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Hollywood Movie Memories » ralph meeker

Posts Tagged ‘ralph meeker’

Kiss Me Deadly

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Kiss Me Deadly (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

Tagline – Blood red kisses! White hot thrills! Mickey Spillane’s latest H-bomb!

Starring – Ralph Meeker (Mike Hammer), Albert Dekker (Dr. G. E. Soberin), Paul Stewart (Carl Evello), Maxine Cooper (Velda), Juano Hernandez (Eddie Yeager).

Released – May, 1955

Directed By – Robert Aldrich

Produced By – Park Lane Pictures

Distributed By – United Artists

Description – L. A. private eye Mike Hammer offers a ride to an apparently frightened young woman he sees running on the road one night. And, why not? The woman is wearing nothing but a trench coat.

Her name is Christina and she has escaped from a mental institution. That’s all Hammer learns of the woman as his car is run off the road by some thugs. Hammer awakens in an unknown location to the screams of Christina, who is being tortured to death in an effort to get information from her that she either doesn’t know, or just isn’t telling.

Hammer and the body of the young woman are put back into his car and the car is pushed off a cliff in order to make their deaths appear to be an accident. Hammer survives the crash to awaken in a hospital.

He decides to investigate just what is going on for two reasons… vengeance, and the fact that Christina must have been involved in something big. Something that could lead to a lot of money for the private detective.

Hammer’s inquiries into why Christina was killed lead him to a woman named Lily, who is also in danger and asks Hammer for protection. It seems that there is this mysterious box that, she believes, contains a fortune that someone will stop at nothing to obtain.

There’s another player in this dangerous game, as the F.B.I. also is interested in the contents of the box, and the race is on to see who will end up with the mysterious box, just what does it contain, and who will have to die for their efforts.

NOTABLE: In 1999, Kiss Me Deadly was selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

Although based on the novel by Mickey Spillane, the film is very different in terms of the plot elements, who the bad guys are, and the valuable contents of the box.

Kiss Me Deadly was filmed in its entirety in less than three weeks.

This motion picture provided the film debut’s of Cloris Leachman and Maxine Cooper.

Personal Note: This is a classic Film Noir title that crosses over into a number of other genres. It is a fast, moody, violent picture, that was years ahead of its time. Ralph Meeker makes a great Mike Hammer.



The Naked Spur

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

The Naked Spur

Tagline – Packed with Technicolor Thrills!

Starring – James Stewart (Howard Kemp), Janet Leigh (Lina Patch), Robert Ryan (Ben Vandergroat), Ralph Meeker (Roy Anderson).

Released – February, 1953

Directed By – Anthony Mann

Produced By –  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Distributed By – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Description – Bounty hunter Howard Kemp has been tracking Ben Vandergroat for a long time. Vandergroat is wanted for the murder of a marshal in Abilene.

During his pursuit, Kemp meets and enlists the aid of a couple of questionable characters; a grizzled old prospector named Tate, and a dishonorably discharged Union soldier named Anderson. Both believe Kemp to be a sheriff and not a bounty hunter.

The three have come across and trap someone on the top of a hill in the Rocky Mountains. Kemp feels it must be Vandergroat. Sure enough, it is Ben Vandergroat and Lina Patch the daughter of one of Ben’s friends killed during a bank robbery.

After capturing Vandergroat, the prospector and disgraced soldier learn that Kemp is not a sheriff and is just looking for the $5,000 reward on Vandergroat’s head. The two agree to help Kemp claim the reward with an eye on stealing the reward from Kemp for themselves.

This will be no easy trip as Vandergroat begins to use greed to set the partners against one another as well as using the beautiful Lina to come between Kemp and Anderson. To make things even worse they come upon a group of BlackFeet warriors who, while usually friendly, are out of their area and seem to be looking for someone.

Throw in a brutal rainstorm, a cave in, along with an attempt to cross a raging river and you have one of the most exciting westerns ever made; possibly James Stewart’s best.

NOTABLE: In 1997, The Naked Spur was added to the National Film Registry.

The Naked Spur received one Academy Award nomination for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay.

Personal Note: One of the best Westerns ever made. A good script, solid acting, and beautifully shot in Technicolor on location in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.