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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lancaster wanted to retain the novel's title in order to capitalize on its success. Universal and the MPAA had problems with it, so the studio tested "Blood on My Hands" and "Blood on the Moon." It eventually premiered under the more innocuous "The Unafraid" but eventually reverted back to the book's original title. 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 »
[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 »
KISS THE BLOOD OFF MY HANDS (Norman Foster, 1948) **1/2
Burt Lancaster's seventh film (and sixth noir!) 'relocates' him to London where he is an ill-tempered Canadian seaman and former WWII P.O.W. who accidentally kills the bartender of a pub for curtailing his boozing at closing time; a fellow patron (played with customary hamminess by the one and only Robert Newton) witnesses the event and plagues Lancaster throughout the picture to act as 'inside man' in a pharmaceutical robbery. This turn of events comes about through Lancaster's improbable relationship with a besotted nurse (Joan Fontaine) in whose flat he first takes refuge. Despite an evocative title, appropriately moody camera-work and musical accompaniment (courtesy of Russell Metty and Miklos Rozsa) and even a couple of Wellesian directorial touches (read tilted camera angles) thrown in for good measure by Norman Foster whose best-known credit remains JOURNEY INTO FEAR (1943) the film faces an insurmountable hurdle in the unconvincing central romance that culminates in an exceedingly phony redemptive ending. More's the pity, therefore, that this finale had just been preceded by the film's best sequences which depict Newton's double-death at the separate hands of first Fontaine and later Lancaster!
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?