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NOT Kiss Me Deadly


ElCid
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There is another Mike Hammer movie that TCM used to show occasionally which I like better than Kiss Me Deadly.  And its not the ones with Mickey Spillane.  My Gun is Quick with Robert Bray.  KMD is OK, but somehow just not that appealing to me for repeat viewing.  But, if you haven't seen it, worth watching.

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Robert Bray puts in a passable portrayal as Mike Hammer he's Hammer-esgue but again here is a case where the action is moved to California and the talent to make an acceptable Noir-ish stylized Mike Hammer film is noticeably lacking, it looks made on the cheap, it plays like a TV film and is nowhere near Aldrich's film noir masterpiece.  The broads Whitney Blake, Patricia Donahue, Pamela Duncan, prostitute Jan Chaney, and stripper Genie Coree  are again "hammer-tommically" correct but again as in both "I The Jury" (1953),  and "Kiss Me Deadly" (1955) the slightly gratuitous sexuality which should be a touchstone in any Mike Hammer based film is PG-13 if even that.  To put it bluntly the hammer babes (save for Velda) peel for Mike at every opportunity. Another big faux pas in hammer-city is where is the Colt .45 automatic ?, Bray runs around with what looks like a .38 special a popgun in comparison, come on right from the get-go with the scene in the lunch counter you know its gonna be off. Still a 7/10

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I like the end when the radioactive sphere goes supercritical and the blonde homicidal bimbo gets incinerated along with the rest of the beach house. the sound effects make it kinda scary. after the bimbo opens the box you doan wanna be anywhere around that place...

 

a real hot box. :)

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Robert Bray puts in a passable portrayal as Mike Hammer he's Hammer-esgue but again here is a case where the action is moved to California and the talent to make an acceptable Noir-ish stylized Mike Hammer film is noticeably lacking, it looks made on the cheap, it plays like a TV film and is nowhere near Aldrich's film noir masterpiece.  The broads Whitney Blake, Patricia Donahue, Pamela Duncan, prostitute Jan Chaney, and stripper Genie Coree  are again "hammer-tommically" correct but again as in both "I The Jury" (1953),  and "Kiss Me Deadly" (1955) the slightly gratuitous sexuality which should be a touchstone in any Mike Hammer based film is PG-13 if even that.  To put it bluntly the hammer babes (save for Velda) peel for Mike at every opportunity. Another big faux pas in hammer-city is where is the Colt .45 automatic ?, Bray runs around with what looks like a .38 special a popgun in comparison, come on right from the get-go with the scene in the lunch counter you know its gonna be off. Still a 7/10

 

I think I like him better as Ranger Cory on lassie. :)

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I love that ending. the sphere goes supercritical and the psycho-bimbo gets it. being a space cadet and not a nuclear physicist I would say the sphere is fissile material kept from going critical by the box which is shielding...

and I also think wesley addy looks like anderson cooper.

 

what is that sphere?....super-compressed radium! :) 

110bu3m.jpg110bu3m.jpg

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I love that ending. the sphere goes supercritical and the psycho-bimbo gets it. being a space cadet and not a nuclear physicist I would say the sphere is fissile material kept from going critical by the box which is shielding...

and I also think wesley addy looks like anderson cooper.

 

what is that sphere?....super-compressed radium! :) 

I was taken to see Kiss Me Deadly as a five year old. I had nightmares about that ending for years. I didn't even remember the film anymore -- just that a woman opened a box, and a glow came out that engulfed everything. It wasn't until the 1980s that I was reminded of the film.

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Kiss Me Deadly - one film I watch every time it's on. It's got a great mixture of comic book, comedy, sci-fi, and it's all wrapped up in a noir package. The cars are great, both to listen to and as eye candy - just like the dames. Gaby Rodgers.. well.. when she turns on Mike at the end, the only way I can describe her character is "dripping with something" - and it's oozing out. Much like the contents of the box itself. She is so fixated and mezmerized by what's in that damn box. The way she turns on a dime (psyco-like) as Mike enters the room to confront (save?) her, looking for Maxine Cooper. It's not a long, drawn out sequence - she plugs him. Today's film makers would add an extra 5 minutes of needless, empty conversation at this point (we must keep any remake of this out of their taffy stretching hands).

 

There are no real explanations for what goes on here, we're just along for the ride. Beautiful.

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Watched KMD last night or rather the first hour.  Gave up and watched Veep.  Big fan of mysteries and noir, especially from 30's - 50's, but just cannot get into this one.  Meeker is either wooden or doing a parody of a PI in a mystery movie.  In fact, the whole movie seems to be a parody.

I do recall that Mickey Spillane and his wife judged a beauty contest at my high school way back.

Actually haven't seen My Gun is Quick in many years, so maybe it's no better.

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I'll weigh in to say I really like this film too!  It does have a little bit of everything...crazy plot, cartoonish-like characters, grittiness, sensuality, violence, and even introspection.  I can see why it would make someone's "must-watch" as well as "must NOT watch" list.  Ralph Meeker's portrayal as Mike Hammer really hits the mark; the guy is a stone-cold s t u d in this picture.  All the women want him, whether he's into them or not, and he can take the tough antics from his adversaries as well as he can dish it out.  

 

To me, Meeker is one of those actors that can be a likable guy with a dark side or a crumb bum with an empathetic side in most of the pictures in which he appeared.  I think "Kiss Me Deadly" is just good entertainment, even if the plot seems weird.  It's always good to see movies like this with supporting players who were early in their careers (like Cloris Leachman and Strother Martin).  I particularly like some of the dialogue from Mickey Spillane books that get translated to the screen, like the part where Hammer has just come up three long flights of stairs at the hotel where Carmen Trivago is staying.  Hammer says to the old woman in the office, "A guy can get a heart attack climbing up those steps", to which she replies, "Nobody invited ya"!

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The best portrayal of Mike Hammer [iMHO] was Mickey Spillane in "The Girl Hunters". He knew his creation and he embodied it. Yes, the film wasn't great, Spillane was older and heavier, but he was Hammer. Trench coat, the hat and of course the .45 Automatic. There were certain scenes that was pure Hammer. In the bar when Hammer is asking questions and a sort of pimp character take out a switchblade and sticks it in the bar and Hammer takes out his .45 and ejects a shell and tells the pimp to swallow it and he does. The fight scene between Hammer and the Russian killer is one of the best and most real in a film. By the fifth or sixth punch both men are gasping for air and can hardly raise their fist and the way Hamme makes sure the Russian stays in the barn is again pure Spillane and Hammer. Again, not a great film, but taken with a grain of salt, it's fun.....

 

P.S.   Spillane hated the film version of "Kiss Me Deadly"....

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The young lady who played Gabrielle in this movie is wonderful; and I've imdbed her and  I'm surprised she didn't do a lot of other features....but she reminds me just a touch of Judy Holliday, so watching the ending to KISS ME DEADLY gives us a hint at what a version of BORN YESTRDAY as directed by Quentin Tarantino would resemble.

 

(and that something is awesome.)

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