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Bill Saunders, disturbed ex-soldier, kills a man in a postwar London pub brawl. Fleeing, he hides out in the apartment of lonely nurse Jane Wharton. Later, despite misgivings about his violent nature, Jane becomes involved with Bill, who resolves to reform. She gets him a job driving a medical supplies truck. But racketeer Harry Carter, who witnessed the killing, wants to use Bill's talents for crime. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The story takes place in England, where automobiles and trucks are right-hand drive; but the truck Bill drives is left-hand drive. See more »
[to Bill Saunders]
... furthermore, although these appear to be first offenses, in view of the brutal nature of the assault, I have no alternative but to direct that you receive eighteen lashes of the cat-o'-nine-tails.
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Kiss The Blood Off My Hands was the first film that Burt Lancaster had a hand in producing, it was the first for his personal company Norma Productions. In fact to get Joan Fontaine as his co-star he had to cut her in and her production company for half and give her top billing. Lancaster would later do that with Clark Gable and Gary Cooper when he co-starred with them, this according to a recent biography on Lancaster.
This was a frustrating film for me because I think it had the potential to be a real classic. Lancaster is a disturbed World War II veteran with issues we later find out did not come from just his military service. He's got a quick temper and a propensity to use his fists first. He accidentally kills a bar owner and happens to flee into Fontaine's apartment.
Joan is a repressed woman very much akin to the character she played in her Oscar winning performance in Suspicion. She works as a nurse and has no social life. Lancaster's animal magnetism both frightens and attracts her.
Unfortunately Robert Newton playing one of his patented evil characters is a small time crook who sees what Lancaster did. His attempt to blackmail Burt into a life of crime sets the tone for the rest of the film. Newton also steals the film from both stars in the scenes he's in.
A forced and contrived Hollywood ending really ruins this film. I'd like to rate it better, all the players did their job more than competently. But if you see Kiss The Blood Off My Hands I think you'll agree with me.
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