7.5/10
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74 user 42 critic

Kiss of Death (1947)

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2:20 | Trailer

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With his law-breaking lifestyle in the past, an ex-con, along with his family, attempt to start a new life, knowing a betrayed someone from the past is bound to see otherwise.

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writers:

Ben Hecht (screenplay), Charles Lederer (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Victor Mature ... Nick Bianco
Brian Donlevy ... Assistant D.A. Louis D'Angelo
Coleen Gray ... Nettie
Richard Widmark ... Tommy Udo
Taylor Holmes ... Earl Howser--Attorney
Howard Smith ... Warden
Karl Malden ... Sgt. William Cullen
Anthony Ross ... 'Big Ed' Williams
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Storyline

Small-time crook Nick Bianco gets caught in a jewel heist and despite urgings from well-meaning district attorney D'Angelo, refuses to rat on his partners and goes to jail, assured that his wife and children will be taken care of. Learning that his depressed wife has killed herself, Nick informs on his ex-pals and is paroled. Nick remarries, gets a job and begins leading a happy life when he learns one of the men he informed on, psychopathic killer Tommy Udo, has been released from custody and is out for revenge against Nick and his family. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From her lips there is no escape! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blind Date See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,520,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Richard Widmark, there were pads on the bottom of the stairs during Mildred Dunnock's scene as well as men to catch her, but the cameraman forgot to rack the film and the scene had to be shot a second time. See more »

Goofs

When Nick looks up the phone number of the 37th Precinct in the phone book at the restaurant, it's given as UN 4-3400. But he then enters the phone booth and dials what looks like 345-3326. Definitely no zeros dialed. See more »

Quotes

Warden: Did he write this himself?
Sing Sing Guard: Yes, sir.
Warden: Good handwriting.
Sing Sing Guard: He's not a bad guy.
See more »

Alternate Versions

For the theatrical release in Manitoba, the shot of the woman in the wheelchair going down the staircase had to be shortened. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tatort: Tote Taube in der Beethovenstraße (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Street Scene
(uncredited)
Music by Alfred Newman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Vic and Dick In Old Manhattan
23 September 2002 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

This is one of the better remembered crime films of the forties, and boasts excellent direction by Henry Hathaway, a good script by Ben Hecht and Charles Lederer, and fine New York location photography by Norbert Brodine. Victor Mature plays a small-time crook who's enlisted by an assistant D.A. to infiltrate a gang of criminals whose leader, played by Richard Widmark, in his movie debut, is a psychopath with a very bent sense of humor. Psycho killers were relatively new to movies in the forties, and Widmark's may be the most famous of the lot. One can see his influence in films for years to come, as any number of actors made their debuts playing similar roles. No one surpassed Widmark for sheer sadism, however, as when he ties up an old lady in a wheelchair and sends her tumbling down a flight of stairs. This remains his most famous role, and when his obituary is written, the author, if he knows his movies at all, will mention it in the first sentence. Kiss Of Death is a decent crime story, at times very tense, but not otherwise exceptional. Surprisingly, Victor Mature gives a warm, emotional performance in the leading role, and Widmark's villainy would not have been so nearly as effective without this. How dull this picture might have been had Dana Andrews or Mark Stevens played this part.


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