->'''Christina Bailey:''' You have only one real lasting love. \\
'''Literature/MikeHammer:''' Now who could that be? \\
'''Christina Bailey:''' You. You're one of those self-indulgent males who thinks about nothing but his clothes, his car, himself. Bet you do push-ups every morning just to keep your belly hard.

1955 FilmNoir adaptation of the CrimeFiction novel by Creator/MickeySpillane directed by Robert Aldrich (''Film/TheDirtyDozen'', ''Film/WhateverHappenedToBabyJane'') and starring Ralph Meeker as Los Angeles PrivateDetective Literature/MikeHammer. Spillane didn't like the film as it actually deconstructed his macho, tough guy creation and differed from the original story by involving UsefulNotes/ColdWar espionage and a [[spoiler: nuclear]] MacGuffin. Originally unsuccessful upon it's theatrical release it is now considered one of the classic examples of FilmNoir and later cited as influential among directors of the FrenchNewWave and also Creator/QuentinTarantino when he made ''Film/PulpFiction''.

A terrified young woman wearing only a trenchcoat is running down a highway at night. She stops a car driven by private divorce detective Mike Hammer. He picks her up, from then on becoming embroiled in a plot involving murder, missing scientists and a mysterious box...

!!The film provides examples of:
* AntiHero: One of the reasons that Mickey Spillane didn't like the film was because it made the anti-heroic but otherwise moral Mike Hammer into an amoral, narcissistic bully.
* CoolCar: Mike's two seat white Jaguar convertible.
* TheCoroner: Mike tries to bribe one to get a key from him. When the coroner tries to more money from him Mike slams his fingers in his desk drawer until he gives it to him.
* DamselInDistress: Christina Bailey and later her roommate Lily Carver. Subverted in [[spoiler: she is later revealed to be not the real Lily but Gabrielle, the mistress of the BigBad.]]
* {{Deconstruction}}: Director Aldrich and the screenwriter deconstructs the HardboiledDetective character, depicting him as an amoral, vicious narcissist.
* FemmeFatale: [[spoiler: Lily Carver.]]
* FriendOnTheForce: Lt. Pat Murphy
* GenreSavvy: Mike figures out there's not one but two bombs planted in a car delivered to him.
* GirlFriday: Velda
* ExternalCombustion: The killers have left a sports car outside his apartment building in perfect condition. His mechanic friend Nick goes to start it but Mike stops him and and shows that under the hood there's a bomb connected to the starter. Later when they check under the car at Nick's garage Mike shows that there was a '''second bomb''' set to go off when the car accelerates to higher speeds driving in the country.
* TheFifties
* HardboiledDetective
* JerkAss: Mike, especially the scene where he breaks a valuable opera record of someone he's questioning.
* UsefulNotes/LosAngeles: Shot in location around Los Angeles. Many places shown in the film like the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunker_Hill,_Los_Angeles,_California Bunker Hill]] no longer exist.
** This is transposition from the novels, which are set firmly in New York City.
* MacGuffin: The "Great Whatsit".
* MinorCrimeRevealsMajorPlot
* PetTheDog: Mike's genuine friendship for Nick the mechanic and also his unusual (for the times) friendship and rapport with a couple of African American characters in the film.
* PlayingBothSides: Mike Hammer's method as a divorce detective. He's hired by a husband to get evidence against his wife for a divorce, then secretly is hired by the wife to get evidence against her husband.
* RatedMForManly
* TheTeaser: Christine is shown running alone on the highway at night. After she gets picked up by Mike Hammer the opening credits begin.
* TheUnReveal: The mysterious briefcase. All we see is that it gives off a blindingly bright glow (possibly nuclear in origin).