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"Blood-Red Kisses, White-Hot Thrills!" Mickey Spillane's tough-talking New York detective Mike Hammer gets a California makeover in this cult fave by genre innovator Robert Aldrich, working from a gonzo script by A. I. Bezzerides. Atomic-age fears find their foil in modern L.A.'s sprawling landscape of violence and corruption, in which Ralph Meeker's Hammer sneers with sarcastic cool. Equal parts narcissist and sadist, Hammer lives in a swanky bachelor pad, drives his Corvette too fast and is drawn by ego and curiosity into a murder investigation — despite clear danger to all around him. Hammer's search is inventively filmed by Ernest Laszlo across Los Angeles locations, from Bunker Hill and Beverly Hills to the isolated Malibu beach house where the "great whatsit" finally makes its big reveal. Excellent support is provided by "va-va-voom!" Juano Hernandez and femmes Cloris Leachman, Maxine Cooper, Gaby Rodgers and Marian Carr. DIR/PROD Robert Aldrich; SCR A. I. Bezzerides, from the novel by Mickey Spillane. U.S., 1955, b&w, 106 min. NOT RATED

AFI Member passes accepted.

Robert Aldrich
106 Minutes
Film noir


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