Usually on Saturdays I choose a movie from the DVDs that Cindy and I have accumulated over the years. This past weekend, however, I decided to try a movie from our county library’s holdings. I checked out a copy of “Kiss Me Deadly” starring Ralph Meeker.
At first glance it You might think that this would be a movie that I loved, since it is touted as a film noir classic. It is a black and white movie released in 1955, and was directed by Robert Aldrich. The movie is based on a novel by Mickey Spillane, and stars his character Mike Hammer who is played by Ralph Meeker.
I didn’t like the movie. I should like the movie. I understand that it was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress because it is culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. Maybe it is historically significant, but I can’t believe that anyone would find it culturally or aesthetically significant.
Here are the positives that I found in the film: 1) It opens with Cloris Leachman (in her first film role) running barefoot down a two-lane highway, trying to flag down a ride. She has on a trench coat, and supposedly nothing else. 2) Jack Elam has a small part. Any time that Jack Elam is in a film is a positive. 3) There are some interesting camera angles and sites with photogenic staircases. 4) There is no number 4.
Here are some of the negatives for me. 1) The movie is based on a Mickey Spillane novel. I have tried many times to read and enjoy Spillane novels, and have never succeeded. I have liked two of the actors who played Mike Hammer on television: Darren McGavin and Stacey Keach, but I still didn’t like the character. 2) I don’t believe that all of the plot points were resolved. But I have to admit that I dozed off for a bit in the middle of the film. Maybe everything I didn’t understand was explained in that five or so minutes when I was spared from watching. 3) If you think that Donald Trump has trouble with women, show this movie to a group of women and they will burn down the studio. 4) I don’t know whether to blame the bad acting on the actors or the director. I thought about pointing out one portrayal in particular, but I don’t want to speak ill of the dead.
Next week I’m going back to a film that I have on hand.