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Kelly, a prostitute, finds redemption in the town of Grantville, where she arrives working as a medium-time seller. There, she meets Griff, the police captain of the town, with whom she spends a romantic afternoon. The woman, traumatized by an experience in the past called "The Naked Kiss" by psychiatrists, finally, finds a job as a nurser in a Hospital for handicapped children, experience that allows her to find a sensitive side in caring and patiently love each one of her little patients. Apparently, Kelly will find happiness in Grant, her fiancé and Griff's partner, but she will be the witness of a shocking event that will threaten this happiness and even her mental health. Written by
When Kelly approaches the porch of the house with the room for rent, she picks up the newspaper and hands it to the landlady who has opened the door. The newspaper, as picked up by Kelly, is snugly rolled up and bound with a rubber band. But in the next frame, taken from inside as we see landlady and Kelly come through the door, the newspaper in the landlady's hand is not a rolled up paper, but one that is simply folded in half. See more »
I saw a broken down piece of machinery. Nothing but the buck, the bed and the bottle for the rest of my life. That's what I saw.
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"Charlie" played by Himself Charlie is Madame Josephine's dressmaker's dummy which she has dressed as her fiance who was killed in World War II. See more »
The ultimate pulp fiction, high drama with Fuller's film definition of "emotions"
"Pickup on South Street" 1953, an 80-minute film noir gem, is a favorite of mine. Richard Widmark and Thelma Ritter (not just exceptional in romantic comedy supporting Rock Hudson and Doris Day in "Pillow Talk") were the two characters and performances I like best. Filmmaker Sam Fuller's creative writing, directing strength, and (indie) producing savvy continued to shine in "The Naked Kiss" 1964. It is the ultimate pulp fiction: high drama soap, touch of camp and tints of film noir. Beautifully shot in Black and White. Terrific cast with Constance Towers as Kelly, the central power of energy and charm, and undeterred determination; Anthony Eisley as Griff, the gruff, tough cop with a tender heart underneath; and the townsfolk of varying characters, nice and not-so-nice to downright sleazy, crooked ones, male or female, and a number of child performances for that matter. Yet with all this, there is a blossoming healthy, full of goodwill story about handicapped youngsters, being encouraged to stand up and be happy in spite of their weaknesses.
The opening segment (before the title/credits roll) is in itself an emphatic revelation. Kelly truly wants to turn over a new leaf, and she readily shares and helps others without guile. She is no loser. She's our heroine of the story. Tearjerker? Certainly can be. Thriller suspense, too? Definitely. Will she be innocently proclaimed? Will the witness precious be found? We would root for her, our Kelly. She is so 'gung ho' and downright nice to everyone (but she can also stand up tough against the 'bad' ones). Fuller's script runs its own natural course with surprises and satisfying plot twists never lacking.
This may not be for everyone (NFE). But if you can take high drama with wide human emotional range, appreciate energetic 'filmic' storytelling with intrigue, you'll enjoy this movie immensely. A Sam Fuller film doesn't disappoint but deserves applause practically guaranteed. His films are no fuss, straightforward and bold, frank and colorful in dialog, and there's the element of raw sophistication (sounds oxymoron, but life is full of contradictions). "The Naked Kiss" is available on DVD, Criterion Collection, widescreen, 91 minutes (just the right length).
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