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The 1955 film "Kiss Me Deadly" makes telling changes to Mickey Spillane's 1952 source novel. What was a story of greed and social corruption becomes an allegory of Cold War hysteria. Plot and character cede the stage to emotion and character type. While earlier films noir portrayed the downfall of a flawed person whose bad decisions had far-reaching social consequences, "Kiss Me Deadly" instead pits simplified personages and storylines against an ecstatically elaborate camera vision and sound design. It is at once the boiling down and the blowing up of noir--executed with a degree of camp only the mid-1950's could muster--and as such, it is the fulcrum on which hard-boiled literary tradition and noir film history teeter-totter. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com.
Direct download: OOTP_2007_02_01_KMD.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 2:31 AM
Comments[1]

  • Absolutely brilliant film, and you guys bring out so much that the average viewer like me misses. I really enjoy and am inspired by your analyses of noir films, including this classic, still so watchable today.

    posted by: Geoff Taylor on 2007-06-10 09:57:00

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