Film Noir 2021
Screening Dates
  • August 19, 2021 6:15
  • August 21, 2021 8:30
  • August 25, 2021 6:15

One of the most extraordinary films of the 50s.”

Georges Sadoul, Dictionary of Films

Kiss Me Deadly, masterfully directed by Robert Aldrich (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?), is nuclear-age noir so nasty and nihilistic it’s positively radioactive. François Truffaut called it the most original American film since Orson Welles’s The Lady from Shanghai.” Adapted from one of Mickey Spillane’s sex-and-violence-filled Mike Hammer novels, it stars Ralph Meeker as a thuggish private eye bungling his way from brutality to brutality as he investigates why the half-naked hitchhiker he picked up in the film’s nocturnal opening was tortured to death—in front of his own semiconscious eyes! As Hammer stumbles his way into a sinister Cold War conspiracy, Aldrich and cameraman Ernest Laszlo keep things dizzyingly off-kilter with a host of disorienting cinematic devices. The opening credits roll in reverse to the sound of a woman’s heavy panting.

A brilliant time capsule of 1950s paranoia.”

Eddie Muller, The Art of Noir

Brilliantly characterized down to the smallest roles, directed with baroque ferocity, superbly shot by Ernest Laszlo, it’s a masterpiece of sorts.”

Tom Milne, Time Out