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Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (1948)

Fugitive Bill Saunders and lonely nurse Jane Wharton are crossed by fate when he hides out in her apartment.



(screenplay), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Harry Carter
Lewis L. Russell ...
Tom Widgery
Aminta Dyne ...
Grizelda Harvey ...
Mrs. Paton (as Grizelda Hervey)
Sea Captain of Pelicano
Colin Keith-Johnston ...
Reginald Sheffield ...
Campbell Copelin ...
Leyland Hodgson ...
Tipster (as Leland Hodgson)
Peter Hobbes ...
Young Father


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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"A Hunted Man! A Love-Haunted Woman! Caught! With Every Kiss More Reckless, Mor Dangerous Than the Last" See more »


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Release Date:

30 October 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Unafraid  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,100,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 21, 1949 with Burt Lancaster and Joan Fontaine reprising their film roles. See more »


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 »


Judge: [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.
See more »


Referenced in Watching the Detectives (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Eye of Newton
7 October 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

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.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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