New Release: Kiss Me Deadly Blu-ray and DVD

Kiss Me Deadly movie scene

Ralph Meeker (r.) gets grilled in Kiss Me Deadly (1955).

The Criterion Collection turned down the lights to honor one of the great film noirs, Kiss Me Deadly, which was released on Blu-ray and DVD on June 21, 2011.

In this 1955 movie adaptation of Mickey Spillane’s novel, the good manners of the 1950s are blown to smithereens. Directed by Robert Aldrich (The Killing of Sister George), Kiss Me Deadly stars Ralph Meeker (Paths of Glory) as snarling private dick Mike Hammer, whose decision one dark, lonely night to pick up a hitchhiking woman sends him down some terrifying byways.

Brazen and bleak, the movie is a film noir masterpiece as well as an essential piece of cold war paranoia, and it features as nervy an ending as has ever been seen in American cinema.

The Blu-ray and DVD carry the list prices of $39.95 and $29.95, respectively.

As with all of Criterion’s discs, they feature a new high-definition restoration of the film, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition.

Here’s a list of the special features of the Blu-ray and DVD editions:

  • audio commentary by film noir specialists Alain Silver and James Ursini
  • new video tribute from director Alex Cox (Repo Man, Walker)
  • excerpts from The Long Haul of A. I. Bezzerides, a 2005 documentary on the Kiss Me Deadly screenwriter
  • excerpts from Mike Hammer’s Mickey Spillane, a 1998 documentary on the author whose book inspired the film
  • a look at the film’s locations
  • altered ending
  • theatrical trailer
  • booklet featuring an essay by critic J. Hoberman and a 1955 reprint by director Robert Aldrich

 

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.