passed her by, Christina is out of breath and out of ideas.  Standing in the middle of the highway, she will either be hit and end it all, or she will get a ride and a chance for escape (from whatever).  After a near miss and Ralph Meeker skids off to the side of the road, his medium close up, glaring at Cloris Leachman while trying to restart his engine is priceless!  He's not happy about the situation but he is still maintaining his cool.  "You almost wrecked my car!...Well? (no response)...Get in!"  She hesitates.  Irritated that he has to open the passenger side door for this woman, Mike is still casual and confident as underscored by his radio playing Nat King Cole's Rather Have The Blues.  She gets in and we are on our way to Noir City.

 

Most of the major elements of a noir feature are displayed within the opening minutes of Kiss Me Deadly and you, the audience is involved as we hitch a ride along with Christina Bailey, as our anti hero Mike Hammer tries to figure out the who, why and how of what's happening. 

 

It's a long ride, so turn the radio back on!   

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I would argue, Noirnado, that perhaps there's something darker to Mike than whiteknighting. Because of what he says, "I'll throw you off the cliff" and his behavior, cold and detached, with no lingering sights or loving gestures, I wonder if he's doing her a favor for other reasons. As our protagonist, it's unlikely that he will do her real harm, but a key feature of these noir characters, especially the PIs, is that they straddle good and bad. Maybe he's just curious about her situation in a more morbid fashion, maybe he cares so little that she could be with or without him and he wouldn't bat an eyelash. Even the music helps to show the contrast. It's so mellow and romantic and yet he's so distant and basically threatening to kill her. At the end of the scene, when he agrees to sneak her past the cops, it's clear his interest has peaked.

A thought also crossed my mind as to the motive behind Hammer's pretense with the cops. Distrust, disillusionment with authorities could be a current societal theme...that perhaps he'll play along with the escaped "looney" rather than help police. Also, perhaps, by this point, he may have seen enough to think she's not so crazy, even if society deems her so..and yet I also believe there may be alterior motives on Hammer's part...perhaps sexual, perhaps entertainment for the here and now. Curtis, though, he had to open the door for her...I wasn't sure she couldn't get in because there wasn't a handle or if she was insisting that he act like a gentleman, even if he's not talking like one...?

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Once again, there is no mistaking this film as anything but noir, but by the mid 1950’s, sensationalism superseded class. Mickey Spillane’s “Mike Hammer” was popular but plebian.

Throughout history each generation of artist has endeavored to make their art more real than the generation before. In the 1930’s wealth and power was glamorized in films. Nick and Nora Charles were beloved. With the advent of noir in the 1940’s, the average guy in a tight spot (Philip Marlowe for example) became the hero. He didn’t look for trouble; trouble found him. He was cynical, but had complete allegiance to his own moral code. Mike Hammer, the 1950’s detective, has virtually no moral code. He’s part of the corrupt world and believes the end always justifies the means. Sam Spade went about “collecting guns” to keep others from using them. Mike Hammer had no problem shooting first.

The “Hays Code” would last another thirteen years but by this point it’s clear that filmmakers were working very hard to take it to the limits. The detective story, first envisioned by Edgar Allen Poe in 1841, had at last sunk to the level of salacious pulp fiction. As usual, the film industry, first and foremost a business, was keen to embrace pulp fiction’s popularity.

Is this sort of noir more “real” than its processors? One could reasonably make that argument. I believe you can always tell when an art form has reached its nadir because it resorts to sensationalism; it was near the fall of the Roman Empire that they amused themselves by feeding Christians to lions. While it’s a good film, I think it’s an example of why the noir movement began to decline.

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So interesting, even though I've never seen the film and know little to nothing about Mike Hammer.  Given that ignorance. . . 

 

A couple of things about Hammer's character displayed in this sequence.  His extremely rough exterior--?suggesting he should have ditched her over the cliff after guessing she was assaulted?--is clear, and he speaks to her in a demeaning manner.  He sees her more as a temporary headache despite his trash talk toward her.  What quickly changes his assessment of her, however, is when he sees the line up of police vehicles and learns she is sought as an escapee from an asylum.  I have to wonder if, once some major pieces come together as to his passenger's situation, he has suddenly decided that there is something potentially very intriguing in this for him when he silently agrees to her silent request that he not give her away to the cops.  

 

We know independent from this sequence in the film that he is a private detective.  A very desperate yet very smart woman--as clearly identified from all the features described in earlier posts--and very desperate cops--all those police cars and lights, stopping all traffic, making inquiries of all drivers/passengers--combine to tell him that he's got a lion by the tail, so to speak.  His motivation in protecting her from the police may be less due to his interior nugget of goodness and perhaps attributed more to the obvious potential for irresistible intrigue in taking this woman on as a client now that he knows more.  Thus, he says Christina is his wife in order to get her past the police checkpoint.

 

That he also describes her as his wife suggests to me that he's made his commitment, right then and there, to take on this client and stick with her to the end of whatever wild ride lies ahead.  He doesn't describe her as his girlfriend, fiance or something less committed in terms of their fake relationship when talking to the police.  Saying she's his wife seems to underscore a different level of commitment he made as a private eye for hire.  Especially since she clearly needs more than routine PI services.  

 

Again, I don't know the Hammer series or this film; on the other hand, . . . .

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A major theme introduced in this opening sequence is one of desperation. Within this topic, one can ponder what a person will do/won't do out of sheer desperation? 

"You almost wrecked my car!" Private eye Meeker exclaims as Christina throws her whole being, body, and self in her desperate act.  But, really, she doesn't care about his car. She only cares about getting herself out of trouble, away from the cops, etc.

Even with her highly audible panting, alluding to sexual and/or neurotic innuendoes, it's sort of like her "Twix moment" for her....giving herself a little time, choosing her words carefully. She doesn't know this guy (Meeker) is going to act when he finds out/she tells him that she just escaped from an asylum.

But, we can discern that he is calm, cool, and collected, or he can act as such. Not only composed within the first minutes of the film, but we also learn that he is most likely a "sucker for a pretty face." (then again, who isn't!) 

When Christina approaches the passenger side, she just stands there (purposefully or unintended) and looks at him like, "Um, hello! Are you a gentleman or not! Open the door for me!"  And, he looks at her, and pops open the door for her....I haven't seen this movie, but I can imagine that as the story progresses, he's going to fall for her looks and start doing things for her more readily (which will lead to someone's downfall).

 

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I've never seen this movie, probably because it was based on something written by Mickey Spillane.  My first impressions on this clip were:

 

Christina is desperately trying to flag down a car.  I didn't notice until someone else mentioned it, that she was barefoot.  The fact that she stopped a car by standing in front of it, led me to believe that she was running from "a fate worse than death" 

 

My first impression of Mike Hammer was that he was a jerk.  True, he had just had a scare and maybe that fueled his anger but clearly she was in trouble.  He did relent and offer her a ride but still he was being a jerk about it (the crack about throwing her off a cliff).  I also didn't know she was naked until he mentioned it.  Though she was hesitant to get into his car, whatever she was running from was worse.

 

I did think it was odd, that she was trying to hitch a ride in the direction she was running away from.

 

The backwards scrolling credits threw me off.  I found them hard to follow.  Maybe it was intentional to disconcert the audience or maybe as others have mentioned, it represented the car moving forward.  In that case, I think they should have come toward the screen and not down from the top.

 

I had a hard time hearing the lyrics to the song on the radio over her gasping and I unlike the commenter in the daily dose, I did not find it erotic.  Her wearing only a raincoat was definitely suggestive that something sexual had happened.

 

I was surprised that she thought Mike Hammer would help her out.  I assumed grabbing his hand was 'an offer' of some sort and another indication that she is desperate.  Even with all of his grumbling, he didn't turn her down.  The fact that he had no problem lying to the police showed his character as having his own "moral code" like our other noir anti-heroes.  I don't know at this point that it was particularly chivalrous on his part.

 

I looked forward to seeing what happens next.

 

 

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