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A woman's solution
on 8 August 2012
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (Gordon Douglas, 1950, 102')
A film noir starring James Cagney and Barbara Payton, directed by the novel by Horace McCoy. The film was banned in Ohio as "a sordid, sadistic presentation of brutality and an extreme presentation of crime with explicit steps in commission." Supporting Cagney are Luther Adler as a crooked lawyer, Ward Bond and Barton MacLane as two crooked cops, and Cagney's brother William (who produced the film) as Ralph Cotter's brother.
Ralph Cotter is a career criminal who escapes from prison, then murders his partner in crime. Along the way he attempts to woo his ex-partner's sister (Payton) by threatening to expose her role in his escape. Cotter quickly gets back into the crime business, only to be shaken down by corrupt local cops.
The film, often compared unfavorably to White Heat, received mixed reviews. Fred Camper, film critic for The Chicago Reader, called the film mis-directed, writing, "Gordon Douglas's direction is almost incoherent compared to Raoul Walsh's in White Heat (1949), which features Cagney in a similar role; the compositions and camera movements, while momentarily effective, have little relationship to each other, and the film reads a bit like an orchestra playing without a conductor." (All above from Wikipedia)
Not having seen the White Heat yet, I can't comment on that comparison. The film, to me, has the average high speed of Cagney acting/no prisoners made style. That he should finally be shot by a woman remotely reminds of Grace Kelly's unplanned intervention in High Noon: When men get too childish, it is a woman who sets things right again, an old motif in Westerns, but not only there.
126 - Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (Gordon Douglas, 1950, 102') - 8/8/2012