_Kiss Me Deadly_, or, Man in Search of the "Great Whatzit" (was Re: Zsa Zsa...)

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Fri Mar 19 18:28:50 PST 1999

Dennis Redmond wrote:
>Hitchcock's photographic clue yields to the
>properly postmodern *symptom* of the clue -- the nuclear flash of the
>truth, in the junkyard of the signifier.

You should have saved the "nuclear flash" for a thread on Robert Aldrich's _Kiss Me Deadly_ (1955), a spectacle of cold-war masculinity (most prominently symbolized by Mike Hammer, his "Great Whatzit," and "the liar's kiss that says I love you, and means something else" that Lily Carver was taught to ask for) that annihilates itself and everything else besides with a Big Bang. Christina Bailey near the beginning of the film says to Hammer, "You have only one real, lasting love--yourself." She also muses with irony, "Woman--the incomplete sex. What does she need to make her complete? Why! A man, of course!" Her irony doesn't save her, however. Male narcissism is deadly indeed.


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