Kiss of Death [based on a story by Eleazar Lipsky] is given the same semi-documentary treatment that 20th-Fox used in its three fact dramas, The House on 92nd Street, 13 Rue Madeleine and Boomerang!.

Kiss of Death [based on a story by Eleazar Lipsky] is given the same semi-documentary treatment that 20th-Fox used in its three fact dramas, The House on 92nd Street, 13 Rue Madeleine and Boomerang!.

Theme is of an ex-convict who sacrifices himself to gangster guns to save his wife and two small daughters. Henry Hathaway’s real-life slant on direction brings the picture close to authentic tragedy.

Victor Mature, as the ex-convict, does some of his best work. Brian Donlevy and Coleen Gray also justify their star billing, Donlevy as the assistant district attorney who sends Mature to Sing Sing for a jewelry store robbery, and later makes use of him as a stool pigeon, Gray as the girl Mature marries after being paroled.

The acting sensation of the piece is Richard Widmark, as the dimwit, blood-lusty killer.

Plot hook of the script is the decision of Mature to turn stoolie when he learns that his wife has been driven to suicide by his pals, who had promised to care for her while he was in prison, and that his two children have been put in an orphanage. He fingers Widmark for a murder rap in return for parole, marries Gray and starts a new home for his children, only to live in terror when Widmark is acquitted and set at liberty.

1947: Nominations: Best Supp. Actor (Richard Widmark), Original Story

Kiss of Death

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Henry Hathaway; Producer Fred Kohlmar; Screenplay Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer; Camera Norbert Brodine; Editor J. Watson Webb Jr; Music David Buttolph; Art Director Lyle R. Wheeler, Leland Fuller

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1947. Running time: 98 MIN.

With

Victor Mature Brian Donlevy Coleen Gray Richard Widmark Karl Malden Mildred Dunnock
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