Actor Ralph Meeker
November 13, 2001 5:08 PM   Subscribe

Actor Ralph Meeker portrayed hardboiled private dick Mike Hammer in the Robert Aldrich film "Kiss Me Deadly", a celluloid masterpiece of brutal cold-war paranoia that introduced the filmgoing public to the concept of suitcase nukes back in 1955. For some reason, I find the thought of Conway Twitty films far more disturbing.
posted by MrBaliHai (9 comments total)
Not to mention films that feature actors named Woo Woo Grabowski.
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:10 PM on November 13, 2001

Thee were giants back then. What a falling off since.
posted by Postroad at 5:14 PM on November 13, 2001

Kiss Me Deadly is a great, great film. Go rent it tonight, it's really worth. Ralph is great in the pic, he's the perfect Mike Hammer.
posted by cell divide at 5:33 PM on November 13, 2001

The scene where Cloris Leachman is tortured with pliers is quite possibly the most disturbing thing that I've ever seen in a movie from that era. And yes, Meeker is brilliant as Hammer...a total thug...virtually indistinguishable from the criminals he encounters.
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:43 PM on November 13, 2001

Suitcase nuke? They never actually said what was in the case (a la Pulp Fiction). I believe it was referred to as the "Great Whatsis" or something. However, the apocalyptic explosion at the end after opening the thing was a big clue.

A great, great movie -- it has been said that all of film noir was working up to this one film. A crime drama with religious/mythic and wasteland themes describing the hope and failure of modern communication...they don't make 'em like they used to.
posted by drinkcoffee at 5:51 PM on November 13, 2001

Oops, maybe I should have said


posted by drinkcoffee at 5:55 PM on November 13, 2001

Actually, I thought about saying "the concept of stolen fissionable material" at first, but "suitcase nuke" seemed more appropriate given the [ahem] event that occurs at the end of the film. And since you've already given away the ending, drinkcoffee [grin], I might as well mention that Aldrich filmed two different finales: with and without explicit Apocalyse.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:11 PM on November 13, 2001

"My hair!! It looks like a piece of fudge!!" --Ricky Ricardo
posted by gimonca at 6:51 PM on November 13, 2001

Mmm... Mamie Van Doren...
posted by y2karl at 9:59 PM on November 14, 2001

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