Kiss Me Deadly

The classic 1955 film noir Kiss Me Deadly is, in some ways, the end of the genre's cycle. In one movie, Robert Aldrich's adaptation of the Mickey Spillane novel looks back to the tough-guy L.A. private eye tradition of Chandler and Hammett and forward to the atomic age. What's "the great whatsit" in the box that everybody, including Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker), is looking for? And why do so many corpses pile up along the way? Well, it has something to do with the Manhattan Project, although even that doesn't explain what country the vaguely European Dr. Soberin represents. "How civilized this Earth used to be," he says. Not any more, doc. Mike slaps and slugs and kills his way to the box—and he's the hero of a picture almost entirely lacking in sympathetic characters. Cloris Leachman makes her film debut running barefoot down a highway, and it's not an opening you'll forget. (NR) BRIAN MILLER

Wed., Jan. 9, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2013

 
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