Kiss Me Deadly

Kiss Me Deadly

Kiss Me Deadly is 1955 American film noir produced and directed by Robert Aldrich, and starring Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Juano Hernandez, and Wesley Addy. It also features Maxine Cooper and Cloris Leachman appearing in their feature film debuts. The film follows a private investigator in Los Angeles who becomes embroiled in a complex mystery after picking up a female hitchhiker who has escaped from a psychiatric hospital. The screenplay was written by Aldrich and A. I. Bezzerides, based on the 1952 crime novel Kiss Me, Deadly by Mickey Spillane.


Mike Hammer is a tough private investigator who, with the assistance of his secretary/lover Velda, typically works on "penny-ante divorce cases". One evening on a lonely country road north of Los Angeles, Hammer gives a ride to Christina, an attractive hitchhiker who has escaped from a nearby psychiatric hospital, wearing nothing but a trench coat. Thugs waylay them, and Hammer awakens in some unknown location where he hears Christina screaming and being tortured to death. The thugs then push Hammer's car off a cliff with Christina's body and an unconscious Hammer inside. Hammer next awakens in a hospital with Velda by his bedside. He decides to pursue the case, for vengeance, a sense of guilt (as Christina had asked him to "remember me" if she got killed), and because Christina "must be connected with something big" behind it all.