Kiss Me Deadly—a brutal, brilliant film noir that set the high-water mark for Cold War paranoia—is finally getting the deluxe DVD reissue it deserves. (Out from the Criterion Collection on June 21.)
Robert Aldrich directs, based on a script adapted from one of Mickey Spillane’s best novels—and along with the black bird in Humphrey Bogart’s Maltese Falcon, the Pandora’s box at Kiss Me Deadly’s center is the genre’s best-known prop. (The suitcase in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction is a total homage.) The film stars Ralph Meeker (it’s his most cynical role) and Cloris Leachman (in her first major film role), and features an excellent cameo by Nat King Cole. But it’s most famous for its awesomely apocalyptic conclusion, and we were delighted to find that—along with the usual extras—this deluxe reissue comes with an even more controversial alternate ending. It’s not to be missed.
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