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Film Studies 101
Feature
Become A Film Noir Expert In Ten Easy Movies
Master a genre in just a handful of films

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Become A Film Noir Expert In Ten Easy Movies | Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Director: Robert Aldrich
Cast: Ralph Meeker,  Gaby Rodgers, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart
Tagline: “Blood red kisses! White hot thrills! Mickey Spillane's latest H-bomb!”

Robert Aldrich’s nihilist noir was intended as a counterblast to post-war paranoia: a movie that was designed to give McCarthyite witch-hunters and Cold War hawks sleepless nights, but that gave everyone else one too. Watching it now, it’s a majestically sour-faced slice of monochrome cool. More hard-boiled than a vulcanised free-range and boasting the ethics of a FIFA suit, Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) is the man the story hitches a ride with, taking in some down and dirty corners of the human psyche along the way. The ‘Great Whatsit’ Hammer quests after gives new meaning to the word ‘boom-box’. It’s a mysterious, malevolent case that’s resurfaced in different guises in Pulp Fiction, Barton Fink and Raiders Of The Lost Ark, to name a few. While it’s never entirely faithful to Mickey Spillane’s novel, Aldrich’s adaptation picks the right dame to stray with in Gaby Rodgers’s icy blonde, a femme at least 25 percent more 'fatale' than any in cinema.
 

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