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4.4 out of 5 stars19
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 10 February 2012
This is one of the best film noir movies. It has a gritty realism mainly due to it being filmed in real New York locations including all interiors so no studio sets. Victor Mature's usual wooden performance is for once and addition and his best beside After the Fox where he sends himself up. The main reason this film is so good is for the wonderful performance of Richard Widmark as the giggling psychopath Tommy Udo it is just brilliant. I am sure Frank Gorshin copied it when he played the Riddler in the 1960s Batman series. A must for all noir fans.
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on 3 October 2012
Brilliant quality print, B&W photography so appropriate for the mood of the film and generally a wonderful example of film noir. Richard Widmark excellent.
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on 21 November 2010
"Kiss of Death" is a classic film noir made famous by Richard Widmark's giggling psychopath pushing the disabled lady in a wheelchair down the stairs. But there is much more to it than that. The story about the career criminal played By Victor Mature forced to turn stoolpigeon after his wife's suicide leaves his children effectively parentless is quite gripping and leads to the inevitable confrontation after he informs on Widmark. Widmark in his debut is excellent and the often underrated Mature gives a fine believable performance and even Brian Donlevy whose acting is usually reminiscent of a wardrobe is OK.
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on 3 November 2013
Victor Mature never struck me as a convincing actor, and his role as Nick Bianco was overcooked. The start of the film was totally implausible. Only an IRA hit squad would attempt to rob a jewellers on the 23rd floor of a skyscraper. The elevator descent was ludicrous. We know what will happen when Bianco reaches the ground floor. At least his descent was more comfortable than that of the wheelchair-bound old lady. Furthermore, Bianco doesn't waste much time hooking up with Coleen Gray when his wife commits suicide. The one saving grace of this movie is Richard Widmark as the psychopathic Tommy Udo. It was also nice to see Millard Mitchell and Karl Malden on the staff of the sympathetic assistant DA, admirably played by Brian Donlevy.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 December 2010
20th Century Fox presents "KISS OF DEATH" (1947) (98 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- A gritty tale of deceit and manipulation filmed with an almost documentary-style realism, this hard-edged noir thriller stars Victor Mature as a gangster who takes the rap for a jewelery-store heist to protect his wife and children --- But when his friends on the outside fail to honor their promise, he turns the tables on the mob and works with the FBI to incriminate the men who helped put him away --- Richard Widmark debuts as the evil mobster with the manic laugh.

Noir doesn't get any better than this classic film --- Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Widmark) & Best Original Story.

Under the production staff of:
Henry Hathaway [Director]
Ben Hecht [ Screenwriter]
Charles Lederer [Screenwriter]
Eleazar Lipsky [Story]
Fred Kohlmar [Producer]
David Buttolph [Original Film Score]
Norbert Brodine [Cinematographer]
J. Watson Webb Jr.[Film Editor]

BIOS:
1. Henry Hathaway [aka: Marquis Henri Leonard de Fiennes] - [Director]
Date of Birth: 13 March 1898 - Sacramento, California
Date of Death: 11 February 1985 - Hollywood, California

2. Victor Mature [aka: Victor John Mature]
Date of Birth: 29 January 1913 - Louisville, Kentucky
Date of Death: 4 August 1999 - Rancho Santa Fe, California

3. Brian Donlevy [aka: Waldo Brian Donlevy]
Date of Birth: 9 February 1901 - Cleveland, Ohio
Date of Death: 5 April 1972 - Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California

4. Richard Widmark [aka: Richard Weedt Widmark]
Date of Birth: 26 December 1914 - Sunrise Township, Minnesota
Date of Death: 24 March 2008 - Roxbury, Connecticut

5..Coleen Gray [aka: Doris Bernice Jensen]
Date of Birth: 23 October 1922 - Staplehurst, Nebraska
Date of Death: Still Living

the cast includes:
Victor Mature - Nick Bianco
Brian Donlevy - Assistant D.A. Louis D'Angelo
Coleen Gray - Nettie
Richard Widmark - Tommy Udo
Taylor Holmes - Earl Howser--Attorney
Howard Smith - Warden
Karl Malden - Sgt. William Cullen
Anthony Ross - 'Big Ed' Williams

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 5 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 98 min on DVD ~ 20th Century Fox ~ (12/06/2005)
11 comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Adapted from a story by Eleazar Lipsky, Kiss Of Death is a tough, even frightening Crime/Noir picture that has a gritty realistic feel. Helped enormously by director Henry Hathaway shooting the whole picture in New York, Kiss Of Death is also notable for being the searing debut of Richard Widmark. With no intention of soft soaping the story, the makers cunningly lure us viewers onto the seamy New York streets. Thus with the New York locations as expertly used as they are by Hathaway, Kiss Of Death attains a documentary style similar to other notable genre pictures like Call Northside 777 {also Hathaway}.

Narrating the picture is Nettie {Coleen Gray in her first credited role}, the second wife of Nick Bianco {Victor Mature}. Telling of his rough and troubled life, we learn that Bianco was part of a gang who was caught during a jewelry robbery over the Christmas holiday. Lied to by his lawyer, Bianco learns during his prison term that his first wife has killed herself and that his darling two girls have been packed off to an orphanage. Fretting and desperate to see his girls, Bianco makes a deal with Assistant District Attorney Louis D'Angelo {Brian Donlevy}, where in exchange for is parole, he will rat out his old gang buddies. D'Angelo is mostly concerned with one man tho, sadistic murderer and boss, Tommy Udo {Widmark}. Bianco must pal up to Udo and hope that he doesn't get found out, for if he does, Udo is sure to enact psychotic retribution on Nick and all those close to him.

Mature gives one of his finest shows as the pained Bianco forced to squeal, Gray as his second wife is sedate and effective and Donlevy as the crusading Assistant D.A. with a heart is as reliable as he always is. But all are playing second fiddle to Widmark, ferocious stare, dirty laugh and an unnerving falsetto voice, it announced Widmark to the cinematic world, garnered him a contract with Twentieth Century-Fox and he never looked back afterwards. Some of his scenes are just mesmerising, including one that is as shocking as it is a lesson in villainy. Taut and tight scripting from the Hecht/Lederer partnership, with rounded characters and a sensible plot, Kiss Of Death is not to be missed by the Crime/Noir genre fan. 8.5/10
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on 19 May 2013
Richard Widmark's famous cracked gangster is still pretty disturbing - he manages almost to look like a grotesque cartoon character with his sometimes rictus grin. Victor Mature is impressive too. He can actually do subtle pretty well - moments of tension are often indicated with hints of movements of the eyes - he's really quite a pro. The plot turns away from the really tense stuff however, by getting the kids and the wife out of danger as the climax cranks up. The ending, I think, is ambiguous, but it may just be me. There are some interesting shots of doors, windows, curtains, especially the bit where 'Udo' (Widmark) comes to see Vic in Luigi's. Also one moment of still shocking sadistic violence which establishes Widmark's extremity of behaviour. Colleen Gray's narration I found slightly distracting.
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on 28 May 2013
I am a great fan of richard widmark. He was a terrific actor .
And I was glad to watch his interview.
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Adapted from a story by Eleazar Lipsky, Kiss Of Death is a tough, even frightening Crime/Noir picture that has a gritty realistic feel. Helped enormously by director Henry Hathaway shooting the whole picture in New York, Kiss Of Death is also notable for being the searing debut of Richard Widmark. With no intention of soft soaping the story, the makers cunningly lure us viewers onto the seamy New York streets. Thus with the New York locations as expertly used as they are by Hathaway, Kiss Of Death attains a documentary style similar to other notable genre pictures like Call Northside 777 (also Hathaway).

Narrating the picture is Nettie (Coleen Gray in her first credited role), the second wife of Nick Bianco (Victor Mature). Telling of his rough and troubled life, we learn that Bianco was part of a gang who was caught during a jewelry robbery over the Christmas holiday. Lied to by his lawyer, Bianco learns during his prison term that his first wife has killed herself and that his darling two girls have been packed off to an orphanage. Fretting and desperate to see his girls, Bianco makes a deal with Assistant District Attorney Louis D'Angelo (Brian Donlevy), where in exchange for is parole, he will rat out his old gang buddies. D'Angelo is mostly concerned with one man tho, sadistic murderer and boss, Tommy Udo (Widmark). Bianco must pal up to Udo and hope that he doesn't get found out, for if he does, Udo is sure to enact psychotic retribution on Nick and all those close to him.

Mature gives one of his finest shows as the pained Bianco forced to squeal, Gray as his second wife is sedate and effective and Donlevy as the crusading Assistant D.A. with a heart is as reliable as he always is. But all are playing second fiddle to Widmark, ferocious stare, dirty laugh and an unnerving falsetto voice, it announced Widmark to the cinematic world, garnered him a contract with Twentieth Century Fox and he never looked back afterwards. Some of his scenes are just mesmerising, including one that is as shocking as it is a lesson in villainy. Taut and tight scripting from the Hecht/Lederer partnership, with rounded characters and a sensible plot, Kiss Of Death is not to be missed by the Crime/Noir genre/style fan. 8.5/10
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on 22 November 2014
Probably Victor Mature's best screen role as a crook turned squalor. Some great prison scenes highlighting the sadly misguiled message that 'crime does not pay'.
Still didn't see any bankers behind bars!!
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