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.