Kiss the Blood Off My Hands, adapted from Gerald Butler's novel of postwar violence and demoralization [by Ben Maddow and Walter Bernstein], is an intensely moody melodrama.
concerns an uprooted vet of the Second World War whose life is shattered after he accidentally kills a man in a London pub. Although based on a formula plot, this film is lifted out of the run-of-the-mill class through Norman Foster’s superior direction, first-rate thesping and well-integrated production mountings.
Lancaster delivers a convincing and sympathetic portrayal of a tough hombre who can’t beat the bad breaks. Fontaine performs with sensitivity and sincerity in a demanding role. As the heavy, Newton is properly oily and detestable.