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Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Pandora and Prometheus in Robert Aldrich’s Cinematic Subversion of Spillane

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Screening Love and Sex in the Ancient World

Abstract

In this chapter I explore aspects of baneful women, fallible men, and the mutual manipulation involved in gift giving with the Prometheus paradigm in mind. Elements within the myths of Pandora and Prometheus will be brought into constant interplay to enrich an appreciation of Robert Aldrich’s movie, but also to rethink the attributes of these mythical figures in their classical context. A. I. Bezzerides produced a culturally allusive screenplay that by the film’s finale was directly invoking classical and biblical characters, particularly the direct reference to a destructive Pandora about to unleash a monstrous power (spoiler warning!), as curious and acquisitive Gabrielle embraces and then opens the atomic box at the end of the film.1

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Monica S. Cyrino

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© 2013 Monica Cyrino

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James, P. (2013). Kiss Me Deadly (1955). In: Cyrino, M.S. (eds) Screening Love and Sex in the Ancient World. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137299604_3

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