Noir night: The Postman Always Rings Twice & Kiss Me Deadly

The Postman Always Rings Twice

The wife-and-lover-kill-husband plot works every times, doesn't it? It certainly does here, very well even. The chemistry between John Garfield and Lana Turner just crackles. I sometimes wonder if we weren't better off in the days of the code, when sex had to be implied through a cigarette being lit or subtexts in dialogue: it can be so much sexier than the real thing. The introduction of Lana Turner is just great: the lipstick rolling on the floor, the shot resting on her legs, and the look on Garfield's face...priceless!

Kiss Me, Deadly

Some films you just feel like watching again right after they finish. It was late and I was having trouble keeping my eyes open so I didn't, but this was such a film for me. It's so out there and strange that I'm not sure if I love it or hate it. I bought the DVD mainly because I heard Southland Tales references is over and over again, and I wanted to be able to get these references. What I didn't expect is a film as weird as Southland is supposed to be.

I was entranced by it, from the fantastic opening onwards. Many moments are simply unforgettable, some shots are amazing, and well... I fell for Mike Hammer. He's just so sleazy and mean, he's the ultimate noir anti-hero, and I loved it. Girls spontaneously kiss him for no reason at all in this film, but you buy it. I think I'll go towards love, but I do need to see it a second time.


Kaj said...

Yes, it can be so much sexier. Take Gilda for instance. The way Rita Hayworth takes off just one long glove while singing 'Put The Blame On Mame' is sexier than if she'd taken off all her clothes in that scene.

And Kiss Me Deadly is indeed pure gold, that I also need to see again. It is the sleaziest of noir, although Touch of Evil isn't too shabby either when it comes to going for the underbelly. (Does that make sense?)
I really liked how Mike Hammer was an atypical noir hero, using his fist instead of his wit to gain the upper hand. Not that he didn't do that.

Hedwig said...

I do need to check out Gilda. I mean, I've seen many clips, including the one you refer to, but never the whole thing...

And Kiss Me Deadly is already growing in my mind. The opening sequence is truly gutsy, isn't it? The legs, the panting, "I'd rather have the blues"...And she outwits HIM in that scene, has him pegged right away.

cjKennedy said...

It's interesting to compare the original Postman to the remake. I love Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange plus the explicitness of the sex is cranked up of course, but the original is much sexier.

Kiss me Deadly has always reminded me of parts David Lynch's Lost Highway. I think there's even an exploding beach shack.

C. Jerry Kutner said...

Kiss Me Deadly was also hommaged in Repo Man and Pulp Fiction (anywhere you see a briefcase containing something glowing and mysterious).

When you watch it a second time, check out the staging of those long takes. This was Aldrich at his creative (neo-Wellesian) peak.

Hedwig said...

I haven't seen Repo Man, but yeah, the briefcase in Pulp Fiction has to be a reference.

And I will look at the staging. I noticed some of the interrogation scenes were very long takes, but I'm looking forward to examining them more clearly the second time around!