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Kiss Me Deadly - Starring Ralph Meeker, Cloris Leachman, Gaby Rodgers, et al. (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray 2011 ]

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Profoundly sinister, deeply pessimistic, and deliciously witty, Kiss Me Deadly is a film noir unlike any other -- and it’s as modern today as it was on the day it premiered in 1955. Made near the end of the classic Hollywood era, this second trip to the big screen for Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer (after 1953's I, The Jury) remains the best, as it casts a shockingly jaundiced eye on the detective genre and on society at large. Director Robert Aldrich conjures up a world that’s decayed and decadent, on the verge of destruction. Nothing embodies this moral corruption more than the lead character himself. Ralph Meeker's Mike Hammer is a shallow brute specializing in sleazy divorce cases, and now that he’s stumbled upon something big, he’s in way over his head. From the very first atmospheric shots, excitement, danger, and sex fill the air. Hammer, driving down the highway one ominous night, picks up a beautiful -- and somewhat underdressed -- woman (played by Cloris Leachman). She hints at dark secrets that threaten her life; moments later, Hammer is run off the road, his passenger tortured and killed, and his curiosity piqued. Ignoring dire warnings from the police, the FBI, and the criminals, he pursues the few clues she’s left him. All trails eventually lead to a strange box that, like Pandora, he cannot resist opening. Every beautifully composed image ratchets up the tension and intensifies the mystery. Hammer’s own dimness adds to the story’s suspense: He can’t give us dependable information, and so the audience waits nervously to discover what’s happening right along with him. Meeker perfectly conveys the character’s arrogance and viciousness; Maxine Cooper exudes sexuality and smarts as his devoted girl Friday, Velma. The result is nothing less than explosive.

Condition:NEW. Brand New Factory Sealed

Cast & Crew - Kiss Me Deadly
Ralph Meeker
(Films)(Biography) Mike Hammer
Albert Dekker
(Films)(Biography) Dr. Soberin
Paul Stewart
(Films)(Biography) Carl Evello
Wesley Addy
(Films)(Biography) Pat Chambers
Maxine Cooper Velda
Cloris Leachman Christina Bailey, a.k.a. Berga Torn
Jack Elam Charlie Max
Juano Hernandez Eddie Yeager
Gaby Rodgers Lily Carver, a.k.a. Gabrielle
Nick Dennis Nick
Jack Lambert Sugar Smallhouse
Marian Carr Friday
Jerry Zinneman Sammy
Leigh Snowden Girl at Evello's Pool
Percy Helton Morgue Doctor
Madi Comfort Singer
Fortunio Bonanova Carmen Trivago
James McCallion Super
Silvio Minciotti Mover
Robert Cornthwaite F.B.I. Man
James Seay F.B.I. Man
Mara McAfee Nurse
Mort Marshall Piker
Jesslyn Fax Mrs. Super
Sam Balter Radio announcer
Marjorie Bennett Manager
Joe Hernandez Radio announcer
Strother Martin Harvey Wallace, Truck Driver
Leonard Mudie Athletic Club Clerk
Paul Richards Attacker
Bob Sherman Gas Station Man
Kitty White Vocalist in Club (uncredited)
Frank De Vol Conductor

Technical Credits
Robert Aldrich Director, Producer
A.I. Bezzerides Screenwriter
Howard Bristol Set Decoration/Design
Nat "King" Cole Songwriter
Frank De Vol Score Composer, Songwriter
William Glasgow Art Director
Robert H. Justman Asst. Director
Ernest Laszlo Cinematographer
Michael Luciano Editor
Victor Saville Executive Producer
Bob Schiffer Makeup
Jack Solomon Sound/Sound Designer

Product Details
Actors: Ralph Meeker, Cloris Leachman, Gaby Rodgers, Maxine Copper, Albert Dekker
Directors: Robert Aldrich
Format: Black & White, NTSC, Widescreen
Language: English
Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Criterion Collection
DVD Release Date: June 21, 2011
Run Time: 106 minutes

Audio Commentary by film noir specialists Alain Silver and James Ursini; New Video tribute by Director Alex Cox; Excerpts from The Long Haul of A.I. Bezzerides, a 2005 Documentary on the Kiss Me Deadly Screenwriter; Mike Hammer's Mickey Spillane, a 1998 Documentary about the life and work of the author; Video Pieces on the Film's locations; Controversial altered ending; Theatrical Trailer; ; Plus: A booklet featuring an Essay by critic J. Hoberman and a 1955 reprint by Director Robert Aldrich

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