One of the classics of Film Noir. Released in 1955, it reflects the cold war paranoia of the time. The film chronicles the further adventures of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. Mike avoids the cops while chasing baddies who are trying to gain possession of a mysterious black box, whose unnamed glowing contents were Tarantino's inspiration for the mysterious briefcase in Pulp Fiction.

Kiss Me Deadly was also one of the films that inspired the filmmakers of the French New Wave.

The original theatrical release was especially notable for its sudden ending. The beach house that Mike Hammer is in explodes, leaving the question of his survival unanswered. Over twenty years later, in 1997, the actual ending for the film was discovered. The additional 81 seconds showed Mike Hammer escaping unscathed. There is speculation that the error in the original release was actually due to the last 81 seconds being lost by one of the technicians making the prints.

Kiss Me Deadly is a classic crime film, but the character of Mike Hammer was turned on his head by the screenwriter. Mickey Spillane made him a knight with a pistol instead of a sword, but in the movie Hammer is brutal and selfish and only looking out for himself.

In addition to the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, the black box was the inspiration for the aliens in the trunk in Repo Man.

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