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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

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30-minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 28, 1948 with Victor Mature, Richard Widmark and Coleen Gray reprising their film roles. 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

Tommy Udo: I'm askin' ya, where's that squealin' son of yours?
[weird laugh]
Tommy Udo: You think a squealer can get away from me? Huh?
[crazy laugh]
Tommy Udo: You know what I do to squealers? I let 'em have it in the belly, so they can roll around for a long time thinkin' it over. You're worse than him, tellin' me he's comin' back? Ya lyin' old hag!
[maniacal laugh]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Late Show: Episode dated 28 April 1988 (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Good crime drama
15 June 2000 | by EW-3See all my reviews

This film is "required reading" in the study of gangster films, mostly because of Richard Widmark's exceptional and truly frightening performance as Tommy Udo. Interestingly enough, 43 years later, actor Joe Pesci would also terrify movie audiences with his portrayal of another psychopathic gangster, who also had the rather benign name of 'Tommy'. However, unlike Pesci, Widmark never had another particularly memorable gangster role after this one.

While a lot of the story is realistic, some of it is far-fetched - mainly, the end. Only a complete lunatic would even think of walking into the headquarters of a gangster that he had just testified against and expect to come out alive. However, the tension in that restaurant confrontation scene is effective, and I suppose for the era in which this film was made, it was necessary to have the 'good hero' face down the 'bad bully' and put him in his place. In reality, of course, it just doesn't happen that way in the world of crime.

But what makes this film is Widmark, and to give an idea of just how effective he was, when this film first came out, a real-life NYC mobster(Joey Gallo) would watch it and earnestly try to imitate Widmark's style and mannerisms, thereby enhancing his own skill in intimidating others. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.


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