265 - Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Generally considered to be one of the ten greatest film noirs, Robert Aldrich's film from 55 years ago still is as vibrant and alive today. This is a great movie!
As I perused the list of the top 1000 I was sure I'd seen it before, but my database told me otherwise and my brain is the one most likely to be at fault. So Netflix came to my rescue and we put the record straight.
Mike Hammer is out in the night driving his awesome sports car when he is stopped by a woman in the middle of the road. She has a strange story and is wearing almost nothing. The radio plays that she has escaped from the local asylum. Minutes later she is horrifically slain and we join our hero as he tries to find out what happened.
I was genuinely surprised at the tone and brutality of this film. It's harsh and it seems to relish it. It's not just the amount of violence but it's the sadistic tone of the film that is very unusual. Robert Aldrich pulled out all the stops here.
There are clear influences to Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg that I won't discuss in detail, but you'll spot very quickly.
If I was going to suggest a film that summed up the style of Film Noir this would be very high up my list. I've talked tone, there's your usual band of low lives and molls, great shadowy camera work and composition, a treasure chest of quotable quotes, cool cars and the style of the 1950's itself. Now throw in an awesome soundtrack and you have the complete set.
I do wish Criterion versus MGM had the rights to this movie as it's crying out for a remaster and some serious extras. the disc from MGM is a disgrace and they should be ashamed.
A genuine pleasure 9/10