Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Today's film is Kiss Me Deadly.  It has some elements of film noir, but holds some surprises as well.  Our male private eye character is Mike Hammer.  Can a name get any manlier than Mike Hammer? He picks up a blonde hitchhiker,and they are attacked by the bad guys.  The hitchhiker dies and Mike wakes up in the hospital.  He tries to figure out the mystery surrounding her death and that mystery goes deeper than anyone expected.

I chose this picture to highlight his giant answering machine.  I had no idea there were answering machines back then.  Turns out that the first commercially successful answering machine, the Ansafone, wasn't made until 1960.  This particular model shown was the Tel-Magnet and cost $200.

Mike believes there is a big story connected to the hitchhiker, Christina's death.  He goes to her apartment and later finds her old roommate.  The plot twists a lot, but her roommate isn't actually her roommate at all, but another woman searching for a box that has a valuable secret inside.

When she does open the box, the entire scene becomes a seizure trigger.  It's not long, but it's very bright and flashing.  I'm not going to say what's in the box or why it explodes like that, because I don't know anything about chemistry or elements/fission/whatever.  But it does have something to say about the paranoid culture of the Atomic Age.  Here is a man, who is a complete asshole and has the latest in technology.  I mean the guy has a freakin answering machine in 1955.  All it takes is one nuclear mishap and he is forced into the sea - literally.  This film noir goes further than any other I've seen.  I will give it an 8/10.

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